Talking about death and dying is not easy but it does open up an intimate and personal discussion on what’s important. After having considered this subject with many people over the last few years, we’ve come to listen intently and learn a lot about individuals from the way they talk about death.
Here’s an excerpt we thought we’d share from someone interviewed recently.
As a baby boomer in your fifties, do you think attitudes towards end-of-life rituals/transitions are changing?
Yes. Given the trends toward consciousness living, alternative spiritual practices and sustainability, more and more people are looking for new ways to deal with death in a way that celebrates life rather than simply mourning loss; especially for individuals who are not affiliated with any church or traditional religious practice.
Do you and your friends approach the topic of death?
Yes. We often joke and talk about how we want our friends to experience our death like with a celebration, music, laughter, being buried with our pets, cremation and throwing our ashes in nature, or at the ocean, etc. You name it. As baby boomers experiencing our own aging process, aging parents and many deaths at this point in our lives have all contributed to a growing ease around death. Although not easy to let go, it is the great inevitable. The certainty of death hopefully empowers us to live better lives.
Have you ever thought about how you would like your funeral to be; i.e. the guests, arrangements etc.?
Yes, I’ve attended many funerals. Most were heavy and dry. One funeral for an artist/landlord I once attended stands out as joyful. There was music, ceremony and great talks about his life. There was humour and levity. Funerals are there both to acknowledge a death but and comfort the living. Many people are very uncomfortable at funerals, restrained. I think we need to do more to create a more positive end-of-life experience. But of course, it is personal to each family and person.
Do you think a Life Celebration either before or after a death would be a worthwhile investment?
Yes. It touches people on all levels; psychological, emotional, spiritual, relational, and offers closure.
Do you feel that having a planner to help a customized Life Celebration event, specific to the wishes of the deceased and family would be worth investing in?
Absolutely, however, not one size fits all.