We’re seeing a shift in how people anticipate and deal with death. People aren’t just planning funerals anymore, and they aren’t even waiting until after someone has passed on to memorialize them. Instead, they’re holding memorial gatherings while the honored is still living. Living funerals are a new and powerful idea that’s helping people better handle post-death grief and meet a difficult life experience with hope and positivity.
What is a Living Funeral or Living Memorial?
Rather than mourning the death of a loved one after the fact, a living memorial or living funeral is an event that celebrates their time while they’re still around. It’s an opportunity to appreciate them and rejoice in life, surrounded by the love of family and friends.
Instead of a more traditional and somber funeral experience, why not throw a party to say goodbye and provide a chance to let someone know they’re loved? A living funeral or living memorial is a fulfilling way to experience the conclusion of life in a way where you give an introduction to closure, and bring friends, family and loved ones together to bid farewell.
Who is a Living Funeral/Living Memorial For?
A living funeral is usually for someone who is nearing the end of life. The goal is to celebrate the happy times of a life well-lived. It’s way to express appreciation to all those who have been near and dear to the honoree, and can be quite helpful in providing closure for all.
Types of Living Funerals/Living Memorials
The gathering can range from small and informal, to themed events with a large guest count. Living funerals are similar to a wake, with food and drinks, music, and dancing. The only difference is that living funerals occur while the person of honor is still alive.
The gathering becomes a stage for people to share memories, songs, poems and lifetime achievements that express gratitude, love, togetherness and farewell. Usually, there’s an opportunity for the person of honor to speak as well. You can pick a theme, plan activities, sing, share memories, forgive and forget, and say “thank you” and “I love you.”
Why Choose Living Funerals/Living Memorials?
Some people may question your motive in having a living funeral or think it’s too morose. But, living funerals are a chance to meet an inevitable event with positivity–you’re making a night for a joyous celebration of the living! You’re providing a chance for your loved one to touch, see, smile and thank everyone they love before passing. You’re carving out a special time for everyone in the celebrant’s life to express love and gratitude.
With living funerals, you’re able to hear special tributes to the honoree and let friends and family share the love around them. This party is about spending time connecting with the people with whom the celebrant has spent a lifetime sharing all facets of life. There is no right or wrong way to have living funerals, as long as you make it a gathering that will have special meaning to all those in attendance.
Living funerals let your loved one be the life of the party. For a successful living funeral, just include what makes them happy (favorite foods, music and activities). This means anything goes–your event can be anything from black tie to a pajama party.
Very few of us get to see how we’ve impacted the lives of others. A living funeral offers the last chance to really learn about the whole life of a person. Everyone is uplifted in a way they thought impossible at this stage of life because attendees are given the ability to say those words of remembrance and know the honoree is receiving it. This is a remarkable gift to give to the honoree and an extraordinary memory to leave in the minds of the survivors.