Planning a funeral ceremony

melodon6We tend not to put the same time into planning a funeral ceremony that we put into planning a wedding. Why is that? It’s no less important as a life milestone. In fact, some might consider it THE milestone after birth.

Our research shows that it’s less about taboo and more … “well, I don’t have to do it now…”

For 1 in 4, death comes suddenly – all the more reason to get plans sorted and filed so you’re never caught short. For most people though – 3 out of 4 – we will die on a fairly predictable trajectory. It goes one of two ways: illness > failing health > death or ageing > failing health > death.

So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t think just get on with planning a funeral ceremony for ourselves … take the weight off others. (The number one motivator according to our research.)
For a couple months, I’ve been working with a couple women planning their wedding ceremony in December in the Scottish hills.


It’s a special spot for them. For one, her dad and his whole street played football there back in the day when one person in the street had a car and everyone piled in. His ashes are scattered there. And it became a special spot for both of them when one proposed to the other.

They are using the elements and a circle of life as symbols in their ceremony. Fire burns in wood logs acting as candles and way markers. Glasses with candles host a flame passed from one to another representing the joining of two souls. The clear hill water in the burn bubbles past. The air carries our words. Two circles of friends and family represent the circle of life around our ceremony.

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We could just as easily be out here together plotting and planning  a funeral ceremony that would take place at some indeterminate time in the future on a day where all those gathered would know that this was a cared about, owned, loved rite of passage.

The choice is ours to take.

I’d love to hear views about whether or not you might consider planning a funeral for yourself or with another you’re close to.  Email me. Join the chat on Twitter or Facebook.

Get ideas for a ceremony. Capture and share your wishes with your nearest and dearest. Find out about artists who work with rites of passage.

2 thoughts on “Planning a funeral ceremony

  1. Before my husband died, we talked about what he wanted in his Celebration of Life. It was really great that we did this because when it came to me organising it, I knew what to do. At a time when I was already upset about him having died, just following instructions, so to speak, was really helpful.

  2. Making plans ahead of time can make such a big differnce for others once we are gone. This can be the most basic things like making selections for funeral music, hymns, prayers, on can be far more involved by opting for a prepaid funeral plan.
    For those considering the latter, it is so important to shop around as the funeral plans on offer vary enormously in both price and plan content.
    As a later in life planning expert, I always advise my client to opt for the services of a funeral plans comparison company, like or any of the many others available. But be careful, choose wisely, you should never pay for the service, it is offered free of charge by the best companies, as they will receive a fee for setting your plan up from the plan providers.
    It vital that you seek independent advice before deciding, that way you can ensure that all of your options have been given consideration.

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