Who is a funeral for anyway?

I started this blog because (I felt) if there was anyone who is prepared to plan their own funeral…it would be me. I’ve had meaningful conversations with experts in all parts of the funeral and related industries and they’ve advised me as I wrote articles about topics most of us don’t even know exist—some of which still make me a little uncomfortable.

And while I entered this space not being an expert in any of it, somewhere along the way I became the expert of the “overview” having brought together the entire industry in one place on Heart2Soul. I’ve investigated all of the nooks and crannies of the funeral biz without financial motive and I continue share information I think everyone should know about.

So when I decided to take what I’ve learned and plan my own Kick-Ass-Funeral I decided to use a blog to record my journey through my funeral choices and decisions.

I started to talk through the details with my family. I told them about the trend of bringing funerals back to a more intimate setting in the home (home funerals) – the way it used to be. What a great comfort it would be to be laid out in my own home and have people visit here at the house. And wouldn’t it be great for them to visit with friends in their own surroundings and be able to visit privately with my corpse at any time they wished instead of being in a strange place for a set amount of time? I was being thoughtful and considered my needs and theirs.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

My son said if that happened he could never set foot in the house again, my daughter begged me to come up with a new plan and my husband…well, he was far from being on board. He comes from practical German stock, and I did understand his position, but it’s what I wanted and how can they deny me what I wanted?

I protested a little and insisted this was best for them and as the words came out of my mouth I had a moment of clarity. For them. The funeral isn’t for me at all – it’s for them!

And this is the piece I had been missing. Yes, my funeral is definitely about my death but the ritual of how they say goodbye is for them. It’s so clear to me now. My gift is not to plan out every detail. My gift has been given by talking about death rituals as naturally as I discuss what shoes to wear. They are armed with information so when the time comes, they are prepared to make the best decisions for them.

So this is the gift of my blog. By being open to conversations about death and sharing my thoughts and observations about funerals, memorials and end-of life rituals I give you the gift I’ve given to my family. In the process, I hope to generate curiosity and encourage conversations so someday you are all as comfortable talking about death as my 11 year old is.