In TV sitcom Kim’s Convenience, one of the main leads, Appa, once said: “We all born naked and we die naked… Depending. If we lucky.“
The context of which he said that has got nothing to do with the desired way to be remembered at death, but regardless, who is to judge if one wants to leave the world naked.
Death is inevitable and although we have no control over the circumstances of our passing, there’s a lot we can consider when it comes to how we want to be remembered. This includes how we want our loved ones to take that one last ‘journey’ as they send us off at our funeral.
How will we want to be memorialised in those last moments before our body is laid to rest (or cremated) for eternity? Does it need to be grim and solemn like the funerals we have attended before, or will it be a big party that resemble our birthday bash?
I spoke to 15 millennials, and here are 10 of the most intriguing ‘dream funerals’.
1.“I’d want those attending my funeral to have fun”
It’ll be an intimate occasion with people whom I’ve loved and loved me to be there. They can feel free to drink alcohol and joke at my funeral. It doesn’t have to be all tears, leave that for dramas. I’d want to have my body cremated and kept in an urn at home.
I’ve attended a lot of funerals (grandparents, relatives). I always end up crying and not knowing how to feel better. People also don’t really take the time to recognise the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it’s quite sad that most people who attend just end up sitting around.
If we all come to the world with people rejoicing, then you can also depart glamourously. I would like for my funeral to be one of those that can help change the perception of death being morbid.
– Nat, 28
2. “I am but a soul out of many that have come and passed…”
So I don’t think it’s a huge deal. I’d want my ashes to be scattered into the sea because I don’t want people to find it a need to go visit me and maintain my grave. I’d prefer it if they think about their fondest memory with me and smile whenever they visit the sea.
I imagine it to be a private affair with my immediate family. A few hours would be enough and near the sea because I want my ashes to be scattered into the sea at the end of the procession. I’d have a curated music playlist for the procession as well.
– YG, 29
3. “No one else would know of my death”
I would like it to be private with only select friends and family members invited. No one else would know of my death till after the ceremony is over.
When my dad was near death, that was how he wanted to go. Peacefully and quietly without huge fanfare or drama. I want to go out the same way too. Especially surrounded by the people who truly matter to me. Instead of people who wanted something from me.
– Aaron, 35
4. “Play ‘Highway to Hell’ As My Body Burns”
I believe by the time I reach that age, I would have lost some friends. So, I envision mine to be a small, private funeral.
I’m going to want my family to burn my body and as I burn, you’ll hear the song “Highway to Hell” playing in the background. Then, my children or whoever that’s left in my family will take my ashes and put it inside a f**king chio urn—must have gold and diamond on it. Then, they should keep it in a safe somewhere. In case of emergency, they can break the safe and sell the urn for money.
I don’t see a point in being buried as it’s such a waste of space. If you burn me and put me in an urn, I’m more portable. Also, if you ever decide to throw me away, it’s much easier.
– Daniel, 25
5. “I want it to be themed: Memories”
My coffin would be green because it’s my favorite color. Many people know that I love green so they would surely be like: “Aiyo that’s so him.” I’m a sentimental person as I love holding on to many memories. I want my photos with my loved ones to be displayed all around, and all my favorite things to be around my coffin, for a nice, casual portrait of mine to be on my coffin.
Of course, I would like all my family and friends to be there. I’d also be happy for anyone who has ever spoken to me or made me smile to come.
I don’t want my funeral to just be about people mourning my death. I want people to celebrate the great moments when I was still alive. Likewise, I want my funeral to be a happy memory.
– JK, 21
6. “Life has got enough of blood, sweat, and tears”
We have put up a good fight in life through all those struggles, blood, sweat and tears, so once we leave this world, I think we should celebrate it. Life has enough of moments of tears, and when people attend my funeralI I want them to hold onto the memories of joy instead.
I want it to be a happy occasion where people are feasting, laughing, and chatting away. It will be a big affair, with anyone that I’ve met in my life or who have journeyed with me through significant parts of my life.
– Gloria, 29
7. “I want to leave something behind to help them with closure.”
The people in your life changes with time but of course, I’d hope for my family and close friends to be there. I’d like it to be set somewhere within nature, and for those who attend to talk and reminisce about the good times.
I’ll want to leave behind a letter or video to thank people for being in my life and also urge them to accept death as part of life and new beginnings. I think closure matters a lot, especially in helping people to grieve, move forward and accept.
– Priscilla, 21
8. “I still fear death in the sense of losing people”
I hope it will be a small, cosy gathering of family and friends whom I’ve always kept close and held dear. I hope that whoever organises my funeral will play the playlist I made for my funeral and that they’ll understand the songs I chose remind them of the good things in our lives.
When I was young, I always thought death was very scary because deaths were always portrayed as dramatic on TV. I no longer think that way but I still have the fear of death in the sense of losing people, because I get so attached to people and things. But I hope that even in my last moments in this world, people won’t feel so much pain about me leaving and still connect with me through all the people who were at the funeral. I want people to quickly move on from my death and be happy as soon as possible.
– TH, 27
9. “Remember me as the guy who can joke about death”
Big ol’ celebration. I’d haunt people if my funeral ended up being a gloomy affair.
I would love to be remembered as the guy that can joke about anything, including death. Also the fact that I wasn’t afraid of doing anything that I wanted.
I always wondered why people loved to mourn what is lost instead of celebrating the person’s life. It’s tough enough as it is. I’ve been to several funerals before and I’ve seen how painful it can be for close ones but it’s often a momentarily thing for many others. I always envisioned my closest ones remembering me through The Office episodes or like a stand-up comedy. I believe it really represents who I am!
– Julius, 27
10. “If I can’t afford it, give me a cheap funeral”
I’d like to have a sending off in line with my beliefs—a Christian funeral—but I don’t want worship sessions every day, maybe just once before they cremate me.
I want to be cremated and scattered in the sea so I can be forgotten and my family won’t have to “maintain” me. Hopefully there’s good food for everyone. I really love food, like sushi, charsiew, bubble tea. If I had time to plan for my death, I want to write letters for my family and friends whom I am closer to. Some to be read out, some to be given to them in private. I hope the people who come will talk about me, and that the funeral will ease the grief for them.
But really, I know how expensive a funeral is, so if my bank account can’t pay for my own funeral. I’d want it as cheap and simple as possible.
– Bel, 21
How Do You Want Your Funeral To Be Like?
It’s hard to imagine death when we are all so busy worrying about our career, marriage, house, or kids. Even if we could, it’s morbid to discuss about it. However, judging from the majority of people who envision their funeral to be a happy occasion, our funeral should be nothing more than another party to plan. Just that this time round, it’d be the one last party we’d ever plan for ourselves, and one that we will never get to see.
(Header Image Credit: Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash)