I am not a very big fan of rituals. My daily pooja is a simple, quick and fulfilling communication with my God. I do offer flowers, burn incense but that is because I love the ambiance it creates. I do not prefer the long and crowded pooja ceremonies even for special occasions, though I should say that I do enjoy the company of friends and family during such occasions. (Perhaps that is the very intention of having such religious gatherings!)
But I never realized how powerful some of them are. Like the Shraadh ceremony. It gives you a closure. Acceptance. Reconciliation with the fact that your loved one is no longer there. And yet it gives you peace. The mantras do have a very strange calming effect. The family coming together on this occasion of grief, sharing anecdotes, remembering the departed ones, hugging each other tight….. All this is healing…Therapeutic.
And then the plans of how to let life go on. Without the one who left us. How to remember them fondly without crying each and ever time. How to get the strength to deal with their absence.