Ask yourself: “Was your beloved loved by family, friends and co-workers?” If the truthful answer is yes, then opening the service for people to talk can end up becoming a lovely tribute. If in all honesty, the answer is “not really” or a flat “No,” then don’t risk it becoming a sharing of grievances. At one funeral, one of the selected speakers described the deceased as a bit of an ass… that’s a celebration of life service where you don’t want a lot of people sharing their experiences with the deceased in vivid detail.
Graveside is often where you can more safely open the service up. As at graveside you typically have immediate family and closer friends. It is usually a more intimate setting and the people in attendance know one another better. I’ve officiated graveside services where those there shared funny and touching stories of the deceased that were very special and everyone left smiling, joking and with a real sense of camaraderie.
Your goal is to have people tell you that they want a funeral just like Aunt Sally’s was and that’s our goal when we design a service for you. We want your family and friends to feel special yet comfortable. We want them to remember the best about your loved one not be painfully reminded of their flaws. We want you and your family to feel that the best of your loved one was brought forth and that everyone felt positive about the service.
The decision is yours to make. Our role is to honor your decision and make it as positive an experience as possible.