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Living funeral, celebration time

Living funerals are becoming popular in the US, often organised by hospices to increase the quality of life for the dying patient and to give support to the family.

They are also being organised by individuals who want to be present, and indeed to be the centre of attention, at the last celebration of their lives. 

They want to enjoy their own funeral and the opportunity it gives them to see for the last time their friends, relatives, former colleagues, neighbours, team mates and those whose lives have touched theirs.

Another advantage of a living funeral is that those people who reside a long way from you are more likely to be able to attend than if they had the inevitable short notice once you've died.

To make it a successful event, plan the living funeral as you would a party, but make it the party of a lifetime. It may be more appropriate that a loved one does the organising.

Either way use this checklist to make a living funeral a celebration of your life.

  • Food: select samples of your favourite cuisine, your special dishes;
  • Drink: provide your favourite wines and beers;
  • Activities: have on display things such as golf clubs, tennis racket, football;
  • Achievements: have on display certificates, press cuttings and items you are proud of;
  • Messages: give a brief speech at which you give a short message to the most important people in your life;
  • Video: ask (or employ) someone to make a video of the party, and consider storing it in your Lifebox so others can see it in the future.

Your living funeral might surprise and shock your close family members, so explain why you want to have a living funeral so that they support you and help organise the celebration.

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