In "Biblical Perspective" Dr. Gayle Woods writes:
A funeral in Israel was a special event that lasted thirty days. As a funeral procession moved along, it was led by hired mourners who wailed loudly in an effort to make an adequate public display of sorrow. The procession was followed by friends and relatives. This particular funeral was that of the only son of a widow, making it an even more tragic event. Many of the city showed their sympathy for the widow by joining the procession. The man who had died was probably the sole provider for the widow. It was wonderful to have sympathetic friends, but soon they would be gone, and she would be left to fight for survival in a day in which it was very difficult for women to find employment. The possibility that she would soon be reduced to begging was great.
Discussion: Do you think the elaborate display of sorrow made the grieving easier or more difficult on the bereaved?
Discussion: From your experiences of loss, imagine the pain and distress of this widow.
Source: Miracles of Jesus, Adult Teacher's Insights, pages 10-11.