Creative Life Celebrations
Boomers Turn Funerals into Life Celebrations
Baby Boomers have always been accustomed to personalizing rites of passage so they can freely express themselves, and funerals are no exception. If you look in the obituaries section of the newspaper, you'll find that the 'Funeral' is increasingly being referred to as the 'Life Celebration'. And now that the leading edge of Boomers are beginning to feel their own mortality, many are pre-planning their own personalized and creative Life Celebrations. This is their last chance to throw a party, and it's not only self-expression that is being embraced, it's encouraging friends and family to participate in a memorial service that focuses on a positive and uplifting celebration, with gratitude for a life well lived.
The creative part of pre-planning a Life Celebration involves personal theming and events. These can be as simple as a red balloon release at the end of the service, or as elaborate as catering a sushi bar with a jazz band, or as theatrical as hiring actors to play out the final scenes of A Midsummer Night's Dream in a park setting as a conclusion to the proceedings. The purpose of the theme is to celebrate and reflect what has been personally meaningful in the life and times of the pre-planner.
A fairly simple and highly personalizing gesture in pre-planning one's own Life Celebration is creating a playlist of all the music that has been important to you thoughout your life. This is the music that has meant something to you at various stages of your life, from youth through mid-life to present, and is an apt capsule portrayal of who you are and where you've been. If you don't yet have software on your computer that enables creating playlists, these programs are easy to download free of charge, and it's quite simple for anyone, no matter how techless, to burn a CD to store along with their will and instructions for their Life Celebration. The musical playlist is a rich addition to the gathering of those who have loved you, and will serve as an elegant connection to your soul and spirit on the day it is being celebrated.
There are various aids available for pre-planning your own creative Life Celebration, including the lighthearted book 'The Party of Your Life', at http://www.thepartyofyourlife.com, which guides you and your group of friends to make pacts with one another to carry out the details of each other's Life Celebration wishes. And a simple, free work sheet is available at http://www.cremation-urns-legacy.com/c-14-funeral-planning.aspx. Here you can compile all the 'vatal statistics' your loved ones will need once you've checked out, so to speak, as well as any creative requests you have for personalizing your final celebration.
Mourning in private is no less important than it ever was in the process of coping with the loss of a loved one. But the funeral has taken on a decidedly celebratory mantle, and Boomers are embracing the chance to throw one last great epic party for the enjoyment of those they have loved in their lives. It's a way of bidding a final goodbye, and saying 'thanks for the memories'.
Barbara Bergen is Designer / CEO of Cremation Urns by Legacy Inc., http://www.cremation-urns-legacy.com