Cremation has made it possible to hold a memorial in a distant location well after a person’s death, giving rise to so-called destination funerals. “Just as marriages have moved away from religious buildings and register offices,” says London’s Daily Mail, “now people want to take funerals to new locations.” One woman’s cremains are making their way around the world.
Destination funerals generate great content for virtual memorials and social media sharing. Invite mourners to post messages in the obituee’s online guest book, and read them at the memorial service. If you’re at a beach location, print the guest book messages and place them in a bottle that you release onto the waves when you scatter the ashes. Stream a live video of the memorial service on Facebook, Periscope, or YouTube. Pin or Instagram a few stills, and present them in a virtual memorial gallery or slideshow. If the obituee visited the destination before he died, be sure to note the event in a timeline on his virtual memorial page. If your obituee specified the destination funeral location before she died, check this last item off her bucket list and post the list to her memorial site. (If you need help choosing a memorial site or app, I’ve put together a spreadsheet comparing the features of nearly 90 of them. Click here for a secure download—no registration, no malware, no catch.)
Popular venues for destination funerals include seaside locales, stadiums, parks, private homes, and even offices. Instead of being led by a minister, priest, or rabbi, the service might be led by a workplace chaplain or even a jazz musician. One U.K. woman was laid to rest by a funeral director sporting a Darth Vader costume. Like it or not, mortuary directors must now act as event planners, handling the logistics of holding a service at the family’s chosen destination. Arranging to transport a person’s cremains to a far-flung spot, for example, means complying with National Park regulations and TSA security rules. Good to know you can stash a loved one in your carrry-on.
(Photo courtesy of Antoine Heckley.)