This week we are talking funerals....
The conversation we ALL shy away from, but it is one of the most important conversations we will ever have.
What type of funeral service do I want?
Have you ever discussed it with your loved ones? Not many of us have even thought about it - never mind discussed it!
But I honestly believe we should try to have this conversation ....why?
Firstly a funeral service marks a significant stage in the grieving process; it allows us to remember ,pay tribute and to celebrate a life; it enables us to carry out the wishes that our loved one had regarding their funeral and the type of ceremony and the way they want to be remembered; it helps us to express support and care for each other; it helps us to say farewell to the body of a loved one as they move from this stage of life's journey .... But it is so very hard for our loved ones to know what we want - if we have never told them!
We probably already know if we want to be buried or cremated...but have you thought about where you want your funeral or life celebration to be held? Do you want readings or any religious content, do you want flowers or donations do you want formal or colourful dress code? Perhaps a particular route you would like the hearse to take? A balloon release with messages to send you on your journey..... The list is endless!
We spend months and even years planning a wedding and yet give little thought to this big milestone in life's journey.
By taking the initiative now, we can save our families some difficult decisions on our behalf and give them the satisfaction of knowing they are giving us the "send off" we wanted!
Leaving us to get on with living our lives knowing when the time comes, our requests will be honoured and bring our family's comfort and the reassurance that they can have the freedom to celebrate our life during this emotional time.
And believe it or not ...it is quite simple to leave your "funeral wishes" noted down for you family.
I always recommend this wonderful website www.dyingmatters.org their leaflets can be downloaded and they have an informative sheet you can print off that you can share with your family - it is a good way to start this very difficult conversation.
Firstly lets take a look at the elements of planning a funeral and try to break this down in to manageable amounts;
~ everyone grieves differently....
So even if you are the closest family and can recall wonderful stories and memories for the Eulogy... when you are trying to recall these during the emotional turmoil you can feel, there is the additional pressure of the short time-frame that everything needs to be completed in.
We sometimes think we will know how we will feel, but the reality is very often different, the stages of grieving are many and varied and there is no time expectation, nor I believe, is there any " getting over it"... we often simply find a " new normal" our own way of coping day to day and honouring and respecting the memories of our loved ones.
~ we don't want to confront our own mortality....
None of us want to think about how and when we might die and why would we? We concentrate with getting on with living life to the full and making the most of the time we have! And that is absolutely right...but it is the one thing we cannot avoid , so planning ahead can give a sense of calm and control.
~ we don 't know where to start or even what we want to include....
I find it helps to think about how you live your life now and that may reflect the service you would want as a tribute and celebration of your life. A funeral is for everyone attending and it can offer an expression of support and a significant step in the grieving process. If you are finding it hard to know where to start - think how difficult this will be for those you leave behind.
This is where an experienced Celebrant will help and support you through - you can contact a Celebrant of your choosing and they will listen and store your wishes and create that ceremony with you and for you in advance; as a Celebrant my aim is to help you through the process, in whatever way you most need me to do.
You can advise your Funeral Director of who you want to lead your Ceremony and this can of course be a family member or trusted friend.
~ we may have very definite ideas about what we want but not sure if we are able to have them......
Many of us already know whether we want to be cremated or buried... but if you don't- you can talk to your Celebrant about the types of ceremonies you can have and this may help you decide. You may want to choose what you will wear - and if you choose own clothes, you will need to record this somewhere and on a practical level there may be restrictions depending on whether you are choosing a cremation or burial.
There may be items that you may wish to be placed with you maybe a favourite family photo to hold or letters.
You may want to completely personalise the ceremony by writing your own Eulogy as your own farewell to your loved ones....saying the words that never got said.
This is really the day that it should be YOUR CEREMONY - YOUR WAY , there are no rights or wrongs - just choices. Your Celebrant led Funeral Service is all about choice, where, what and how - contact us today for more information or email us with your questions - always happy to help.
The next blog will be about - The" Funeral Celebrant" ....