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Posted by on in Funeral and Memorial Planning

give flowers while livingOne of the growing trends in the funeral industry is end of life celebrations or living funerals. These events are often similar to traditional funerals, memorial services or celebration of life ceremonies, except the intended individual is not deceased. He or she typically has a terminal disease or another ailment and senses that his or her life will soon end.

Living funerals allow individuals to do more than just pre-plan a funeral. They allow people to reunite, say good-bye, show gratitude and mend broken relationships. A good example of a living funeral can be found in the 1997 classic, "Tuesdays with Morrie." The title character, dying from ALS, arranges his own living funeral because traditional ceremonies, as he states, are a waste. "All those people saying all those wonderful things, and [his friend] never got to hear any of it." Morrie invited his friends, students and family members to his living funeral so can say good-bye to everyone. He died without any regrets.

Living funerals can be whatever you want. There aren't rules or guidelines to follow. They can be large and public or small and intimate. Family reunions are a popular venue in which to hold an end of life celebration because they bring everyone together in a casual environment.

There are many benefits to this type of celebration. Having a gathering where everything is upbeat is good for a dying person's psyche. It boosts their spirits and helps their psychological well-being. It is also a good way to get someone's affairs in order such as finalizing the will and organizing the estate. Finally, a living funeral can help the dying person move on peacefully.

If you are thinking of holding a living funeral for yourself or a loved one, you can put one together just as you would a traditional service. A funeral home director can guide you or you can simply have your family and friends help with arrangements.

Also See:

Celebration of Life Service

Memorial Service Ideas

Memorial Poems

memorial butterfliesMemorial celebrations aren't the solemn services made popular by past generations. Though they honor and remember a person's life, today's memorials can celebrate it too. The goal is to make this celebration unique and personal. Instead of focusing on the sadness and what could have been, have it be about how your loved one lived, and how his or her life affected others. You can do this in a number of ways including the location it is held, the theme you choose, and the keepsakes that make it personable. Family members and friends can help plan the service, or you can turn to sites such as Pinterest for some amazing ideas.

To start with, the service need not be in a church or funeral home. Memorial celebrations can be held just about everywhere from your home to a baseball field, golf course or botanical garden. Dress is casual or formal, and the mood of the celebration should be somewhat upbeat. A theme is not always needed, but acceptable in many instances. It all depends on your loved one's hobbies and lifestyle.

There are many ways to make the celebration unique. You can display family photos on poster boards, create a video montage set to your loved one's preferred music and serve his or her favorite food. Provide memory cards (index cards will work too) so guests can jot down and share their memories of the person who died. There really aren't rules to decide what is right or wrong. For keepsakes, you can create some beautiful memorial bookmarks, or even use the dried flowers from the funeral and make them into beads, key chains, etc.

If you want to take the memorial celebration to the next level, consider a butterfly or ladybug release either outdoors at the park or at the cemetery. It is more environmentally sound than releasing balloons. These natural releases are becoming extremely popular because they serve as reminders of a loved one's spirit being carried off to the heavens. Do you have a favorite memorial celebration idea?

Also See:  Memorial Service Ideas, Personalizing a Funeral or Memorial

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