Over the years, I’ve been to many a funeral, and it’s interesting to see how families, or how those who have died have left instructions, on how they want to be celebrated on this earth.
I guess I find it sad when little is done to commemorate someone’s life, when there is no funeral at all, just a ritual burning at the crematorium and whatever is left over with family and/or friends is handed a plastic urn or worse, a wooden box, to either keep as a keepsake, or use to scatter their ashes at the deceased most treasured place. To me, it’s like how could someone live a life that has not touched anyone significantly, or make a contribution to society that they are valued? Yes, VALUED. Even if that society is their children, or work colleagues, it’s heartbreaking to know that each and every person in this world isn’t valued enough to have a proper send-off.
And then you get the mighty send-offs because the person who is no longer made a generous contribution to this world and they will be sadly missed by many. Everyone, from their extended family, friends of family, friends of friends who’ve been affected by the loss, work colleagues and anyone who actually wants to support those who are lost without this person in this world go to these types of funerals because those people mean so much, because they did so much good for so many. With these, you get the inevitable wake to celebrate the deceased life, and for long lost friends to catch up.
And then you get the funerals in-between, where the deceased survived many of their friends and family and could be one of the last to leave this world with only 20-30 friends and family paying their respects. There are funeral notices for all those who look up the daily papers to find out who has gone and to gather a bigger crowed. To me, at least they are respected enough to encourage people to send their respects and celebrate their life.
I have no idea what type of funeral I would have, but I would be honoured to have all those whose lives I have touched to be there, or send their respects. I think I would come back to haunt my kids if they sent me off to the crematorium without a party to celebrate who I was, as I believe everyone deserves that.
But I guess what every funeral does, is it gives us perspective. That life is short and we need to value the people in our lives, we need to make the most of every opportunity, we need to take risks and have no regrets. We only have one life, and it’s up to us to make the most of it, no one can do it for us. We need to love with all our heart, care for those who need looking after, and take a minute to let people know that they aren’t forgotten.