Of course I’m preaching to the choir again, but I can’t help sharing signs of how much our funeral wishes are changing. It’s almost nonexistent that someone says they want a sad, somber send-off. (Which is what we grew up with — we all know this kind of funeral.)
People want to be celebrated. They… WE… would prefer that good times are remembered, our favorite stories told, and to whatever extent possible, no heavy hearts. (It’s a tall order to pull off no heavy hearts, but all the more reason to give them permission and some good ideas. Voilà — I have a webinar for that!)
This is a drastic departure from the usual, and by god, it’s true that we’ve been moving in this direction. So let’s keep it up, spread the word, and don’t keep your FUN ideas a secret. We want this to be the new normal, the new, improved way of saying goodbye, and we’re all trailblazers for that.
A sample of some answers to a recent question “What kind of funeral do you want for yourself?”
• Open bar and a killer playlist.
• No embalming. Ideally, I’d prefer if my family took care of me after death, clean and dress me….direct cremation then. Afterwards, celebrate, enjoy have a party, drink, smoke, eats……
• Placed in a simple biodegradable wooden box and buried in a nice forest, somewhere that’s out of the way, and convenient for most people attending. No embalming. People can do what they want for a party as long as it’s not very expensive.
• I would like a natural burial, in a peaceful, woodsy place, with a simple pine box or a shroud.
• Lots of food, good music, and fun
• I plan to be donated to science, and I want a huge party thrown.
• I want open bar and lots of laughter at my wake and funeral.
• A party with drinking and laughter and remembering my life, not focus on my death…the kids can plant a tree for me rather than a headstone or plaque.
• Public memorial where people who come can take home something from my collection of owls, and there will be chocolate and Scotch
• A rock concert to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research
• Funerals are for the living, so a perfect funeral would be one that makes all who loved me, and are still alive, feel peace and happiness that they did me right. It’s like trying to find a perfect gift for that special someone. When they open that gift, the giver gets as much if not more joy than the receiver.
• Sunset bonfire on a beach
• Let’s party