We’ve been talking (well, I’ve been talking; let’s be honest) about how to make sure your goodbye party has your spirit in it, i.e. it’s not generic or cookie-cutter. I always struggle a bit with specific examples because the whole point is—what’s unique in your life? In a perfect fun funeral world, our goodbye parties would be all over the map in the personality department.
It’s had to make blanket recommendations when we’ve all got a different spin and myriad sub-spins!
So here’s a question anybody can start with, on their own, to get their creative fun funeral juices flowing:
How can I make my funeral not boring?
I’m always reluctant to use that phrase because it feels a bit like an indictment of what most people do have, and I really hate to criticize what most people do.
Why don’t we call it a new 21st century opportunity to have more fun, expression, and whatever degree of “wild & wacky” you’re comfortable with. And remember, we’re not espousing “wild & wacky” just to be weird or annoy your family. It’s exactly the opposite — it’s to stimulate your family and loved ones to say goodbye in a way that is YOU, that is memorable, and that touches them profoundly. Not boring.
So if you start with How can I make my funeral not boring?, perhaps you’ll remember…
• your favorite vacation, how much it meant to you, and you’d like a bit of that represented
• your favorite song(s) – no matter how seemingly “un-funeral-like” and want them played, gosh darn it!
• that one achievement that you’re most proud of (ran a marathon, jumped out of a plane, moved across the county) and realize you want something done in honor of that
• the insider joke that you came up with that always makes your family laugh — give it a place!
• your favorite quirky family tradition— there’s always a way to adapt it for the occasion
• that thing/person/pet/etc that always makes you smile… do not neglect celebrating that
• your favorite piece of advice, and now is your last chance to remind people of it (for the sixteen thousandth time)
• what you’re most grateful for, and to make sure that gets highest praise and recognition!
• childhood memories that mean the world to you… they will undoubtedly mean the world to others, as well
• a gift (tangible or figurative) you got that changed your life — this is what makes a goodbye meaningful & memorable
HOW to bring all these special aspects of you for all to enjoy is the fun part. People are generally very creative when given a topic and a chance, so let your friends and family brainstorm with you. And this, may I add, is exactly how you start losing your fear of death and dying and all things funeral.
You get in touch with the ridiculous inevitability of it, and realize how much fun there is to be had in exchanging fear and anxiety for openness and celebration. Voilà — now have at it!