Losing a loved one will always be a difficult time in a person’s life. And with these heavy emotions, we are accustomed to materialising them in ceremonies containing mostly of sorrowful attendees in black-coloured dress. In these traditional funerals, the emphasis is placed on the future without deceased person present anymore, which only fuels the pain.
But with new and optimistic perspectives on life, the tones of funerals are making a gradual cultural change. In a study by the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA)*, over half of the respondents felt that funerals are actually an opportunity for festivities, not tears. The finding supports a growing trend for more light-hearted ceremonies to celebrate the life of the deceased.
For instance, photo tributes are being interwoven into common funeral customs. Family and friends use videos to illustrate and reminisce the deceased’s life in a matter of minutes. There are also options to choose wallpapered coffins, creating jewellery out of ashes and picking unique, such as pubs and football ovals, for their funeral services. Comparably with other parts of the world, you’ll find the most popular song played at funerals in the UK for 2014 was Monty Python’s ‘Always Look On The Bright Side of Life’**.
In some cases, the traditional funeral concept is turned upside down, by having complete party-themed services to fully celebrate the life of the deceased. For the service of the late socialite Mickey Easterling in the US, the deceased’s body was propped upright, dressed in a fancy outfit and ornate hat for the occasion. Complemented with a glass of champagne in one hand and a cigarette holder in the other, family and friends got to enjoy one last party with her.
No matter what age or background, each person leads a unique and extraordinary life. Funeral customs are also changing to reflect and honour the deceased individual’s life and characteristics. If you are looking to arrange a ceremony that truly reflects the life of a person, consult with Funerals Directors for a personalised service.
*According to a study by the Australian Funeral Directors Association http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/west-australians-thinking-outside-the-box-for-funeral-celebrations/news-story/1a304fe9253777adffe643c1b9e343f0
**According to a study by The Co-operative Funeralcare (chain for funeral services in UK): http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-30143250