The best thing about the world is that it’s full of wonderous, beautiful, fascinating, fun individuals. So why is it that we so often find ourselves sticking to strict traditions and a ‘one size fits all’ mentality when it comes to our farewell parties?
Of course it’s totally understandable that grief makes it feel difficult to have the energy for jazzy funeral planning and when a funeral director gives you the option to just hand over some cash and let him get on with it I can absolutely understand the appeal.
However, with a bit of forward planning it doesn’t have to be like this.
More and more people these days are looking for something a bit different and more personal. Something that truly reflects and celebrates the life they’ve lived. But we’re only going to get those things if we actually tell people about them……in advance!
In an ideal world we would all be able to plan and pay for things in advance to take the strain off our loved ones. If this isn’t a possibility then why not just jot a few things down on a piece of paper and pop it in an envelope in the filing cabinet. You can fill out one of our ‘My Last Hurrah’ forms to help you. Make a note of songs you love (or hate!), how you want to go (burial, cremation, shot into space) and anything else that you feel really strongly about. That way your family won’t be left arguing about which Metallica song was your favourite or whether you wanted all the money spent on flowers or beer.
SIDE NOTE: If you have decided to leave your body to science have a back up plan! When the time comes science does not have to accept your body and there are various factors that could mean this plan falls through. It’s rare but it does happen.
When it comes to funerals there are (almost) no rules. After the paperwork is sorted your only legal obligation is to dispose of the body in a safe and legal way. Check out this list of funeral myths laid out by the excellent Natural Death Centre.
To demonstrate this I highly recommend watching this video by Wendy Miller who collected her mother’s body in her camper van, drove around with her for 3 days working through her grief and then dug the grave and buried her herself. It’s absolutely stunning and one of the most personal and meaningful funerals I have come across.
So this means you can basically do whatever you like. Think about that!! Think about all the amazing possibilities!!
You could have a beautiful natural burial wrapped only in a shroud, you could be cremated dressed as Arnold Schwarzenegger, you could not have a funeral at all! We have so much freedom and choice and we lose all that when we refuse to talk about our end of life wishes.
So get thinking and planning and talking right now!! Check out ‘My Last Hurrah’ for a checklist. The Winding Sheet even has a Pinterest account full to the brim with possible funeral ideas and inspiration. Why not use Pinterest or Facebook or Tumblr to plan your own celebration. We’ve never been so connected to the world and each other. Let’s do the same with death. Don’t forget, talking about death won’t kill you.
Massive death positive love to you! xxx
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