How to have a fabulous funeral

Recently I attended a funeral where the family had put the funeral ceremony together.

It was a large funeral as the deceased had been a teacher, artist and a significant contributor to the community. The crematorium was over flowing.

The first speaker got up and announced to everyone that there were many speakers today and they had to stick to their five-minute schedule. Was I at a funeral or a school assembly?

As the service continued one of the speakers was going over time and was interrupted mid way through and told to finish. Have you got much longer?

It really took away from the service, as each speaker wanted to share important aspects of his life and contribution. Some guests had travelled from interstate to be there, so it was important to have the time to share and remember him. This man was known as a larrikin and had a sense of fun, but the running of his service did not reflect that at all. He was also a prolific artist, selling and sometimes giving away his paintings. There was not a painting or slide show of a single painting in sight.

The service felt rushed, controlled and time was more important than a life celebration. Is this the way to say goodbye to someone who had a memorable life?

Working with a Celebrant could have made such a difference. The service would have run smoothly and to time, without interrupting a speaker.

I would have recommended that due to the large number of speakers and people at the service that perhaps they could have booked two timeslots at the crematorium.

A personal touch is essential.

Organising a good funeral takes time: so don’t rush. Think about what you want to achieve. Make sure you get to do the funeral your way.

Make the funeral space yours, have music, singing, display photos, personalize the coffin, fancy dress or colour theme, speakers, candles, and decorate the venue. Create meaning and ritual that reflects that person.

Your ceremony assists your family and friends to start a healthy grieving process.

My job is to support you with all the decisions, so everything goes as planned. Less stress means you can spend time with your family and friends at this time.

Planning an authentic farewell is important, as you never forget the day you say goodbye.