Celebration of Life

Celebration of Life

Personalized Funerals are Celebrations of Life

If you think about it, all of life is a play. Every life is a unique performance with its special script and characters. Life has many acts from birth through the final curtain call.

A public obituary announces the time and place of the final performance. Everyone who attends the visitation and memorial service is a member of the cast or audience. As with most plays, people get to experience a range of emotional highs and lows as they follow the plot line and experience the presentation.

How do you want your final performance of life to be presented? How do you want the audience to leave the theatre thinking about the star and story?

Traditionally, in the twentieth century, most funerals were somber ritualistic ceremonies when “Amazing Grace” was musically rendered, religious clergy read scriptures and a eulogy, with attendees dressed in symbolic black to mourn the deceased lying in Sunday-best clothing in an open casket surrounded by funeral floral arrangements. People often prepared food for the survivors and everyone gathered at a home to tell stories about the person they just buried.

Now, in the twenty-first century, aging Baby-boomers have changed much of the traditional funeral, as they have many other aspects of life since the first births of that generation in 1946. The trend is to celebrate one’s life in a festive fashion that is oriented to the individual. The decendent is often dressed in working clothes, sporting attire or a uniform that evokes the essence of their everyday life. Family and friends contribute meaningful mementos of the person that symbolize their uniqueness and contributions to others.

Personalizing a funeral or memorial service is as creative as the individual being remembered. Milward Funeral Directors will work with families and friends to discuss the abundant and nearly unlimited options in order to add splashes of personality to each celebration of life ceremony, beginning with a lifetime of photos for static display to combining them with home movies and videos that can be produced with favorite music selections of all genres (including Rock’n Roll, Bluegrass, Heavy Metal and Rap) and narrative voiceovers to tell the life story during the service; caskets with military, police, fire and emergency rescue emblems and badges; NASCAR, college or pro sports themes; items such as fishing rods and tackle boxes, hunting rifles and gear; motorcycles and nearly anything that was defining and meaningful to the person whose memory is being honored.

When people pre-plan their final party, it is not uncommon for them to select from favorite menus and beverages to be served at the celebration of life center or a preferred local establishment, so people can unwind, tell stories and meet friends of the deceased in a casual atmosphere.
Personalization of funerals is not a rejection of traditions. It is a way to individualize funeral traditions to remember and honor the life of the decedent during a gathering of family, friends and associates.

After the last act, when the curtain falls, the star of the play will receive a virtual standing ovation from the cast and audience who will fondly remember the unique human being who has left the stage.