No Funeral: What to Do When a Loved One Says No

no funeral

“No funeral!?”

That’s the reaction many people have when a loved one tells them their wishes, or when they’re told there will be no service for dearly departed friend or family member. It can be hard to believe that someone wouldn’t want this time-honoured tradition.

While we at Chapel Ridge are in the funeral business, we also understand that everyone is different in how they want their loved ones to mourn them.

For the living, it can be hard to get closure or come to terms with the death without some sort of service. When someone says “no funeral” it doesn’t necessarily mean they want nothing. For many the traditional funeral service – with loved ones all in black and the somber tone of the proceedings – isn’t what they want. What this often means is that they would prefer to be honoured in a different way.

No Funeral? What are the Alternatives?

For many, it’s the traditional funeral that they don’t want. They don’t want their loved ones mourning, but rather celebrating. This is why many people hold what they call a “celebration of life” ceremony. It’s 2020, so funerals don’t have to be what they once were.

Celebrations of life or memorial services can be held in funeral homes, but they don’t have to be. You can hold them in a private home, an event space, outdoors or a restaurant. They can be informal gatherings of close family, or bigger events that you plan in advance. You can still have speeches, readings and music if you wish, or you can make it more casual – allowing people to mingle and share stories in smaller groups. It’s really up to you.

You Still Need Us

Even if you don’t host your event at a Chapel Ridge, you still need to contact us after a death has occurred. Funeral homes and cremation centres do much more than host funerals. After the death is pronounced, and if no autopsy is needed, we will transfer the body and facilitate the necessary steps to prepare it for interment. If there are no pre-paid arrangements, you will need to choose an urn or casket and make burial arrangements.

If you need any help or have any questions regarding alternative service options, please reach out to us!