Today I led the singing for a funeral we had at our church. I didn’t know Jon, so I felt somewhat removed from the whole thing; but as I watched people file up to the microphone, I got thinking about my own funeral. What would I want people to say?
First, I would want a very large funeral. I’m talking put the “fun” back in “funeral”. Not tawdry or ceremonious, just all of the people I’ve know and cared about together. For better or worse, it often takes a death to get people together (more so than even a wedding, sadly); if I die, please use it as an excuse to get together with friends. Consider it my dying request.
I would want a great deal of singing; not the typical funeral songs like Amazing Grace or I Can Only Imagine (nothing wrong with those) but fun, marrow-sucking songs that celebrate life not death. I wouldn’t want a long sermon, but I would want it at the beginning. A brief five-minute explanation as to why everyone is celebrating (that can be disorienting to unbelievers) with an invitation to join the celebration of the Faithful.
Stories are great, so long as they are about everyone, not just me. Talk about family dinners, talk about youth group, talk about shenanigans, talk about Xanga, talk about growing up. But if I hear “Jesse was a [blah, blah, blah]”, I’ll personally come back and pull a Sixth Sense on every one of you. I will let a video montage slide and maybe even some sappy music during it, but within reason.
Seriously, though, I’ve always wanted to be small. The hub that connects people to each other. The person who points the spotlight at others. I hate the front-and-center; don’t be cruel and force me up there ex post mortem. An entire service centered around me would really be a disservice to my life. Really, I can really think of no greater eulogy than “I understand God better because of how he lived his life.”
What would you want your funeral to be like?