- HeartLight Grief Support
- About Us
The terminology of el velorio, vigil, public viewing, or wake is when family and friends watch over their loved one in the hours following their death. These are beautiful gatherings that oftentimes take place in the family’s home; welcoming the community to pray, share memories and food, and recognize the significance of their collective loss. They can also be hosted by la funeraria.
But where is the value in holding a wake? Amid several days of traditions including the rosary, funeral, and novenas, where is the significance of the wake?
Physically seeing your loved one is knowing that on a visceral level, this is real. This is where the healing journey begins. When we lose a loved one, we might mentally know that they have died, but not physically seeing him/her delays that total acceptance. At a wake, the deceased are present. It begins the opportunity to process the loss while being surrounded by family and friends.
Family is everything. They provide unwavering support when times are difficult. Every milestone in life is celebrated together, including the passing of a life to the next step. Just like celebrating birthdays or weddings, a wake is another milestone that celebrates the life of someone who is loved. A life whose memory is kept alive in the hearts of their family and friends and in the stories they will tell at the next family gathering.