A lot of moving and meaningful moments typically happen at the funeral service. That’s because it’s the time we take to speak of our love, respect and admiration for the one who has died, and express our grief and sadness.
A Great Goodbye that’s not constrained by time provides lots of opportunity for people to say a few words. Sure, we might get a bit anxious if someone rambles on, but if you’re not working to a deadline, having ample time will dial down the stress. You might be surprised what crazy and moving stories you get to hear. Anchor the service with speakers who shared life’s important moments with your loved one, and think about how they might cover different aspects of life. A sibling, a mate, a work colleague,
When it comes to leading the service some will ask the leader at their place of faith to do the honor. Others often choose an experienced officiant or celebrant to handle this important role. However, like much else when it comes to arranging a Great Goodbye, there is no rule to say you must delegate this to someone else. A funeral is not a legal event, and as such does not require a licensed person to officiate. You might have just the right person within your family or group of friends to take this on, and will have a uniquely personal funeral as a result, lead by someone who had a close connection to the deceased and those who loved them.
If there’s limited speaking segments at the service, think about opening the floor at the wake. It can help to have just a bit of structure here. Get things going by having someone pre-arranged to take the lead by speaking first. Keep it casual and informal and soon you’ll be away with lots of storytelling. For some people, speaking in a less formal environment suits them better.
If speaking doesn’t come naturally, someone is unwell, or perhaps unable to be there, consider if they might prefer to write a eulogy and have this read out by someone else. Speaking in public isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean they might not have something to say.
If you can, allow as much time as it takes for people to say their piece. It can be a moment that will stay with them the rest of their life.