If you’re like me, you’ve been to at least one funeral that became a spontaneous reunion of sorts afterwards. So many people will still make a funeral a priority in their schedules, where less urgent things like reunions (class, group, family) and meetings often don’t rank for compelling attendance over the other activities in our busy lives. Funerals, though, still bring the veil of showing respect, of paying tribute and honor, with the whole one last time aspect.
So here’s a thought: why not hold your funeral now, while you’re still alive?
Granted, it’s probably a one-shot deal, so you may want to hold off if you’re still young enough to actuarially have decades left. But if you had a diagnosis of some sort, where you knew your death was coming, how better to bring all the folks you love in for a last visit? A great deal of the planning you and I would do together, you’d then get to be present to see happen! You’d get to hear the love and see the friends and family who would attend your funeral, and eat the church ladies’ cold cut lunch (or BBQ, or pimento cheese sandwiches, or pasta salads). Who wouldn’t want to hear all the amazing and loving memories usually brought out at funerals and memorial services, said about themselves to their face?
If you planned it in enough time, folks wouldn’t have to pay crazy fees to fly to it–they could book as normal, not last minute. Those who need to take time off, or save for expenses, could do so. Attendance would be far less stressful for everyone! And, as part of the event, it would be so easy to then say, “This is it–there will be nothing more when I do die. Once I’m done, my body will be cremated (buried, donated), but we won’t be having any services then. Thank you for coming to honor me while I can still enjoy your love. I love you all, and you’ve honored me the best way possible.” Voila. Your funeral, with no guilt or urgent traveling for anyone, done, and you basking in the love and laughter of those who attended.
If this sounds to you like a roast, or a Kennedy Center Honors PBS special–you’re right! Who says that kind of acknowledgment from peers, that level of attention and love from your circle has to be limited to celebrities? (Rainbow-beribboned medals and golden statuettes not included…)
Granted, this won’t be for everyone. It might be embarrassing, to be the center of attention at such a shindig. Perhaps you’re more modest than that. Possibly you think of it as bragging? No worries, there’s always the old standby–a standard funeral, after your death –if you think this idea is distasteful.
But, if the idea intrigues you, why not talk to your family about it? Village Memorial has put together a handy guide for planning a Living Funeral, if you need a little help thinking it through.
Do you want more active help, a coordinator to help get all the pieces together? We do that! And the best part of working with Marilee: we can plan and execute your Living Funeral now, and cover documenting the final step–what you’ll have done with your body once you’re actually dead–all in one. A nice party, and a one-stop-shop for your end-of-life final wishes!
Curious? Want to know more? Start at our website: www.marileeparsons.com