This is often a difficult question for people to answer. Especially when suffering a recent bereavement. Emotions are high, the loss is immeasurable and somehow you’ve been posed with a funeral to get through. The concept of the celebration of life seems totally at odds with grieving and loss, but there is a trend to at least attempt to try and work a positive angle into funeral and particularly wakes. If you are looking for a unique and personalised celebration of life ceremony, be sure to take a look at our packages at Celestial Rise.
The emergence of pre-pay funeral packages, where the person who will be the subject of the funeral, actually pre-plans that funeral. Sounds odd, but more and more people want more control of their final touch points with family and friends, they also want to reduce the organisational burden on relatives, during such a difficult time.
When you speak to people who have taken out pre-paid plans, the over-ridding emotion they want to prevail at the funeral is one of joyful remembrance and the celebration of life they actually lived. The famous song ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra, often coupled to a raised dram of whiskey, a champagne toast, or in some cases a full blown celebration, can be found in such plans.
The wishes of the deceased are for joy and the celebration of life, yet the bereaved, are well, bereaved and usually pretty upset. It’s a difficult situation and finding a balance between celebration and grieving, or someway to convey both, is now the challenge of many mourners.
In reality, funerals are bound by their nature to be sad occasions, this needs to be acknowledged and given air time – people often need to cry and let out the raw upset of a death. However if on the same day, positivity, joy and happy memories can be filtered in – as is often done at the wake – a balance can be struck between the two, where both emotions can be individually expressed over the same event. Making it more of a celebration of life ceremony, than a funeral service. This is something prospective pre-funeral planners need to consider when making their plans, they may want it to be all happy memories, but don’t forget that people need to grieve too.
The addition of post funeral memorials, often on the anniversary of a death, is a way to re-address a bereavement, in what at that stage, may be a happier mindset. Raw emotion will have dulled, the loss will still be there and is likely to always be, but the opportunity arrises to perhaps explore a memorial event that can. If done right, it can be the happy occasion of the celebration of life that so often pre-planners crave for their funerals.
I expect we’ll see more and more growth in this space, as people begin to realise that grieving takes time and that perhaps dividing the funeral components into separate events, with plentiful time in between, can facilitate the happy goodbye that is often desired at a celebration of life ceremony.