Last week I was a member of a panel of six at an event hosted by Picaluna. We discussed what funerals of the future and end of life care could be like.
It was heartwarming to meet and spend time with people committed to and passionate about co-creating funerals within their communities so that individuals and their families feel empowered, connected, creativity and choice.
There are lots of options available other than the usual model of a crematorium/church and working with mainstream funeral providers.
Three new insights that I gained were
1. Rookwood cemetery is considering a natural burial ground for the future. This means burials within a shroud but not in a coffin.
2. Meaningful and comforting food can be an important part of a celebration and wake. I met a caterer who was passionate about providing such food for parties and wakes rather than the traditional sandwiches and cups of tea.
3. What to say to the immediate family of the bereaved at the funeral? My response was that all I needed was a hug. I received many hugs at the funeral of my late husband and father and they provided so much love and comfort. Yet I also deeply agreed with the suggestion by co-panelist Sarah Tolmie “Offer them a memory or a story of their loved one who has departed.”
It was an engaging, educational, informative and thought-provoking evening. You can watch the discussion here.