A Celebration of Life, also known as a Living Funeral
Living Funerals are not a time for sadness but a time to reflect and give thanks for a life well spent
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A Living Funeral is an end of life celebration arranged while the important person who has a sense their time with us is shorter than would have been preferred, is still alive. Consequently, they are able to plan and control or influence the celebration so that it becomes a really nice way of saying thank you and perhaps goodbye it allows those around to help celebrate a life. It is also an excellent way to ensure the one who is left behind is not left in the position of isolation as often happens after the loss of a loved one
Living funerals or end of life celebrations are gathering in popularity and allow the family to celebrate their life with family and friends, to thank and pay tribute to those they wish to acknowledge and maybe have a good party as well.
A living funeral is given for a person while he or she is still living. This kind of "celebration of life" has a few advantages, especially when it is known the person will soon depart as a result of a terminal illness. Such a Living funeral can be arranged to fit the needs of all the family members and friends as well as the deceased-apparent. For example, his or her family members and friends will be able to attend this pre-arranged living funeral if it is scheduled by arrangement so no one will be caught while on an out-of-town business trip or vacation.
A living funeral also gives everyone (not just close family) a chance to say intimate heartfelt goodbyes, and to offer well-wishes for a comfortable journey onwards, on occasions you may have a Humanist celebrant available. Furthermore, a living funeral can be a social event or a happy time where the deceased-apparent can acknowledge and thank special friends and associates as well as family members. Whilst this practice is not common, regrets at not having said what was intended are all too common.
The "Celebration of Life" also ensures there is no embarrassing silent void that lasts for weeks or months after the funeral where everyone feels uncomfortable and often neglects to call on the remaining spouse thereby compounding the loss.
We all know that we often say "we only ever seem to meet at Weddings and funerals", when you often hear "we really must not leave it so long next time", a Living Funeral offers the opportunity to break the cycle and make a difference, some people do it every five years as an excuse for a family gathering and simply do not tell the guests why, it's almost like an insurance policy.
A classical pianist, harpist, or a solo singer can provide the background to ensure everyone gets the chance to sit and chat, dance and discuss those important items that often get forgotten.
Dignity in Dying
Dignity in Dying on Wikipedia