Posted by Tony O’Shea, Funeral Planning & Life Insurance Expert
If the thought of a traditional funeral doesn’t feel right for the person you want to remember, why not think about holding a celebration of life instead? Adding dashes of personality and light hearted touches can create a ceremony that really rejoices in your loved one’s life.
For many people thinking about a funeral conjures up the same images – a sombre atmosphere, everyone in black and an emotionally charged ceremony to mark the end of someone’s life. Yet, more and more people are now choosing to forgo a traditional funeral and instead hold a celebration of life; a service filled with laughter, smiles as well as the odd tear. It is something that has been popular in America since the 1970s but is only now starting to gain popularity in the UK.
There are so many ways in which a person’s life, whether long or short, can be celebrated. Here are our top tips on how to create a celebration of life.
The number one thing to make sure of when planning a celebration of life is that everything you decide upon is personal and individual to the person you are remembering. The personalisation aspect is what makes so many people want to do something different to a traditional funeral, as it gives the opportunity to really celebrate and mark who the person was.
Whilst planning a funeral can leave you feeling like you must do the ‘right’ thing, or the traditional thing, holding a celebration of life encourages you to just do what the person would have liked, even if it has never been done before.
There are now a wealth of options available for welcoming the person you are remembering at a funeral or celebration of life, without using a sombre black funeral hearse. This can really set the tone for the celebration from the outset.
Some modes of transportation others have used include a JCB, the sidecar of a specially adapted motorbike, a campervan and a fire engine. The choice is endless and allows for some clear personalisation.
As with types of carriage, many people are opting for out of the ordinary funeral locations. When deciding where to hold a funeral, think about where most captures the essence of the person you are remembering, why not enquire to see whether you can hold your service there? For instance, a wine lover might like to be remembered at a winery, while a sports fan might like to be remembered at their home ground. Whatever the person liked is the key to this choice.
While hymns are a traditional choice for funerals, don’t hesitate to be more creative if it doesn’t seem to fit. In fact, the most popular song at funerals in recent years has been Monty Python’s ‘Always look on the bright side of life’.
With lyrics such as ‘If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing’, the song really captures the essence of a celebration of life.
What better way to remember someone than to bring them into the room through the medium of video. Modern technology means video can be played almost anywhere and seeing footage of the person you are remembering is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face. It’s also a great way of showing off their personality and bringing their energy into the room.
The important thing to remember when turning a funeral into a celebration of life is that it is okay to be creative. There are no set of rules that you need to stick to, you just need to do what feels right and what best reflects the person you are remembering. A Funeral Director can help you plan the perfect service when you take out a funeral plan.
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