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The Living Funeral

A Living Funeral is a gathering centred on someone who will soon die.
Also called a pre-funeral, or in Japan; a Seizenso. It may be beneficial to the person’s psychological state and also that of the dying person’s family to attend the living funeral. It could also be used as a time to read the will and explain the reasons behind some of the decisions contained within it.

A living funeral is usually done by someone who knows that he or she does not have much time left to live. It could be held for a person who is terminally ill or someone who is at an old age – the person knows death is near and could use it as closure. It is used to celebrate a life well lived.

The living funeral is more meaningful because it allows the opportunity for a Toast to Memorable Moments!! A living funeral is the grandest celebration of a person’s life, with a twist— he/she is alive and present to hear the eulogies, praises and farewells given before death. If you know your time is short, why wait? The funeral in living funeral tends to raise eyebrows because family members feel like they’re digging the grave too early, but quite the contrary! A gathering to eulogize and celebrate one’s life before he or she dies is the antithesis.

Mark Twain, one of the greatest authors in American history, portrayed his fascination with eavesdropping on his own funeral in the novel “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” He said, “It was the proudest moment of his whole life.” Today, more & more people are toasting and roasting family members and friends with limited time left. Some ceremonies look like a cross between a wedding and a funeral.

These formal or informal get-togethers take place at a home, community centre, house of worship, hotel banquet hall, a favourite restaurant, or even a theatre. The honoree could be dressed in everything from pyjamas to a tuxedo. Others prefer a more somber look. The gathering becomes a stage for people to share memories, sometimes songs, poems and lifetime achievement awards that express: Thank you, I love you, I’ll remember you. And goodbye. One of the more famous living funerals was that for Morrie Schwartz which was documented in both the book and film Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, Life’s Greatest Lessons by Mitch Albom. Five million copies of this book were sold and it was a Best Seller.

Morrie Schwartz, dying of a disease, goes to a funeral and realizes that his late friend didn’t get to hear all of the wonderful speeches so he decides to have a funeral before his death. He invited his family and friends to come to his home and say the things they would’ve said at his funeral. The honoree is the guest of honour at his/her own living funeral, and it is a good idea to give an opportunity to anyone who wishes to say something to do so at that point in time. “Speak now or forever hold your peace…” There is no better time to express love, gratitude and all those things we should’ve, would’ve, or could’ve said if we found the right time.
A living funeral is the way to go!

These celebrations help families prepare for the inevitable, and bond while focusing on life when they often feel helpless in the face of death. A living funeral is not for everyone…
Only for those who are easily satisfied with the very best…

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