The Mexicans have a well-known holiday that seems to celebrate death. Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a celebration that takes place November 2 every year. During the celebration, people go to the cemeteries of their deceased family members and build private altars, ofrendas, to honour the deceased. They include sugar skulls, marigolds and the favourite foods and drinks of the person who died, and they leave these gifts and other possessions at the graves. These celebrations are often humorous, allowing the celebrants to remember funny anecdotes and stories about the departed.
In truth, The Day of the Dead does not celebrate death, but rather, it celebrates life. Death is a perfectly natural process that happens to everyone, so why do we still fall into mourning rather than celebrating the life that was lived?
Celebrating a loved one does not mean ignoring or neglecting the grieving process. In fact, it is very important to acknowledge this grief in order to be able to move forward.
Funerals are an important part of this process. They help up acknowledge our loss and our grief so that we can move forward. After all, funerals are for the living, not the dead.
While you cannot rush the grieving process, it helps to know that it will fade. It also helps to celebrate life rather than to lament something that cannot be changed.
While many people have religious ceremonies and funeral services, there is less of a focus on the afterlife now than there was years ago. What mourners want to deal with to help them move past their grief are facts and memories. They want to celebrate the memories and laugh at the anecdotes.
While a focus on the spirit will be important for some people, it’s imperative to also focus on earthly matters in order to create a sense of celebration.
If you want a funeral that celebrates life, try breaking down some traditional barriers. Don’t play Mozart’s Requiem, but rather, play a defiant song that demonstrates how the deceased lived his or her life. Incorporate elements from their favourite sports teams or hobbies and encourage guests not to wear black.
Think about how you can make the ceremony more upbeat and consider what you’re loved one would really want. Would they want to see their friends and family crying, or to see them laughing and dancing?
Alex Gow Funerals have been helping families throughout Queensland create meaningful tributes to their loved ones since 1840. If you require assistance with funeral arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us or call our Brisbane head office on 07 3073 4816. We also have an online pre-arrangement form you can fill out.