It’s easy to get overwhelmed pondering a whole new way of doing funerals. As one person, with a smidge of visible fright recently said, “Hey, it’s not like I’m an event planner here.” It’s one thing to appreciate the idea of creative new goodbye rituals, but some people haven’t exercised their imaginations since they were in daycare. (And no offense. I haven’t exercised a math muscle since 10th grade.) So it’s no wonder traditional, generic funerals often win out; it is by far the handiest route at a horrible time.
So let’s start with one small step. One little seedling. A seed that may blossom into something extraordinary, and if it doesn’t that’s okay. It can be enough.
What one thing might you want to have at your goodbye party that is you? Just one single thing that makes you happy, that you know would set your funeral apart from someone else’s. It doesn’t have to totally represent you, but it would be recognizable to your people; they would appreciate it.
Another person I spoke to recently, without any prompting at all—at just hearing the name I Want a Fun Funeral—offered up that of course at her funeral there would be a signature cocktail. Like it was the most obvious thing ever. So there’s an example of one thing. You don’t have to conjure up a new Disneyworld goodbye for yourself.
What one thing might you like to have?
For me, it’s my playlist. I have a Note page on my iPhone called Funeral Playlist, and I’m constantly adding songs to it. I have many other ideas beyond that, but if I had to just pick one thing, it would be that.
A couple of ideas I’ve heard in my travels: a sing-along, a chocolate fountain, animals, fundraising, jello-shots, a coffee bar, Bulgarian music.
There’s no right or wrong or better or worse. It’s your life to celebrate, no one else’s. And if you swear you can’t think of anything, then just be open. This is all seed planting. Be open to having a revelation, a lightbulb go off that you immediately know is right. It will make you smile, that’s how you’ll know.