A professional mourner is someone who is hired to grieve at funerals. In some cultures, professional mourners are hired to wail, beat their chests, and perform other demonstrative displays of grief. In others, they simply dress in black and stand silently throughout the funeral service. While professional mourners may seem like a morbid concept to westerners, in many cultures they are an important part of the funeral tradition.
The role of professional mourners has existed for centuries. In ancient Greece, professional mourners were hired to sing dirges and lead the funeral procession. In China, professional mourners were hired to wear white clothing and walk in front of the funeral procession. In many cultures, professional mourners are seen as an important part of the grieving process.
While the role of professional mourners has changed over time, their purpose has remained the same: to provide support for the bereaved. In some cultures, professional mourners are seen as necessary evils. In others, they are viewed as a vital part of the grieving process. No matter what their culture views their role, professional mourners provide an important service to the bereaved.