Cradle to grave support is a large part of what many religions offer their members, so death can have almost as much ritual about it as being born or taking any major life step. While it does not necessarily keep people from mourning the loss of a loved one, the religious burial rituals are often a series of steps that helps them through a difficult time. Their loss is often great, and the comfort they receive from performing one last service to their loved one can ease their grief.
As with any large event in life, death is a time when people take stock of their own life. Burial rituals give them an opportunity to think about the life and times of the one they have lost. They can also help them deal with their grief by giving those left behind a chance to say good-bye, and they can send them to whatever afterlife their religion provides.