You Don’t Have to Have a Funeral

Food Gathering - Funeral Services

When you hear the word funeral, most people think of a dark, somber affair with attendees wearing all black to a church service and a flower-decked casket transported by pallbearers into a sleek hearse. This is an apt visualization, if you’re talking about traditional funerals. But many people don’t realize that this is but one definition of a funeral.

Like people, funeral services come in many shapes, sizes and personalities. And every culture has their own mourning traditions that can be very different than your own. For instance, in many cultures in East Asia, the color white is worn during mourning as a symbol of purity and rebirth. In New Orleans, jazz funerals include a procession of family, friends and musicians who march and dance to the beat of a brass band as they transport the deceased to the cemetery. Some religions require burial, while others only practice cremation.

More and more, Americans are moving away from traditional funerals and burial services and choosing celebrations of life as a way to honor their loved ones in unique and personal ways. Celebrations of life and memorial services can take place almost anywhere, as long as permission has been granted, and include whatever traditions or rituals the family prefers. Avid golf players can be honored at their favorite 18th hole. A service on the beach can be the perfect way to gather in remembrance of someone who loved the sea.

A celebration of life also acknowledges that although the loss of a loved one is painful, their life and personality brought beauty and happiness to the world. Families who choose these types of services hope for a ceremony that has space for laughter and stories, and reflect the joy that person brought to their lives. Many families who prefer unique services like the flexibility to include details that honor the individuality of their loved one.

Celebrations of life can include traditional elements or none at all. Funerals can include unorthodox aspects or be completely customary. End-of-life gatherings all have the same purpose: to honor the life of a person, for the people who knew them to share in their loss and reconnect, and to help begin the process of healing.

When we say, “You don’t have to have a funeral,” we don’t mean skipping a ceremony altogether. Coming together with your friends, family and community to pay tribute to and remember a life lived is always a good thing—whatever you choose to call it. Mourning and celebrating together is extremely healing. And when you need us, Anthony Funeral and Chapels will be here to help you create a goodbye that is right for you and your family.

If you’d like to learn more about the many options you have to uniquely honor a loved one, give us a call at either of our locations in Rochester or Webster. We are always available to help.