Posted by: Joan Spiller | May 21, 2010

“Oh well, it’s your funeral!”

This is an expression I’ve heard a few times in my life (usually just after I’ve mentioned some hair-brained scheme know: like wanting to get a tattoo or oh gee I dunno: get married as a teenager). But this time it really does apply because I have decided I am going to plan out and document my own funeral “wishes”. Hey I have the time and more importantly: the alternative is doing the dishes, you work out why this appeals! 😉

The whole death and dying topic is one we all tend to shy away from. I wonder why we all have this hang up about talking of dying? After all, it’s one of the few certainties in life: one day we will ALL kick the bucket (ooh a bucket list, I might have to make one of them up in this same theme, what fun.. but I digress ..) So we’re all gonna do it yet we struggle to plan for the event with any real enthusiasm. I guess I can understand that, after all, no matter how rough life can be at times, it beats the alternative hands down!

However, when Mum died unexpectedly last year we suddenly all found ourselves muddling along trying to make significant decisions at a time when we just felt bewildered and emotionally traumatised. So surely we’re doing ourselves AND our kin a favour by heading down this somewhat macabre line while we are still breathing!? Even if you do not know quite what you want done – there may be some things that matter to you. Why not let people know?

The decisions for the family to make are huge – for example with Mum’s funeral:

Did Mum want a marae style of funeral or a church one – both were part of her history / life.
Should it be a service in a funeral home or in some other location?
Who should ‘do’ the service?
Did she want to be buried or cremated?
Should we get people to donate money to charity or just let people send flowers?
Would she have wanted a plywood casket or a recylable cardboard one or the finest mahogany speciman there was?

We had no idea and had to make these decisions at a time when we were reeling from the fact she’d just died..

So, what do I want at my funeral?

Sack cloth – Check
Ashes – Check
Weeping – Check
Wailing – Check
Hmm, what about gnashing of teeth?

This topic definitely needs more thought 😉



  1. Brilliant post, we absolutely do need to think ahead even if we don’t really want to!!


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