Celebrate Life not Death with a Living Funeral
iMortuary welcomes guest contributor, Dennis Aimes. Dennis Aimes is a writer and insurance advisor that specializes in the GIO funeral insurance product for his Australian based clientele.
The end of life can be a time of great sadness. It should also be a time of joy, as we not only mourn the passing of a cherished loved one but celebrate the accomplishments of their life. The celebration is one reason why the living funeral has been rising in popularity as an alternative to the traditional funeral.
Why a living funeral?
When someone is born we celebrate their entrance into our world and our lives. We feast and celebrate when a child is born. We celebrate each year that passes with birthday parties, marking the annual ceremony of when someone’s life began. This is where the logic behind having a living funeral comes from. Why should the end of life be any different, why focus on the negative aspect of a person leaving us when we should look back and celebrate all that they have accomplished?
When to have one
A living funeral is normally held for a person that does not have a lot of time left such as one that is terminally ill. Remember that a funeral is a time for closure and saying the last goodbyes. A living funeral is no different in this regard.
Friends and family that attend will be prepared to give their final farewells, meaning you may not see them again after the funeral. This can be especially true if your will is read at the time of your living funeral, friends and family members excluded could feel scorned and may not return before the end.
Just like this is a time for your loved ones to say goodbye, it is also a time for the celebrated host to say their goodbyes as well. As the person that this celebration is all about he or she should have fully accepted their situation and be ready on their own terms.
Planning the event
Like any other funeral or similar event you’ll want to notify and invite everyone you want to attend. If time is not a critical factor then you may even have some flexibility and be able to find a day that is optimal.
An appropriate venue should be chosen. Because the idea behind a living funeral is that it is more of a celebratory affair, a funeral home may not seem like an ideal choice, but even if you choose to have it elsewhere the staff of a funeral home is more than capable of helping you plan such an event.
The home is a common choice to hold a living funeral, but some people have chosen less traditional venues. Some have chosen favorite restaurants or local pubs as locations to hold the celebration. There is an added bonus, as holding it at a restaurant means you’ll also have the catering service booked as well.
On the day of the event have visitors sign into a guest book and encourage them to leave positive messages. A slideshow presentation is appropriate, highlighting memories and accomplishments. Encourage people to share funny and uplifting stories and to bring photographs or other memorabilia to share. Remind people that this is not meant to be somber as a funeral would be, so the dress code does not need to be restricted to the traditional funeral black.
A living funeral is something that might be seen as a controversial. It might be seen as contrary to the traditional belief of what a funeral should be. Because it goes against traditions, some people may find it disrespectful to the dead.
It may also be seen as something of a selfish event. Some people may perceive a living funeral as a vehicle for a person to brag about their life and their achievements.
Funeral costs can become rather expensive and the cost of a living funeral is no different. By having a living funeral and a final funeral ceremony there could be significant expenses; these may be reduced by holding a larger living ceremony and then just hosting a smaller group of the closest friends and family members.
As with any funeral, a living funeral is a time for people to say their goodbyes. It should honor and respect the wishes of the departing, departed, and friends and family members. The passing of a loved one is a tragic time, but always try and remember the love that was shared, and celebrate the time they spent living.