Making funerals a brighter part of life 160



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When we think of funerals, we think of goodbye, of sadness and of final farewells. But, if you think about it, they are a celebration, a way of saying thank you and smiling for the times that people share together.

One of the most common things people use to make these moments happy ones is the music and according to a survey people in Britain are making a big effort to make funerals a brighter part of life.

The survey, conducted by The Co-Operative Funeralcare, found that the most popular song played at funerals in the year spanning 2013/14 was in fact, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, the anthem from everyone’s favourite Monty Python film, “Life of Brian”.

It shows that many people are starting to move away from sombre, traditional funerals into ones that are filled with a little bit of life and a little bit of brightness. And through personal experience I know that funerals with some colour and personality have been even more special than ones without.

When one of my closest school friends lost her battle with ovarian cancer, her funeral was carried out just as she had hoped. We weren’t allowed to wear black – so the entire church was full of colour! The eulogy wasn’t a traditional one, everyone was invited up to share their favourite funny memory of her and after the ceremony, we drank cocktails just as she requested.

You see, funerals are celebrations of someone’s life and although we are sad to say goodbye, we need to be thankful and happy for the memories.

So what are other ways that people are making funerals happy, heartwarming celebrations.

We called out a while ago and here were some of the responses:

“When I die I want everyone wearing pink and blue as they are my favourite colours.”

“I think a funeral should be about your friendships and saying thank you for that. I’m going to have a church full of flowers and everyone has to take one home for themselves.”

“I don’t want to have a proper funeral. I’d like my family to cremate me and instead I’d like to plan an actual party… No speeches, just drinks and celebrations.”

“I’m having a no tears policy at my funeral… Anyone that cries has to donate $5 to the charity I work for!”

“I’d like everyone to sing along… Not to boring music, but my favourite hits from the 70s.”

There are so many things that can make a sad day, a bright one for people to give thanks to those who have supported them.


Tell us, what are you going to do to have a beautiful and bright ending? Will you be playing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. A person very close to my heart had the best funeral I have ever attended, it was colourful like my friend and up beat like her and I left the crematorium with wonderful memories that people had shared It really celebrated her life and who she was.

  2. Ellen
    I’m with you. I fact, my Power of Attorney and my Will both state that I do not want a funeral. I want to be cremated and my ashes thrown in the ocean. No memorial service or plague anywhere. People can have a BBQ and have a laugh and a giggle.

    4 REPLY
    • I also have stated that I am to be cremated, no funeral, a waste of money that could be spent on a barby and a few drinks for everyone.
      My father did the same and a cousin did the same with the scattering of his ashes in the Murray and a barby and a few beers afterwards.

    • Ruth, I agree. I have done the same Cremated and do what you want with the ashes as I don’t care. If they want a small Bar-B-Que have one, otherwise nothing.

    • Funerals are for the living. I think it’s important to give them the right to honor you and your life. Don’t deny them that. (Just my HO)

  3. Like you Linda Allen, I recently went to a mates funeral where it was really a celebration of his life. There were a few tears but what a party we had for him. Just the way he would’ve wanted it, No disrespect, but I’d like to go out that way too.

  4. I have a better idea, donate your body to a Uni., at least your organs. How many of us are donors? They are no good to us.

    2 REPLY
    • I have completed all of the required paperwork to donate my body to the Uni Medical School, after all I won’t be needing it

      1 REPLY
      • Beverly my mother did that .when they had finished with the cadaver it was cremated and the ashes returned to the family. My sister inquired about puting the ashes in the same garden as my fathers.The crematorium wanted $750 to do it .So my sistercand aunt put them into the soil and dug them in .Would you beleive the Crem sent them a bill for $750 .they refusedvto pay it and threatened to go to the media .they heard no more about it.

  5. When my Mum passed away we had a cardboard recyclable coffin {which cost a lot more than the traditional wooden one] and we decorated it with pictures of all the things she loved eg puppies, flowers, poetry, and we wrote our own personal messages to her. It was a lovely way of saying farewell to a very special Mother. Ive decided my coffin will be fire engine red, because thats my colour, and it will read ‘gone shopping’. There will be chocolate mud cake and diet coke served to remind everyone of my vices lol. Lots of happy dance music, because thats my favourite pasttime, and only good times mentioned in the speeches. I want to go out on a high.

    1 REPLY
  6. I would like a few of my old favorite songs that people can sing a long, I certainly want my body cremated and ashes sprinkled on my favorite lake, I would like one of my children to read all my positives with lots of funnies we have experienced then I can RIP

  7. When my husband died everyone said it was the best funeral they had been to…..all Rod Stewart & 60’s music…,,a video full of funny pics of him……,people telling funny and irreverent stories of him….., and a great after party put on by his boss in the studio where he had worked!!! Everyone wore red

  8. My friend’s husband died recently of that horrible motor neurone disease, his funeral – in the Anglican Church, was a joyous celebration of his life. Bright colours, cheerful music – and to finish – dancing in the aisles to Swing Low Sweet Chariot – as he was danced into heaven. Even his dog came! Church funerals don’t have have to be mournful dirges, it’s up to the family to express their wishes. In this case the person had written his wishes down before he died and his live was celebrated in the 2 main places he had lived on opposite sides of the world!

  9. My mother was quite religious and her service followed a pattern she chose. But then we hyped it up with a medley of Johnny Cash songs from the organist at the end. My dad, on the other hand had no ceremony and was quietly cremated. We celebrated his life as a family in the week before he died. But I must say we have celebrated both their lives in many ways since we said goodbye in 1999.

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