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Exploring Living Funeral Services

As a funeral consumer, you’re probably familiar with traditional funeral services, and other memorial and celebration of life services that occur when a loved one has passed. But did you know there is such a thing as a living funeral? As a different outlook on preplanning service arrangements, we’ve outlined definitions, ways to conduct a living funeral, and support systems your family can consider adding.

What is a Living Funeral?

These services occur with the living loved one, typically when their passing is imminent, and gives both the family and the loved one an opportunity to make peace with a difficult situation, in a supportive environment.

What Are the Benefits of a Living Funeral?

As we move forward into a world where families are exploring non-traditional services and life celebrations, death is no longer a prerequisite to having a service. You can attend your own service, to celebrate your life's accomplishments with those you cherish.

The idea of preplanning often asks you to consider "defining your legacy". What better way to define a legacy, than be present during one's own celebration of life? A loved one would have the opportunity to decide what the theme is, as listed in this article by The Celebrant Directory. A terminally ill man hosted “A pie and a pint” in which he and his guests shared pints of beer, pies, and heartfelt memories.

Having a living funeral with the loved one present can be a more somber experience, but it can also be therapeutic. Having the opportunity to share memories and sentiments can help families in the long term with the grieving process.

How Can You Cultivate a Supportive Atmosphere During a Living Service?

As you can imagine, a living funeral service may be more emotional than a traditional funeral, as, at the time, family members and friends are coming to terms with the passing of their loved one. It may be a good idea to have a death doula or counselor present to help all in attendance cope with the reality of death. This person can also conduct conversations about the passing and help all involved process grief together.

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