By turning the well-known phrase "a day in the life" around to "a life in a day", we gather the essence and purpose of the funeral/ memorial service.
Funeral/Memorial ceremonies have been part of the spiritual and social framework of the human culture for thousands of years. And although the details of the ceremonies may vary greatly according to customs and beliefs, the service shares a common purpose - to honor and remember a life that has passed.
When we consider the various elements of memorial/funeral services, the ability to uniquely capture that individual's life in the service is of highest value. The manner in which we mark the passing, whether as a traditional funeral service in a church, as a private family memorial at the graveside, or as a celebration of life reception, all serve to bring together the family and friends of the loved one, to honour, and share the stories, beliefs, successes and grief that their passing means to each and all.
We know that more than three quarters of Canadians over 35 have thought about their own funeral, but very few (less than 12%) have taken steps towards planning it. And, yet, when the conversation is launched, sometimes in whispered tones and with an awkward laugh, individually we tend to have strong opinions on what matters to us, including elements far beyond the obvious decisions associated with funerals. If asked, each of us will have our own wish list -- for example, to have a specific selection of music played, to personalize the chapel or reception area with our favourite possessions (a gleaming Harley, favourite sports equipment, or that teapot collection), to have someone special recite a favorite poem or prayer, or to provide a favorite food or even a favourite tipple for the guests to share while toasting a life well lived.
The pre-planning process, for both funeral services and burial/interment, can greatly assist your loved ones in creating the most appropriate and valued approach to commemorate a life. And, through pre-planning, the wide range options can be explored, considered and contemplated, without the grief, urgency and stress that occur at time of death.
The options available to commemorate a "life in a day" have never been broader. And, the ideal opportunity to clearly communicate and record those specifics is now. The option are yours, should you wish to pre-pay, or simply pre-arrange without financial commitment, either approach will be welcomed, supported and documented by your funeral provider. And, for your commitment of an hour or two on that day in your life, you can be assured that you have helped those you love to feel confident and comforted, knowing that they have honoured you and your wishes, with a service that uniquely commemorates a well lived life.
Chief Executive Officer
Highland Park Funeral Centre/Little Lake Cemetery Co