For us, bereavement in the media is something that we would like to see more of because it's an important step towards normalisation. So when SBS Insight aired an episode last week appropriately titled 'The Grand Finale', we were pleased to see the topic had finally breached mainstream media. Ultimately, the question asked was "What makes a good funeral?".
If you haven't already seen the episode, you can watch it online here.
Diversity made for a great discussion
There was very diverse crowd participating in the discussion which included a young family man and his dedicated funeral planner, a Jewish Rabbi, a Hmong funeral director as well as the grandmother of a recently passed 8-year old girl. Since there was such a range of people from all types of backgrounds, really fantastic topics were covered such as religious and cultural practices, discussions as to whether viewing the body is a good idea, and debating whether a "life celebration" still allows people to grieve.
If you also happened to follow along on social media, you would have also seen some great discussions - everybody seemed to have an opinion and were willing to share their views.
Mourn or celebrate?
The overarching question that seemed to be weaving its way into the topics was whether or not death and bereavement services are about mourning or celebrating. And as well, can you feel both at the same time or do they sit at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum? Apart from the strictly religious contributors, the vibe that was mostly coming from the audience was one which supported the idea of making bereavement about celebration rather than devastating mourning.
Why is it important?
It was very very interesting to watch for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it's another step towards normalising bereavement into daily conversation. For many people, death is an uncomfortable topic. This is shown by most of our media providers avoiding the topic entirely. But just like many of the show's contributors pointed out, death is something that we all must experience and endure. So to sweep it under the carpet does more damage than good from both a personal and larger society perspective.
At Lady Anne Funerals, we are all about the celebration of a life; it is fundamental to what we do. So to see that most of the audience and crowd also supported celebration rather than mourning and grief was comforting and a reflection of modern Australian society.
Did you watch 'The Grand Finale' episode? Did you join in on social media? We would love to know what you though of the topic!