Replace funerals with FUNerals

Photo taken by Katie Young with SWNS, published in Good News Network.

I saw this article on Good News Network and it made me smile. In fact, it caused me to rethink having a memorial service when it is my time to check out.

Funerals are dreaded events. They signal the loss of a loved one, and the ceremonies are often very boring with little attention paid to what the deceased person was really like.

I was speaking with a pastor a few weeks ago who agreed that most funerals are little more than a recitation of an obituary. “He was born, went to college, got a job, got married, raised kids, retired and died. Oh yeah, he liked to golf and watch Packer games.”

Ignoring the fact we need to get much better at telling and preserving our life stories, perhaps its also time to rethink funerals in general.

Arizona resident Katie Young was devastated when her husband, Brandon, died from a sudden stroke at age 39. Some would say he was in the prime of his life, and they’d be right. The mother of three opted against a traditional funeral and decided to host a FUNeral instead.

She rented a bouncy house, and set up stations for crafting and painting — activities Brandon loved to do. The family staffed a booth to serve Popsicles of different flavors. His vinyl record collection was put on display with instructions that people who wanted to enjoy the music Brandon liked to listen to could take an album home.

More than 500 people attended the event, according to Arizona Central.

Katie’s goal in creating the event was to give her husband a send off that wouldn’t leave their children with bad memories. Rather, she wanted them to remember all the lives their father touched while he was alive.

A video of the FUNeral was posted to TikTok, where it amassed 2.8 million views.

One commenter noted, “THIS should be the correct way to say goodbye to someone, a celebration of their time alive, the connections, the moments, the love they left in other’s lives.”

I agree.