My Mum’s Funeral: Celebration of a Life Completed

I recently had a very different day at my mum’s funeral, a celebration of a life, and one that was quite a new experience for me. In fact, in many ways it was one of the most beautiful days I have had in a while.

My experience of funerals in previous years was not the same as this as I always found funerals overwhelmingly sad and intense occasions where I felt very uncomfortable and unsettled. I have in my life been to a number of funerals, including one for one of my younger brothers. So in approaching this recent funeral, my memories and experience were of heaviness… and yet, somewhere deep inside me this time around I felt a joy and an honour, as well as a curiosity.

My mum had passed over around 10 days before the funeral. She had been ill for 14 months and whilst there had been some intense times during this, once it was clear her body was preparing to die, it felt like a natural cycle, and one I learned a lot about in being with her during this time.

Once my mum realised she was going to die she spoke with us all individually and as a family about her own funeral; also there was time for us each to talk about and heal things that had happened in the past. I was humbled in observing her have time with different relatives and friends while she expressed all she felt she needed, and offered them each time to express to her their own feelings and perspectives on the past, and on life in general. During that time I cherished our conversations about our life together and developed a deeper understanding of her, and of my own life, too.

Once mum had passed over, in the days that followed my family and I carefully and lovingly planned the funeral based on her wishes as she had left us detailed instructions as to what she wanted, including the music, a choice to be cremated, as well as wanting us to share a cup of tea after the funeral with all her friends and relatives in celebration of her life.

On the day of the funeral I took the time to prepare for the day with a loving walk in the countryside, a hearty breakfast, a long hot bath, and chose to wear a beautiful dress I have, taking time to tend to myself lovingly, and delicately.

I then went to the florist’s and chose an enormous, beautiful smelling (with fresh eucalyptus amongst other things) bouquet of flowers as well as some large pots of fresh lavender for the place where the celebratory cup of tea was to be held afterwards, and on the way to the funeral took the flowers and lavender pots to place them where people would brush past and smell the gorgeous and delicate scents.

The short, simple service for the funeral was carried out to a room bursting full of people of all ages who had been connected to my mum during her life.

I spoke at the funeral in celebration of my mum, and also in celebration of all those who were in the room. I could palpably feel much appreciation for all those present, the parts they had played and the support they had offered at times in my mum’s life, and this was very much a celebration for me to be with them all.

As everyone shuffled out of the funeral it felt joyful to look into each of their eyes, and hug every one of them. Some I hadn’t seen for decades, some I’d never met but heard about, and others I had had more recent contact with – all beautiful people.

We then went on to the venue where the celebratory cup of tea was held. During those few hours I loved reconnecting with everyone in that room, with stories from the past, memories of my mum, and playful reminders of different stages of my own life too. It was a privilege to spend time with all of these people. It was a joy as all the while I could smell the beautiful flowers and see outside of the venue to a lake with beautiful birds gracing the skyline. I knew my mum would have loved this cup of tea and celebration.

It was also a joyful day for me as I absolutely adored my mum; she was a truly lovely lady who had graced my life in so many ways. I treasured our relationship and the life we had shared together, and on this day I reflected on this and how much fun and learning we had together, as well as the many things we had experienced together. This day was a celebration of her; of her grace, her beauty and her loveliness, and the day felt complete as I tidied up at the venue once everyone else had left.

As I walked to my car early that evening four beautiful ducks flew directly over my head, and I smiled – it was a funeral yes, but also a celebration, a completion, and end of an era. One that had been shared by many others, and one I had enjoyed in so many ways, particularly in connecting with them all over a cup of tea. I love being with people, and that day I was able to truly appreciate the loveliness of every single one of them.

By Jane Keep, UK

943 thoughts on “My Mum’s Funeral: Celebration of a Life Completed

  1. It is beautiful to feel your appreciation for your mother and for the celebration of her life that so many were able to share in.

  2. When we complete in this way as Jane describes we are really letting go which supports our own evolution to move on as also the other does.

  3. A joyful day, a funeral should be a celebration and completion, there is often so much regret attached to death and funerals, I love that there is another way to be with it and approach it.

  4. Such a gorgeous blog Jane, thank you for sharing your experience of how funerals and passing over can be, a joy-filled celebration of a life well lived with love, and the deep connection with many people whose lives were touched by you and your mother.

  5. Death runs in the family and because my father passed away when I was nine dying became a topic of conversation. So from a young age within the family death and reincarnation simply became our discussion around our meal table. Reflecting on what transpired after my fathers passing it has become obvious that I never felt complete with him until now, as I had always felt that we were only just starting to have conversations and doing things together and so I had a feeling deep within that there was something missing. And completion is important in every relationship. So learning to be able to express and be in a deep understanding of how we complete with every interaction, becomes a way of living that will open us all if we are willing to live our divine connection. The level of responsibility that we live will then becomes a true reflection that we will take to our passing and then into our next incarnation. So maybe we should all give true responsibility a go as a Livingness, by staying connected so we are completing with everyone, then by not checking out by living in true responsibility and looking at our levels of comfort in life, rather than what we mostly do by checking out, by refusing true responsibility and living in comfort, then passing-over will become a joy looked forward to.

  6. I haven’t been to a funeral for a long time and I am yet to experience a funeral that celebrates the passing rather than mourning the loss. I somehow have always known that funerals should be a celebration but there are still a lot of emotions in the way for most of us. I look forward to experiencing the beauty of a funeral prepared with the love and acceptance described in this blog.

  7. Funerals don’t have to be places of mourning – they can be a celebration of a life passed – as is shared here. What a different way to perceive passing over – by bringing joy to it not sorrow.

  8. This is so gorgeous Jane and what an honour for your mother (and all the guests) to see a cycle complete in this way. When we make celebration the ‘end point’ then we allow the ‘beginning point’ that follows thereafter, to be imbued with all this richness, warmth and joy rather than go out on a heavy note and thus come back in (reincarnate) in the bleakness of the departure. Life and ‘death’ are simple when we make it about people and connection.

    1. I agree. Brilliant to consider it as an end ready for a beginning rather than ‘the end’ that we so often can think it is when we die. Understanding and reawakening this knowing within us all is much needed and would change the face of death as we know it currently.

  9. Beautiful that you treasured your relationship with your mum throughout her life, and that also when she passed over this same love, care and appreciation was expressed in how the funeral was planned. Thank you for sharing!

  10. What a wonderful inspiring way of approaching the passing away of someone and in fact the letting go of any valued aspect of life. Not with grief and despair but with deep appreciation and celebration.

  11. Funerals can be a great time of celebration of a life lived, a coming together and connection. Yet we seem to think we need to play along and be sad as that is the done thing at funerals.

    1. You make a great point Nikki – as around the time of my mum’s death people kept saying to me ‘you must be feeling sad’ or ‘you must be feeling awful’ etc – yet I was feeling joy and appreciation which some people couldn’t understand.

  12. When my mum died fourteen years ago, we did a similar thing in making the whole thing a celebration of her life capturing all the positives that she brought to the world. There was no grieving whatsoever and everyone came up to me and said how much they enjoyed the funeral.

    1. That’s fantastic. It’s not often people say they enjoy a funeral and it’s no wonder, often they are quite sombre and oppressive. We can still grieve when our loved ones pass over but don’t need to make it something heavy and we can celebrate at the same time.

      1. Sadness is very infectious and can drag many others down with you with nothing positive achieved in the process. And it is simple to choose to be joyful instead.

    2. Had a big realisation yesterday that for my whole life I was in sympathy for my mother. Rather than see the truth, that she was very needy because she didn’t get the love that she wanted from my father and that she used me all my life as a substitute for my father, I chose to be blind and instead protected my mothers behaviour all my life and wouldn’t allow a bad word to be said against her.

  13. It is the best thing when we can not go into the emotions of someone passing but see it as a celebration as you share in this blog. There is so much we can celebrate about people, no matter what we have lived and chosen because ultimately we are all the same on the inside, and these beautiful beings that we are deserve so much celebration, not just at the end of a life cycle but all the way through it.

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