Late for her own funeral

“Our sister, Sally was known for being late for everything. She was never on time, not even for her own wedding! We want her urn to arrive late on purpose. Will you do that for us?”

“Of course!”, I responded to her husband, Bill, siblings, grandchildren and neighbors who gathered in the living room to share their memories of Sally with me. Through the grieving and tears –  laughter erupted as stories of Sally poured out of their hearts and onto my notebook. This was going to be a most memorable ceremony for this Denver native. Her co-workers remember her as someone who seldom complained even during her chemo treatments. She loved to make people laugh and would want everyone to have a few laughs at her funeral. The consensus was that her Life Celebration was to be educational, sprinkled with prayers and large doses of humor.

The Funeral Director agreed to go along with the late arrival plan. I began the Ceremony on time and voiced concern about the urn not being there yet. The Funeral Director was apologetic and instructed me to carry on, it would be here soon. About 10 minutes into the service, I gave the secret signal and the song “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard began to play as her urn was carried in by the Funeral Director. Everyone stood with laughter and started clapping. No one had ever seen a funeral like this before. After everyone settled back into their seats, I announced that Sally must need a drink after that grand entrance. More laughter & applause ensued as I placed her favorite drink, a bottle of Rum & a Coke® with a glass of ice by her urn. One guest in the front row shouted out loud, “That is SO Sally!”

Sally died at the age of 42 after a 4-year journey with Ovarian Cancer. The guests were asked to wear teal, the color representing Ovarian Cancer. The grandchildren created teal ribbons and pinned them on guests as they arrived. As I looked out at the family & friends I saw a sea of teal! What a beautiful remembrance with teal hair, hats, handbags, dresses, scarves, and bowties. I wore a teal scarf and contributed teal paper hearts that were embedded with wildflowers. As I read the statistics, warning signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer, the siblings gave everyone a heart along with a symptom card from the Ovarian Cancer Organization.  Her legacy lives on with more people knowing about this 7th most common cancer among women. Remembrance of Sally bloomed in the Spring from the wildflower hearts that were lovingly planted.

Her brother read a heartfelt prayer he wrote for his sister. Everyone stood as we recited the Lord’s Prayer together.

Sally’s young niece asked me to read the Serenity Prayer that hung on her Aunt’s bedroom wall. She recited the prayer often or had others read it to her.


Closing Thoughts

Where do I buy a cremation urn in Colorado?

For the most unique cremation urns in Denver, Une Belle Vie Memorial Urns has a large selection with free shipping & returns. It’s super simple to order online from their amazing website and they have exceptional customer service. Don’t see what you have in mind? Request a customized, one-of-a-kind urn for your loved one. It’s easier and more affordable than you might expect. Memorial Urns for pets are also available.

Anita Larson is a Ceremony Leader and Officiant who blogs about her experiences with Celebrations of Life. Providing uncommon ideas and encouraging her readers to “Think Outside the Coffin®” when planning a Fabulous Farewell.
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