Today’s society is filled with many options that influence day-to-day existence, everyday decision-making skills and quality of life. Many families and households are not prepared nor informed when death occurs. Discussing end-of-life options with loved ones can help ease the burden on the living, when planning a service.
Making thoughtful and organic decisions about funeral arrangements can be one last gift we give our body, land, soul and future. A Buddhist believes that human life and death are equally important events. In America, death and dying are silent taboos, not often talked about in depth with loved ones. Life is no more important than death. Both are equally important.
According to the Bhargava Gita:
“The human body is made of perishable elements and therefore impermanent in nature, but the power that dwells within is imperishable; is eternal. It is to be remembered that the real self is part of that super-soul that is never born nor dies and is eternal. The body after death return “unto dust” and the soul meets the cosmic soul. Merger of the pure individual soul with the cosmic soul is the sole aim of human life. ”
With careful planning and arrangements, services can be personalized to honor a loved one’s legacy. There are two types of services a funeral director will arrange; funeral services and memorial services. Normally, funerals are arranged and take place several days following death, depending on how elaborate it may be. Visitations/wakes/vigils are common, this is when bodies are displayed the evening before, providing a socially acceptable environment for the bereaved to grief and pay their final respects.
Memorial services, however, may be held at any time or location and most importantly do not have a body present at the service. Similar to funerals, families can include videos, pictures or stories during the memorial service. After services are completed, families and loved ones meet in a communal place to gather and have a reception. Receptions are a great way for loved ones to unite, support each other and share stories.
When planning a service there are many professionals involved, depending on how detailed it may be. Funeral and memorial services can be religious, nonreligious, spiritual, traditional, or nondenominational. Services can include music, flowers, prayers, sermons, stories, photos or memorabilia, organic flowers, requests for charitable donations, fresh herbs, seeds of life and plants. They may be catered, personalized, may last all afternoon, a day, a weekend, or even longer. People today are also opting for green funerals.
The service selected should always represent and reflect the life of the deceased, while respecting the wishes of the living. At the end of the day all requests will be completely up to the family and decision makers. I will go into further detail regarding each service in future blogs. If there are specific topics or issues you would like me to write about, please feel free to reach me at email@example.com or comment on the story below.