When a person dies, their spirit initially does not understand exactly what happens at death. Most people do not know they are dead. May not even know when the soul leaves their body. Human spirits take with themselves some energy, which is taken from the world we know. In the beginning, it even seeks the world. After a week or two this energy is exhausted and a difficult period for the soul begins.
Often the spirit suffers from tremendous hunger and thirst. This is due to the fact that he still considers itself alive, but can not find anything with which to feed. It landed in a deep hole and did not understand what is happening and why it is there.
This painful period can last up to three weeks or two months. Only then, the spirit realizes what has happened and is now slowly accepting the fact of death. Only when it realizes that, it is ready to move to its next existence, as allotted by karma.
Before the soul realizes what has happened during the difficult and painful period of awareness, relatives can contribute to the rapid orientation of the soul of the deceased. They must pray and offer gifts to the grave.
Actually, a funeral ceremony is more of a ritual to relieve the bereaved. It greatly helps the deceased person to awaken to new beginnings and realize the situation.
People who were killed or died in an accident, experience a very difficult period because they are paralyzed by the horror that gripped them at the time of death. They find it very difficult to move from the terrifying fear of another state. For them, it is most difficult to realize that they are already dead. Intercessory prayer can help enormously the suffering of the soul, so that it passes on.