If ever there was a Rebel in a Tutu it was Jacqui, the landlady of our local pub, who died suddenly last week at the age of 56. Her funeral was billed as a celebration of her life and mourners were asked to wear animal print in her honour. More than 200 people rocked up to show their respect and say goodbye to a sassy lady who lived life to the full. The chapel quickly reached capacity and mourners spilled out of the open doors to participate in the service from outside, smiling ruefully to themselves as Abba’s Dancing Queen kicked things off.
The congregation was a sea of leopard print: dresses, hats, coats, jackets, shoes and scarves whilst men sported leopard print ties or cravats, there was even the odd homemade leopard print arm band.
The tributes were heartfelt – Jacqui was clearly a much loved wife & mother and a flamboyant member of the community. Her coffin was brightly decorated with photographs from her life and patches of animal print and everyone was given an opportunity to file past wishing her a final farewell whether they were seated in the chapel or standing amongst the crowds outside.
Although many a tear was shed, it was a celebration in so many ways and it got me thinking about my own funeral plans. So many people shy away from letting their family and friends know their wishes when it comes to their final resting place but I struggle to understand why we should not want to leave this earth in the style of our choosing?
My family already know what music I would like played but I am now going to instruct them that I want a yellow coffin and that mourners should be invited to wear yellow too!
Isn’t it time we lifted the taboo and talked openly about death so that our loved ones can have the send-off they both want and deserve?