This trend isn’t one we saw coming!
Apparently, more people out there are choosing to host a living funeral, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Intrigued? So were we.
Essentially, there are some people who are hosting their own funerals and life celebrations prior to death! While this isn’t an entirely new concept — it’s been taking place in South Korea and Japan (where it is called a seizenso) for some time — it’s now becoming more popular in Western cultures.
A seizenso, which means “funeral while alive” has been executed in Japan since 1992, and is particularly common among celebrities and influential figures has been spreading to common people as well.
People may do this for attention, though others — such as those suffering from a terminal illness — do it as a chance to say goodbye a final time and celebrate with loved ones. David Williamson, Spiritual Care Lead at St Leonards Hospice in York, explained to BBC he is planning to introduce living funerals as a patient offering this year:
“I’m ordained in the Church of England and I’ve done funerals for 30 years. I’ve always been amazed at the tributes that friends and relatives give to the person who’s died and I often ask them, ‘Did you ever say that to the person when they were alive?’ And quite often they’ll say no. So I’ve always wondered, is there a better way we can express what we think and feel about people when they are alive?”
Noting in a culture like Britain’s, which is traditionally more reserved (Meghan Markle can tell you all about that) than others, this new concept can “free people up to let their emotions out without feeling embarrassed or awkward.”
Amanda Waring, a funeral celebrant based in the United Kingdom, explains to iNews (below) some of the living funerals she has planned:
“I have taken living funerals at the bedside of a hospice, in a woodland glade and in a large ballroom. One type of service involves blessing the individual’s body and taking time to appreciate all that their hands, the feet, mind and heart have experienced. I also conduct “gratitude circles”, where everyone says what they are grateful for about the individual.”
This sounds like it could be healing for some, but it may be very confusing for those who can’t understand, especially young kids.
What do U think, Perezcious readers? Is this a step toward normalizing death? Or would you rather save the funeral for after you’ve passed? Let us know (below):
[Image via Lionsgate Movies/YouTube.]