Today 3 separate people I know were celebrating the life of a loved one. In all 3 cases, they chose a church service, praise music, and a wake (classic goodies) to follow. There’s nothing wrong with that sort of setup, but here’s what I’d rather have:
A big, loud party. Outside, in a park. Involving BBQs and fast, fun music. Sunflowers. Local craft beer. And bury my ashes below a tree. You can choose where.
No eulogies. No slow music.
Get someone who’s good at public speaking to get up and say (in 2 minutes or less): “God is good. God is just.”
Then get back to partying loudly.
Go through my stuff and lay out all the stuff that just doesn’t matter, like yarn, clothes, and teaching stuff, so people can redistribute at will. Don’t make my family sort through random crap, wondering if they can get rid of it. Get rid of it.
NO DISPOSABLE PLATES, CUPS, OR CUTLERY. Paper napkins are fine.
Here’s a sample party music playlist: Radiohead, Spirit of the West, the Barenaked Ladies, Tab Benoit, Mavis Staples. If you wanted to be all “meta” then play ” It’s the End of the World As We Know It” (Great Big Sea’s version) but only if you promise to laugh and dance and sing “I feel fine” loudly.
It’s sad to lose someone we love. I get that. So if you end up waiting to plan the party, that’s your choice, I wouldn’t wait too long though.