Funerals are a key stage of the grieving process. They can provide much-needed closure and a chance to say a final goodbye. While many funerals include lots of funny or heart-warming stories shared about a recently passed loved one, the guest of honour isn’t there to hear them.
Living Funerals, also called Life Celebrations, are a chance to celebrate and honour a loved one’s life while they are still around to experience it. It’s particularly common for those with terminal illnesses.
While they are not a typical way to grieve for a loss, they may be preferable for the following reasons.
Celebrate Life Not Death
For most funerals, the focus is entirely on grieving for a loss. Understandably, no one really feels like celebrating.
However, celebrating a person’s life is just as important as grieving for the loss. Sharing positive or funny stories with others can help everyone start to heal together and feel supported during this difficult time.
Show The Love
One of the most painful parts of a funeral is the realisation that you should have said something while they were still alive. A living funeral gives everyone the chance to do this before it’s too late.
Living funerals also give the person in question a chance to hear all the lovely things their family and friends would typically say at the funeral. It’s a chance to spend quality time connecting with the people you have shared your life with. This encourages strength and bonding between you and your loved ones while there is still time left.
Prepare The Family
Support between friends and family is essential to the grieving process. A celebration of life can help people come to terms with, and accept, the expected loss. It can help the loss become less of a shock. It can also help people come to terms with the end of their own life.
In some cases, it may be easier to talk with young children about loss by addressing it in a ceremony like this.
However, while Living Funerals can help some families, they are best done with the agreement and full support of family and friends attending, as they aren’t for everyone.
Preparing For A Living Funeral
There’s no wrong way to host a living funeral. The more personal and tailored to the individual, the better it can represent and celebrate their life.
A Living Funeral doesn’t have to (and perhaps shouldn’t) replace a traditional funeral as both types can serve different purposes. The traditional funeral at the end of life helps to gain closure and gives everyone a chance to say goodbye.
Living funerals can be anything from a small get together at the local pub, an afternoon tea party or bigger, more formal ceremonies. It’s all about whatever works best for you and your loved ones.
Whatever you decide, Jeanette can help you prepare a Living Funeral that truly honours a person’s life.
Please get in contact with her to discuss your wishes and ask any questions.