Are Funerals about the Living?


Jan 13, 2014
Are Funerals about the Living?

church congregationHaving been in the unenviable position of having to attend a number of funerals in the past year, I started to question the objective of the service and subsequently have come to realise that Funerals aren’t really about the much loved person who has passed away; funerals are about the living.

How often have you heard someone describe a funeral as beautiful, or the service as touching or uplifting? As a child attending my first funeral, the funeral of my grandfather, I didn’t understand how anyone could be so cruel; enjoying themselves, laughing and joking at the reception; but I soon began to realise that even though no one ever looks forward to a funeral, it can be a really touching and precious event. And that’s my point in a nutshell; funerals are all about how you feel; memories of happy times that are triggered – it’s all about the living!

A funeral is a day for people to come together, united by the one person who isn’t there (well, maybe in spirit) to grieve, laugh, cry, reflect and support each other. 

The more personal the service is; the more representational it is of the life the person lived, the more touching and special the experience is for those left behind. 

An increasing number of people are now arranging their funeral in advance, which given the difficult decisions grieving relatives invariably face like choosing a coffin, deciding on the music or agreeing where the ashes should be scattered, putting plans in place beforehand could be one of the kindest things you can do. 

From getting a funeral plan, writing a will to making a note of what type of service you would like, arranging everything in advance can take some of the pressure off your family and make the service a personal affair, which of course takes me back to the my conclusion that funerals are actually about the friends and family.

Then there is the dreaded subject of cost. Dying is an expensive business and unfortunately prices just seem to be going one way – up. Arranging everything at today’s prices with a prepaid funeral plan could save you and your family money, especially considering costs have risen by 7% over the past 10 years, a trend that looks set to continue. 

There is of course for some the religious aspect of a funeral, delivering the deceased safely into the arms of the lord which many will find comforting and a fundamental part of the service. But doesn’t it also serve as a reminder to grieving guests that heaven awaits all those who follow – some form of religious recruitment drive aimed at a targeted audience who would not usually frequent the Church?


Regardless of which way you look at it, it’s all about you, not the poor person who lay in the box!


Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

ashley shepherd

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