Saturday, July 20, 2013

Not Your Grandfather's Funeral

Flowers From Mom's Garden and Our Father's House Florist.  What a gardener mom was!
The next time you attend a funeral, don't be surprised if it more closely resembles the last wedding you went to than the somber farewell you bid your grandfather 20 years ago.

This is a reprint from an article from the newsletter that I receive.  The author is Molly Gilger.  I couldn't agree more with Molly.  Having just planned (and attended) my mom's beautiful funeral service, I realize how important this is.  People put their day on hold, drop their work, buy last minute pricey airline tickets, to "be there" and honor the one they love.  And, I believe, the "one they love" would appreciate, not only being honored, but having the opportunity to host a celebration and a happy get-together for far-flung family and friends.  I know Mom did.  She was so very present.  Enjoy Molly's article.

In recent years, the funeral service has evolved from a formal or structured ceremony with religious music, scripture, prayers, and little or no information regarding the life of the deceased, to a true celebration of a life remembered.

The key to turning a funeral into a celebration of a life lived is through personalization.
Family, friends and visitors should be encouraged to share memories of the decedent and describe how they relate to the personalized elements of the service and the items on display.
Here's just a small sampling of some recent funerals that were customized to suit the life of the person they celebrated:
  • At a funeral for a well-known concert pianist, the family opted to have a Steinway and Sons piano moved to the gallery of the funeral home. The florist created a huge spray of white flowers cascading from the strings of the piano onto a large carpet of flowers surrounding the piano.
  • Another family brought in items related to the decedent's work as a professional horseman for his visitation. Saddles, boots, numerous bales of hay, partial fence structures and even a live horse in a make-shift corral transformed the funeral home.
  • For the funeral of an avid hunter, the florist turned the funeral home chapel altar into a hunting blind, and the deceased's hunting dogs were nearby, standing in hunting position.
  • The funeral service for a cycling enthusiast displayed the decedent's road bike and cycling medals next to the casket. At the cemetery, members from his cycling club escorted the hearse carrying his casket from the cemetery gates to the grave site on their bicycles.
Many families also choose to host receptions after the service. (We had Fincher's Barbeque, a family fave!)

Funeral services are changing to meet the needs of a generation that has different ideas about life – and death.

This is not your grandfather's funeral.   Molly is so right!  Thank Goodness!


  1. Oh Sandra I am so sorry about your Mom and those flowers are perfect.I know she was there enjoying the family get together. I am a big fan of the celebration of life as compared to the somber crying days of old. I guess my Irish Grandma and her ideas stuck. Take care. HUGS. B. YOUR ARTWORK IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

  2. Thanks B! You are my greatest fan! Right back at ya!

  3. oh, sorry for the loss Sandra. We came across many situations in our life when we feel depressed but at the death of someone beloved is the most heartbreaking moment in our lives. But there are certain ways to uplift your motivation by showing sympathy and the honor to the deceased. I appreciate you way of showing love and respect towards your mother by giving her that beautiful casket spray flowers. I have to say these flowers are really beautiful and give their fragrance to the beloved soul.

    1. Thanks Ross. The flowers were gorgeous and many of them came from her own year.


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