Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Funerals. Not a nice subject to talk about. Even more so if you are an expat here in Lanzarote. The fear or worry about what will happen.
Will the family make it over in time for the funeral?
What if it’s an expensive time of the year for them to travel?
How long can they be away from work or their children?
Will it be a sad and meaningless service in a dull room? What a waste of money and trip for the family.
I don’t want to cause any more unnecessary upset or heartache than there already is.
All too often the worries we have about passing are not for ourselves but for our loved ones who we leave behind.
But what if it doesn’t have to be that way?
There are no legalities on how you have your funeral service. So why not make it easier for everyone, more comfortable, possibly even enjoyable!
After a death here in Lanzarote the “turn around", as such, is mere days, not enough time at all for your family to comprehend what is happening. The funeral directors here are compassionate and helpful beyond compare but their beliefs and traditions are somewhat different to the British, and also outdated. There is another way.
Wakes are sad affairs that take place straight after the crematorium or burial. People have that dread in the bottom of their tummies. What should I say, How will the family be, What can I do to help? Those feelings are still so fresh and raw.
So, what I’m proposing is that the inevitable procedure takes its course at the funeral parlour, but then in your family's own time, when your loved ones feel ready, (be it 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks) when they can attend in a calmer, more collective manner, to have a Celebration of Life service instead.
This can take place anywhere, in your favourite place for example. This could be: your home, the garden, the beach, on a boat at sunset, at a special viewpoint, your favourite pub or restaurant, at the bowls court, or on a mountain side. The Celebrant will have time to craft a memorable and accurate account of your life story and achievements. There can be a champagne toast or a guitarist playing your favourite music. Your friends and family will be at ease and would have started to process the passing. They will be feeling comfortable to talk and reminisce about the good old days. The ashes can be there along with a photo. If the service is taking place at home, there could be a spot in the garden where the urn is buried with a plaque.
Take control and leave your loved ones a gift that will help with the pain. How nice would it be, to be able to create more love, laughter and memories for them?
Does this resonate with you?
Are you thinking how can I put this into action? If so, read on.
You can merely express this idea to your family. Even better still, write your wishes down in a letter. Plan the service as if you were going. So you would need to write down the location, the food, the drink, the music, the guest list, even the dress code. Jot down the contact numbers for the guests. Include a letter from yourself to friends and family to be read aloud on the day.
The family will speak to the Celebrant and retell their stories and memories of you. That will be your gift, all the kind words spoken about you. I personally believe that you will be there in spirit watching over, so you will hear these words.
Plan your funeral with a funeral plan provider and choose a cheaper, no-frills package and with the money you save, pop that in an envelope with your letter. Title the envelope, Celebration Of Life Service.