To every person who has lived through watching someone die slowly before their eyes.
Nobody knows what comes after death.
Religions of mankind tell us of paradise, of rebirth, purgatory and of eternal damnation.
And perhaps it is the promise of a place. ANY place at all after death- the comfort in knowing that you'll still continue to exist at another level of consciousness. That you are not totally gone.
Different cultures treat death differently. Some funerals in Eastern religions are ceremonious- almost festive, heavily ritualized and symbolic. Some western funerals are subtle, quiet reflections on a life that once was. I've had the opportunity to experience both.
Some people say that funerals aren't really for the dead person- they are for the living that were left behind. The deceased do go to the place they were meant to go- on a journey, a life that takes place on the other side. The people who are left behind are the ones who need catharsis, healing and closure.
If psychic mediums are to be believed, a different type of life exists and learning does continue on the other side. Higher learning.