Create A Great Funeral Day: A Little Morbid, A Lot Considerate
Chances are, you’ve put planning your final resting place on the back burner, a topic for another day, far in the future.
But let’s face it; someday, far in the future but still someday, that future will become today. When that day arrives (hopefully a long, long time from now), your loved ones will have enough on their plates.
Create A Great Funeral Day is here to remind us that life’s finale isn’t just about the destination but the journey to get there. It’s about making sure that when your time comes, your loved ones aren’t burdened with the stress of arranging a funeral from scratch. And it’s not just about flowers and eulogies; it’s a gift of love and consideration, like saying, “I’ll make the arrangements so you can focus on remembering and celebrating.”
But don’t worry, you’re not going anywhere just yet!
From Grief to Grace: The Origin of Create A Great Funeral Day
Create A Great Funeral Day is an event created by Stephanie West Allen in 1999 after facing the sudden deaths of loved ones, including her life mate. And while grieving her loved ones, she realized that there was no time to pause and reflect because funeral preparations were still looming. Having a funeral plan in place would have made things much less stressful.
In 1999, Allen wrote the book “Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook” as a means of recognizing life celebrations. And she also created Create A Great Funeral Day as an awareness day to encourage people to talk about their funeral wishes with their loved ones.
The day before Halloween may seem like an odd choice, but it’s precisely when people are thinking about death and the afterlife with a touch of light heartedness so that we find the courage to confront this otherwise gloomy subject.
When you have a written plan, your loved ones know exactly what you wanted for your final farewell. This can include things like choosing a casket or urn, selecting a burial plot or cremation niche, and writing a eulogy.
It can help to reduce stress on those you leave behind and helps to ensure that your final wishes are respected. When you’ve already made your arrangements, they don’t have to worry about making difficult decisions during a time of grief.
A Final Farewell: A Journey Through Time
Funeral planning has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient times, reflecting changing beliefs and practical considerations through the ages.
In the early days of funeral planning, there were few formal rules or guidelines.
In many cultures, funeral planning was seen as a sacred duty that was carried out by the family and community who simply did what they thought was best to honor their deceased loved one. These rituals varied from mummification in Egypt to viking send-offs in Scandinavia.
Funeral planning wasn’t just about mourning; it was a tribute to the departed.
As time went on, funeral planning became more standardized and professionalized.
In the 20th century, funerals rapidly evolved from home-based events to funeral homes that offered comprehensive planning services, including embalming, cremation, and burial. They also provided families with a place to gather and mourn.
Today, the digital age allows for online planning, legacy projects, and unique memorial ideas. For example, some families choose to have green funerals, while others choose to have themed funerals.
Debunking Funeral Planning Myths
Time to set the record straight on a few misconceptions:
Myth: “Funeral planning is expensive”
Reality: Funeral planning can be expensive, but there are ways to save money. By shopping ahead can you find cheaper options more easily than is possible when things must be decided on the spot.
Myth: “Funeral planning is depressing”
Reality: Funeral planning can be a difficult and emotional process, but by planning your funeral ahead, you can give yourself peace of mind and ensure that your final wishes are respected.
Myth: “Planning Is for the Elderly”
Reality: Age doesn’t matter; the earlier, the better. Accidents may be rare, but they generally happen when you don’t expect them.
Myth: “Funeral planning is unlucky”
Reality: Contrary to superstition, planning ahead doesn’t hasten your demise.
Myth: “My Family Knows My Wishes”
Reality: It’s a common occurrence that families have very mixed opinions on everything. Clear communication is key.
Turning Eerie to Elegance: Customize Your Final Bow With Style
Funeral planning doesn’t have to be a dreary affair.
There are a few things you can do to make your “ last season finale” less eerie and depressing:
- Share the Load:
Throw a funeral planning party and involve your family in the planning process, making it a collaborative experience.
- Celebration of Life:
Focus on celebrating a life well-lived and the love you’ve shared, not just the end. Share joyful memories, anecdotes and honor your unique journey.
- Personal Touches:
Personalize your funeral. Choose elements that reflect your passions, hobbies, and values.
- Family Involvement:
Talk to your loved ones about your funeral wishes. It can be a bonding experience.
- Plan Ahead:
Consider leaving behind a legacy project, a vision board or written messages to inspire your loved ones.
- Professional Help:
Choose a funeral home that you trust who can make the process more manageable.
Erase the gloom
Take the time to share your wishes with those who matter most. It’s a priceless gift to relieve them of the stressful and often overwhelming task of planning a funeral. It’s a day to tackle a topic that’s usually avoided and postponed, leaving more time to live life fully.
And if any skeptics ask you why you’re celebrating Create A Great Funeral Day by creating a vision board of your dream funeral in baroque or sea-punk style, just say Wild Calendar gave you permission to do so. And most importantly, invite them to plan along. Maybe you can even host a “Living Memorial” gathering, where you all share what you’d like at your own farewell event.
May your day be productive and filled with love. It’s not about the end; it’s about the journey to that final curtain call.
Cheers to you and your legacy!