Funeral as a celebration of life


These days, we often look upon a funeral as a celebration of life as well as an opportunity to mourn a death.

Funeral, ceremony, wake, memorial… whatever you call it, these goodbyes are all ‘rites of passage’ – events for friends and families to come together after a death to say farewell and honour a life. Ceremonies called ‘life celebrations’ may also be held before a death.

Whatever the format and whenever they are held – from a church service to a gathering in the village hall or your front room, they are all a kind of  thanksgiving; a chance to pay tribute to a life; maybe a pilgrimage of sorts. These rituals are important for the living.

  • After a death: a ceremony offers a safe space to celebrate a life and share grief. Mourn a loss. Say thanks. A mark in the sand. Closure.
  • Before death: for people who know their life-to-death trajectory (3 in 4 of us), getting involved in planning the details of their funeral can be a great way of accepting mortality and having some control at a time when there may not be a great sense of control. Actually being at your own life celebration can be a precious time with loved ones. You get to hear all the nice things people usually say after you’ve gone. Sometimes you get to clear unresolved ‘stuff’.

See thoughts about how to host a Final Fling event as a life celebration.


Whether you’re faced with planning someone else’s end and flummoxed by bloomin’ formalities or thinking ahead for yourself to save others the worry, Final Fling can help. See 10 Things to do on Final Fling.


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