I understand that the point of funerals is to help people grieve, and to affirm shared values, as you mention above, but my biggest wish for funerals is that more of them were held while people were still alive. They’re not too much different from comedy roasts.For most people death is a scary event. As far as I know, the patient's mindset is also incredibly important; the tougher and happier the patient is the more likely that they are to throw off the disease. So I always thought it was a waste to wait until after someone dies to hold a funeral and cherish their life; aren't those complements something that the deceased person would like to hear, and would possibly help keep them alive longer? You would have to change the name and the tone; a living funeral would be an event designed to celebrate the fact that the person is still alive and has done so much good for everyone around them. You'd also need some idea of how long the person was going to live, or else people could selfishly arrange one and then continue to live for a long time. Also, because a funeral is mainly to help the surviving family and friends grieve, you would still need to have an event after the person passed away. Based on that comment a reporter from the Wall Street Journal emailed me asking if I knew of any living funerals. I said no, but I think it's an interesting idea. However, I can't think of any society that has an event similar to the one I describe above, which makes me think there's some good reason not to have one that I'm missing.
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