The Party-Before-You-Go. Perhaps you’ve heard this, too — what a shame it is that people gather to celebrate your life when you’re ironically no longer here to feel the love. It’s hard to argue with.
It’s such a nuisance that we just can’t plan for these life-changing events.
All we can do is play the hand we’re dealt. But if you happen to be one of those super social individuals who can’t stand the thought of not being at your final farewell, well… nobody’s preventing you from taking a little control ahead of time.
Bob Eleveld of Michigan, terminally ill, decided to do just that, having his obituary double as a party invite:
“As I write this notice, I am still with you, although my doctors have informed me that this status will change in the near future. I have decided, however, to eschew the normal process of others celebrating my life after I die and, instead, would like to celebrate your lives with me. …
I would like the opportunity to share a moment with all of the people who have touched my life in so many ways and to let you know how much you have meant to me. …
Doing this brings me great joy. …
Please know that the end of my life is the ultimate “peanut item” in comparison to how much I have enjoyed my life with all of you.”
See how it’s all about his feelings about his circle of beloved people? He wasn’t trying to cash in on any posthumous glory, he wanted to celebrate his friends. It’s almost a reverse funeral: you throw a party to thank and honor those you’re leaving behind! It’s making him so happy to do this.
Pretty amazing, isn’t it?
Most of us don’t get the Heads Up that we’re not long for this world.
However, for those that do, they should feel welcomed and encouraged to have this chance to express themselves. Not worry how others are going to react.
And for the majority of us who will be caught off guard for our departure… hey, at some point you can look at your age, where you are in life, whatever occasion/event/eye-opening insight you get, and just decide you want to host your own goodbye ahead of time.
Of course it’s inherently fickle, this timing. But say, for example, you decide at even 60-ish to not take any chances and have something of a farewell party for yourself. But you turn out to still be kicking at 98. Worst thing is that you had 30+ years of enjoying the memories. And think about it, any kind of funeral for someone alive and healthy would have to be quite the hoot. Whether spoof, roasting, or farce, I just can’t imagine it not being comical. In a good way— you know, fun! Kinda part of the point.
There’s no need to make this the new big thing, though I’d venture to say it will have its proponents. Which is exactly what I Want a Fun Funeral is based on: the willingness to create and design our own ways of saying goodbye.
Oh, ’twere we all to take the reins and do exactly what makes our hearts sing at life’s end!