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What Does It Mean When It Rains After A Funeral: Unraveling the Symbolism and Science Behind This Phenomenon

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What does it mean when it rains after a funeral? This question has fascinated many. So let’s look at the intriguing relationship between science, symbolism, and human emotion surrounding this phenomenon.


Have you ever wondered, “What does it mean when it rains after a funeral?”. Is it a good omen or a bad omen? A sign of good luck or bad luck? Or does it mean anything at all?!

This question has fascinated both mourners and weather enthusiasts alike. And now, since my mother recently passed, and it did in fact rain after her funeral, I too am curious.

One wonders, does rain after a funeral hold special meaning or is it just a coincidental natural phenomenon? The intrigue of rain after a funeral lies in the mystery and the symbolism it carries.

Emotional Impact of Weather on Mourners

The emotional impact of weather on family members and those mourning at a funeral is profound. Weather sets the overall atmosphere at a funeral, and often affects the emotional experiences of those attending.

As an example, a bright sunny day may create feelings of warmth and optimism. Heavy rain can intensify the already sad day and somber mood of the present mourners at a funeral.

Also, the unpredictability of weather on the day of a funeral can add an element of uncertainty to what is already an emotional occasion for the grieving family and mourners.

Weather can shape the collective emotions of mourners at a funeral, which ultimately enhances the symbolism and significance of the event.


The Symbolic Meaning of Rain Across Different Cultures

Depending on the culture, rain holds a variety of symbolic meanings. Often these beliefs are based on the culture’s geographical location, climate, and historical experience.

Here are some examples of the symbolism of rain in different cultures.

Symbolism Of Rain In Different Cultures

  • Renewal and Rebirth (Many Cultures) – this belief is prominent in agricultural societies where rain is important for survival. A symbol of renewal and rebirth, bringing new life back to dry lands and rejuvenating crops and vegetation.
  • Purity and Cleansing (Ancient Rome and Greece) – in ancient Rome and Greek culture, rain was associated with purity and cleansing. Often used in religious ceremonies and rituals for purification purposes before entering sacred spaces.
  • Fertility and Growth (Native American) – rain is seen as a good sign by many Native American tribes. Rain is a blessing to nourish the land, which provides an abundance of crops and ensures the well-being of the tribe.
  • Harmony and Balance (Chinese Culture) – in Chinese culture, rain is linked to the idea of yin and yang, representing the harmonious interplay of opposite forces. As a symbol of harmony and balance, rain is considered a balancing force in nature.
  • Emotion and Transition (Japanese Culture) – the rainy season, “tsuyu”, is associated with melancholy and change. In Japanese culture, rain can symbolize emotions and transitions. Rain is often depicted in literature and art as a reflection of human emotions.
  • Mourning and Sadness (Some African Cultures) – in some African cultures, heavy rain during or after a funeral is seen as a symbol of mourning and sadness. It is believed the heavens weep with those living and mourning for the loss of their loved one.

Rain, Funerals, & Historical Figures

Rain during the funeral of a historic figure has been the subject of many stories, often carrying a mix of symbolic and emotional significance.

Here are a few interesting historical figures who had rain during their funeral.

Historic Figures With Rainy Funerals

  • Joan of Arc (1431) – when Joan of Arc was executed in Rouen, France, legend has it her enemies gloated and proclaimed that the weather conditions would prove her guilt. However, there was a violent storm that accompanied her funeral, leading many to believe it was a sign of her innocence.
  • Abraham Lincoln (1865) – heavy rain was experienced during Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois. Many saw this as a sign of nature mourning the loss of the President.
  • John F. Kennedy (1963) – this state funeral was held on a cold rainy day in November in Washington D.C. The rain only intensified the already somber atmosphere, and added a layer of melancholy to the event.
  • British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1965) – there was heavy rain during the state funeral of Winston Churchill in London. Some interpreted this as a reflection of the nation’s sorrow at the passing of a great leader.
  • Princess Grace of Monaco (1982) – during the funeral of Princess Grace of Monaco, there was a torrential downpour. For many, this was seen as a poignant symbol of the sorrow felt by the people of Monaco and the entire world.
  • Princess Diana (1997) – rain was experienced during Princess Diana’s funeral procession, as the cortege made its way through the streets of London. This led people to interpret it as a manifestation of the collective grief felt by the public.
  • Ronald Regan (2004) – It rained during the state funeral and procession of President Ronald Regan from the U.S. Capitol to the National Cathedral, which created a solemn and reflective atmosphere for the mourners present.

These historical anecdotes show how people interpret rain during a funeral as a symbol of mourning, grief, or the heavens’ response to the passing of significant figures.

It highlights the deep emotional and symbolic connection people make between weather events and the solemnity of funeral proceedings.

What Does It Mean When It Rains After A Funeral: Interpretations and Beliefs

People from various cultures have interpreted and associated rain after a funeral with many spiritual meanings and symbolism across different belief systems. Here are some common interpretations and beliefs.

Rain After A Funeral: 10 Common Interpretations And Beliefs

  1. Blessing from the Departed – many cultures believe rain after a funeral is a blessing from the departed. Sending blessings and love to those left behind, and signifying they are at peace, watching over their loved ones.
  2. Cleansing and Purification – people associate rain after a funeral with cleansing the deceased soul. A washing away of sorrow and pain, leaving a fresh start.
  3. Transition and Rebirth – some cultures link rain after a funeral to transition and rebirth. Believers think that rain nourishes the spiritual journey of the dead person and helps them on their way to the next realm of their reincarnation.
  4. Emotional Release – for some, rain reflects the emotions of the mourners, serving as an emotional release. As if the heavens weep alongside those who are grieving, providing comfort and support.
  5. Nature’s Sympathy – some people see rain after a funeral as the sorrow of nature. Nature’s way of expressing sympathy for the grieving, demonstrates a connection between humans and the environment.
  6. Transition to the Afterlife – some cultures look at rain after a funeral as a bridge between the earthly realm and the afterlife and spirit world. A pathway to lead the spirit of the deceased to their final destination.
  7. A Reminder of Impermanence – rainfall is a reminder that everything is temporary and we all one day will face death. Rain demonstrates the cyclical nature of existence, just as rain comes and goes, so do our lives here on Earth.
  8. Good Luck and Prosperity – certain cultures look at rain after a funeral as good news. Spiritual signs of good luck and prosperity for families and communities. People believe that rain ensures bountiful harvests and abundance in the future.
  9. A Test of Faith – some people look at rain after a funeral as a test of their faith. A religious belief and an opportunity for the mourner to show strength and faith in spite of the immense pain they may be going through.
  10. Spiritual Presence – some interpret rain as the spiritual presence of the deceased. Some believe that the departed blessed soul uses rain as a way to communicate with the living, offering comfort and assurance.

It is important to understand that these interpretations and beliefs vary widely based on culture, religion, and personal factors.

Some people may find meaning and comfort in the rain after a funeral. While others may not find any significance at all.

The various interpretations and beliefs are a testament to the many ways humans seek to understand and cope with the complex emotions surrounding death and loss.

How Weather Affects Human Emotions

Weather can significantly affect human emotion based on how it impacts us both physically and psychologically.

Here are some examples of how different types of weather can affect our mood.

Warm Sunny Day

When it is warm and sunny outside, we often feel energetic and optimistic. Bright sunny days boost our mood. When sunlight exposure stimulates our bodies, it triggers the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.

Rainy Day

An overcast rainy day can make us feel somber. The lack of sunlight can lead to feelings of sadness, lethargy, and even mild feelings of depression for some people.


Thunderstorms for some people are soothing. Listening to the sound of the rain and the clap of thunder can feel cozy and comforting for some. However, for others, rain and thunderstorms may bring on feelings of anxiety and fear.


Snow can bring about feelings of nostalgia and joy. Typically snow evokes a sense of wonder and excitement, especially during the holiday season.

How one reacts to weather is an individual response. Reactions are based on personal experiences, preferences, and cultural and psychological factors.

That said, weather is only one of many factors that contribute to our overall mood and well-being.


It Rained After My Mother’s Funeral

I can tell you from my own personal experience that when it rained after my mother’s funeral, it felt like a mixed blessing.

On the day of the funeral, the weather conditions were gloomy. Initially, my disappointment stemmed from the desire for my friends and family, who traveled a long distance, to experience the beautiful Cape Cod sunshine.

However, when we arrived at the funeral home, I briefly mentioned to the funeral director my disappointment in the weather. The funeral director kindly shared with me that in Victorian times, mourners believed when it rained during a funeral the deceased person had entered heaven.

He continued by saying that on a wedding day, you want sunshine but for a funeral service rain was a good thing, and that my mom was in a better place with eternal life in heaven.

Even if the funeral director’s words were rooted in funeral superstitions, they still comforted me. I fully believe my mom is resting peacefully in heaven – rain or no rain.

Nonetheless, I began to look at the large drops of rain coming down as God’s tears from heaven, and it helped me with the grieving process on that difficult day, the day of my mother’s funeral.

Happy is the bride that the sun shines on, happy is the corpse that the rain rains on.

19th century british couplet – victorian era

Even though this Victorian era, 19th-century, British couplet sounds harsh, it is exactly what the funeral director at my mother’s funeral told me, and it is what many in various cultures believe.


Funeral Rain: Debunking Myths and Superstitions

It is important to debunk myths and superstitions about rain after a funeral. Rain is a common phenomenon, and we must therefore embrace an informed and rational perspective on rain itself.

Even though funeral rain holds symbolic meaning for many people within their culture or according to their religious beliefs, it is important to also be mindful of the scientific realities.

As an example, a common myth is that rain, or a rumble of thunder, during a funeral is a direct message from the pure soul of the departed. In reality, rain and thunder are a result of complex weather patterns and specific atmospheric conditions, not spiritual communication.

Another example is rain omens, the idea that rain during or after a funeral will always have negative connotations. One must question this type of thinking, as cemetery superstition could be harmful to those who believe it, both on a social and psychological level.

Debunking some of these myths and superstitions doesn’t diminish the emotional impact rain can have on people during a funeral.

Understanding the scientific nature of such events allows us to find solace in cultural or personal beliefs while still appreciating the beauty and complexity of the natural world.

Ultimately bridging the gap between science and symbolism encourages an appreciation for both the empirical nature of science and the emotional nature of our beings.

It allows us to find a balance, and recognize that each of these perspectives can coexist harmoniously, and they offer solace and understanding to those who need it.


Rain After A Funeral: Your Own Interpretation

I never really thought about what rain would mean during or after a funeral. However now, with my mother passing, and it having rained after her funeral, I think about it much more often.

I tend to stick to more scientific facts about rain and nature itself. For the most part, scientific methods and data can explain, expect, and even predict rain.

In my family, I never grew up with any cultural or religious beliefs about rain and funerals, or the possible meaning behind it.

Yet a small part of me finds comfort in thinking about the various beliefs people have regarding rain after a funeral. In particular, I like the idea of God shedding tears for the loved ones left behind on earth, still missing the deceased.

I guess we all have to come up with our own personal beliefs and interpretations over funeral rain. Do we choose to view rain after a funeral as purely scientific? Or perhaps with just a hint of symbolism? Or why not both? I am very curious to know what you choose.

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  1. This was a beautiful piece. When my mom passed we didn’t get to have a service for her until months after her passing due to Covid. I was grateful that we had beautiful weather as most of her close friends were an older crowd from her church. Poor weather would have been poor turnout.

    I am a desert rat – The rain in the desert creates such a beautiful smell of chaparral wafting through the air and the wide open skies with their theatrical thunder and lightening shows…. it brings me peace and allows me to experience the wonderment of nature. I believe The desert sunset is a gift from heavens artists. The rain is the catalyst for the universes artist pallet. It brings flowers, it brings rainbows, it brings life. I’d like to think that this is what the rain after your moms funeral meant and she was breathing beauty and life to you from above. I am so sorry for your loss.