When I speak about a unique and personal funeral service, what do I mean by that? Traditionally, a funeral is held in a chapel be it a church or crematorium, where a standard script is followed and there is a time constraint. The script runs like this:
When my son, Ben, died, I went off script, there was no introduction, It went straight in with Ben’s eulogy. After all, this was about his life, not about who he was born to, who survives him, where he went to school etc. This was about him as it should be. The Committal and Benediction were written by the Celebrant, and he did a good job. However, there are lots of things I know now that I didn’t know then. I want to share with you a funeral service that has been pre-planned.
“I don’t care what time of year it is; I want a Christmas Tree and decorations. I want the service held at the Community Centre and the tree can be on the stage and my coffin below it at ground level. It has to be covered in lights too.
I want poinsettias on my coffin if they are in season, if not I want little pots of herbs.
Mourners are not to be sat in rows, I want tables, chairs and a buffet. I want my eulogy to be spoken by you (Legacy) but not all in one go! Spread it over the party coz that’s what I want, a party.
No hymns but I want people to sing (and dance) along to my favourite songs. (List provided). NO BLACK ALLOWED! In fact, fancy dress would be acceptable!
Once everyone has had their fill, that is the time to take me to the crematorium. Guests to take poinsettias or herb home with them.”
That is a snapshot of the party that he wants! This is now recorded and his next of kin has a copy and said, “that doesn’t surprise me but it’s not what I would have done for him”.
As you can see you do not have to use a chapel, in fact, it can be almost anywhere providing you have permission for the land guardian and it is safe to do so.
We then went on to discuss his Eulogy and he will be thinking about how he wanted it to look. The one thing he did stipulate was the opening line. “I’ve been looking forward to this day, now I can have my say and you can’t answer me back!”