A (real) Celebration of Life


Wait until a random Thursday and call your next of kin…

“[next of kin], I died in my sleep last night.  It is on you to plan this funeral.”

Hold on a minute, I know that seems morose as fuck, but I am going somewhere with this.

     When we’re at funerals, they tell us not to be sad because it is over, but to smile because it happened.  To celebrate the life of the loved one that you now have to bury and not to lament overt the loss.  What better way to celebrate a life than to do it while the person is still around and sentient to the love they’re receiving?

     Lady and gentleman, I present to you…  The living funeral.  It is not a concept I came up with, it is one I kind of read about daydreaming for this post.
The takeaway, though is let me have my flowers while I can still smell ‘em.

In my family, the day of a death, the phone calls are made post-haste with mind on getting the body into the ground as quickly as possible.  So if you make that call on Thursday, you might be looking at a Monday or Tuesday funeral at the latest.  As you yourself would be the recently “deceased,” you can have no plan in the administrating of the funeral, only paying for it.  Why should you have to pay for it?  Because your punk ass BETTER have insurance.

Now the funeral is planned, and to be carried JUST like a funeral.  You are in the corner and cannot participate, only witness it.  You will be “eulogized,” with someone you meant something to speaking words of kindness of your memory – or of your existence as it were – your favorite songs will be sung and comments will be taken from the attendees who ostensibly love you or at worst only came to your funeral to make sure you actually died instead of paying them that $47.38 you owed them in 1998.
Everything that would NORMALLY take place at a funeral is allowed to happen, with the exception of the fact that it does not come from a place of sadness or missed opportunity to say something that had been previously left unsaid.  Now the morbid idea of a “living funeral” begins to make more sense.  There are people out there in the world who sit on conversations that they should be having with their loved ones and find themselves at the end of the line staring into an open coffin at a cold body feeling like shit because they didn’t.

How hard is it to go spend a couple minutes with your old granny, even though she talks shit about everyone?  To swing by your mama’s house unannounced and do a chore she didn’t ask you to.  To call your pops without needing something?  To make peace with that one person from forever ago that you just stopped talking to instead of reaching some kind of civil discourse to handle a problem?

My point, I guess is that this is the kind of shit that winds up becoming our albatross long after the funeral.  That is why they are such somber affairs instead of the celebration of life that they should be.
Let’s skip the sad funeral and schedule EVERYONE the happy one they deserve.  AZ said it best on Wanna Be There; “any love you hold inside, let me see. ‘Cause it won’t mean a thing when I leave.”


No more sad funerals, let’s celebrate life of our loved ones while they can still enjoy it!
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