Funerals and Celebrations of Life

I went to a funeral recently. It sounds horribly crass of me to say that it was the nicest funeral I've ever been too, but it honestly was a beautiful service, full of love and life and although I didn't know the man who died as well as some who were there, I found solace in the words that were spoken and I believe his other friends and his family did too.

I think what made it different, was it wasn't a morbid mourning, it was a tender adulation in celebration of life.

And it made me think.

It made me think about what I want for my funeral, or rather what I want for the Celebration of my Earthly life.

A Sunset over Dunstable Downs

I joked with some friends at the funeral, that I wanted professional mourners to come and cry for me and that everyone had to wear all black, but I don't really want that.

Yes, I want everyone to come to mourn. Yes, I want everyone to dress respectfully which here in the UK generally means black or dark clothing, but most importantly I want everyone to know that this isn't the end of me.

It's just the end of my physical body.

When my Grandfather talked about his own funeral, he always insisted that everyone had to wear colour and my Dad felt the same way. It was to be joyful, and yes we cold cry but we weren't supposed to be all out weeping for him because he didn't want that. My Grandfather told us all that he wanted us to be happy that we had had time together.

For my long far off distant funeral, I want everyone to come in clothing that they are happy to be wearing. I don't care if it is black, green, orange or zig-zag stripes. If you're going to be sitting listening to stories of my life, you'd better be comfortable and you'd better bring plenty of tissues, so I suggest something with pockets.

I want "She's Always a Woman to me" by Billy Joel, "Beautiful Day" by U2, "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" (not sure who's version is best, I'll say Frankie Valli for now, but I would have loved Alan Rickman) played in some order and at some point.

I would have picked a lot more fun songs, but apparently, it's bad form to have people laughing too hard at a funeral and only a little chuckle is allowed.

I want people to learn from my life. Not necessarily from my mistakes, but from the joy I found, the happiness I felt, or at the very least I would like for everyone to come away at the end of my funeral having known that I lived a full life and I expect them to ensure the same could be said of them.

PippaD the Superhero

Oh and that photo above, or something similar, should totally be on the order of service.