Have you given much thought to what you'd like to have happen after you pass away?
More and more people are thinking about end-of-life planning, including what happens after they pass away.
Planning what happens at a funeral, memorial or other farewell ceremony in advance may seem morbid to some people, but it's not really. Just as you might plan a special celebration while you're living, you can also plan how you are "sent off" after you die.
There is something tremendously powerful in being able to make those decisions while you're still alive.
What form of service is delivered - if at all - as well as where it takes place, who speaks, what readings might be included, what music is played, and what happens after the service concludes, can all be decided before someone passes away. And more people are deciding to do exactly that.
End-of-life conversations are becoming more common now, driven by excellent initiatives like "Dying To Know Day" in Australia that empower people to make their own choices. Although Dying To Know Day is held on 8 August each year, dozens of events are held across the month of August and promoted using the hashtag #GetDeadSetMyWay.
Funerals are just one of many end-of-life conversations that are part of this initiative. Events will provide information around different aspects of dying, including palliative care services and decisions, wills and estates, securing superannuation, planning funerals and other "send offs", and more recently, legally accessing euthanasia following the changes in law enabling that to happen in most Australian jurisdictions,
In this blog, I'll aim to talk more about the one area I know quite a bit about - bespoke farewell ceremonies. For much of my celebrant career, which began in 2004, I've been involved in delivering bespoke funerals, memorials, scattering and placement services for people and pets.
No two people or their pets are the same, and so the same words should not be delivered at every funeral or other type of send-off. Yet this is happening though, as a lady kindly told me when she rang to thank me in May 2023 for the service I had delivered for someone she knew. She had come along expecting the same old-same old service she has heard many times before at funerals, and was blown away to hear something very different and inherently beautiful in its design.
Come along on this journey with me as we explore bespoke farewells.
How people say goodbye is a very personal thing. This blog is by an experienced, professional civil celebrant who provides bespoke (custom-designed) ceremonies for people pre-planning their farewell, or for family members organising a goodbye for someone who has passed.