Planning your own funeral gives you the opportunity to ensure that the services are a reflection of you and your own life, while still giving others a chance to grieve for you and show their respect. Today's funeral services are not always the traditional eulogy and reading of scripture followed by a graveside service, but can include a number of different features that you might not have ever considered. Before you plan your own funeral or meet with a funeral director, consider a few suggestions to keep in mind.
1. Volunteer day
Rather than have your friends and relatives gather at a funeral home to say their goodbyes to you, it might be good to organize a volunteer day instead. This means having them show up at a location where perhaps you have volunteered yourself and then work for a few hours, either serving food at a soup kitchen or planting trees in a nearby forest, or whatever type of service would appeal to you. You might have someone say a few words in memory of you before the work begins, and of course you want everyone to be prepared for the day so they dress appropriately and can plan their schedule as needed.
2. Green funerals
Green funerals are those that don't interfere with the environment; this can include a casket made of grass or bamboo or another material that is easy to replenish, unlike oak or mahogany. Rather than having everyone drive to a church or funeral home and then the gravesite, it might be in just one location, in order to cut down on emissions from cars. A green funeral might also take place in a cemetery meant for such funerals, and the burial might be followed by a tree planting over the gravesite. It might also include the planting of flowers or shrubbery that keep the environment and soil healthy.
3. Multi-cultural or interreligious ceremonies
There is nothing wrong with having a funeral that includes traditions from other cultures or other religions. If you were raised a Christian but had examined Buddhist teachings later in life, you might include readings from both the bible and Buddhist quotes. If you are married to someone from a different culture or religion than you, it might be respectful to include their traditions, scriptures, or other such touches to your funeral service. Discuss your choices with your funeral director and note which of these traditions and features you will want to include in your own funeral so everything blends seamlessly and people know the significance of each feature of your funeral.