For those who didn’t know, I have been a funeral celebrant for 6 years, which is actually longer than I’ve been a registered marriage celebrant.
To be honest, I love funerals.
The farewell of a loved one can be the most pleasant experience and SHOULD BE a celebration rather than a drab, morbid affair.
So after having done thousands of funerals, I thought it was high time I spilt the beans on what people don’t tell you about funerals.
It’s OK to laugh at a funeral and I often encourage it! When people share memories of people they love, more often than not they are happy memories, filled with good times and fun…therefore, LAUGHTER is a key component of how a funeral service becomes a celebration.
- SHARE MEMORIES, not a Eulogy –
Each to their own, but you’re at a funeral to reminisce, share memories and smile about the life the loved one has share with you! YOU!
It’s very individual, so by sharing memories nobody at a funeral shares the same.
The result is, shared experiences, memories!
So do away with the bloody boring list of “born here, school here, moved here, job here and married on the…..’ THEY ALL KNOW THE DETAILS
What families often want to share are the things that not everyone knows, that little glimpse into their lives that is special and beautiful, so let’s start sharing MEMORIES, this creates smiles and as I have already mentioned above, LAUGHTER!
- MUSIC and FLOWERS
People often play music that is all about the person who’s gone right?
Why not play music that reminds YOU of them?
So often, TOO often, I hear Frank Sinatra’s MY WAY…argh, Or Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.
Don’t get me wrong, they are good songs, for a certain generation…..so instead, why not play music that makes YOU think of THEM.
When choosing a song, look for covers. One of the songs I often give to people is Pete Murray’s version of Don’t Change by INXS….it’s gorgeous!
Now for flowers!
HOT TIP! ALL flowers are throw away prior to a cremation, flowers on average are $800, how many of you would just throw $800 away the day of the funeral? Put that money on the bar at the wake
There, I said it, nothing more to say …adorn the casket with memories of them, a golf club, pictures of grandchildren, wooden items, things that remind you of THEIR favourite things, not flowers they didn’t like anyway!
- CURTAINS – close or not to close?
The jury is still out on the curtains, however for me, why close curtains on the people you love, it’s kinda like slamming a door in their face on the very final day you are saying “We love you”!
I try NOT to close curtains and for YOU to come forward and say goodbye as a family unit at the casket.
All of you together as one unit for the person you love. Say farewell, your personal goodbyes, then leave when you’re ready. This also allows others who maybe haven’t had a chance to say goodbye a good and last opportunity to say farewell too.
- HOLD IT ANYWHERE!
Yep, that’s right! You can have a funeral service anywhere you want (subject to local authorities approval) Think about their favourite beach, a farmhouse, an auditorium, even a backyard, anywhere that you want – just ask your funeral director and they will be happy to help
I’m lucky that I get to work with some of THE BEST funeral homes in the business, links are below;