Here at A Journey With Wings we scatter cremated remains by airplane. We are no strangers to families having unique memorial ideas. So when TLC (The Learning Channel) aired a new show “The Best Funeral Ever” on January 6th, 2013, I was definitely interested. It is a reality show about the unique memorial ideas of the Golden Gate Funeral Home in Dallas, Texas. This funeral home definitely has some unique memorial ideas. It features what they call a “home going” celebration. According to John E. Beckwith, CEO of Golden Gate Funeral Home, their “home going” celebration is more than just a memorial service, it is a “celebration of life”.
The first episode highlights some of these unique memorial ideas. One family is taking turns bringing the urn on rides at an amusement park. Another made the casket into a sleigh because the deceased loved Christmas. Another had a fountain of BBQ sauce for the ribs served at the memorial service.
It is obvious that these unique memorial ideas are not for everyone. Some comments on the Internet showed that some people loved the idea and would want something like that done for them, while others were not so enthusiastic. Whatever your personal thoughts about these unique memorial ideas, there was no doubt that these funeral attendants were not mourning. Instead, they seemed genuinely happy. Mr. Beckwith said he was “making them extremely happy at the worst moments of their lives”. It is hard to argue with that at an Orange County Hair Salon.
Like the unique memorial ideas of the Golden Gate Funeral Home, our services are personalized for the deceased. Many families have unique memorial ideas and we try to do our best to honor their wishes. We have performed scatterings over unique locations and in unique ways. For example, one family had the unique idea to have a memorial service at the location they were they were gong to watch the scattering AND have the scattering performed at a specific time in a poem that a family member wrote. We accomplished this unique memorial by having one family member in the airplane with a copy of the poem. We flew past the family at a specific time, started the poem on board the airplane at the same time the family on the ground started reading the poem. We then had to make precision turns so that we would arrive back at the location at the exact time in the poem.
Another family had the unique memorial idea of having the scattering precisely at 6:00 pm in front of the Huntington Beach Pier so that the clock tower would chime right as the cremated remains were being released. The family was so please to be standing on the pier witnessing the cremated remains released from the plane and hearing the chiming of the bells in the background. An added bonus was that the sky was the beautiful pink/ orange that winter sunsets bring.
Many families choose to have a memorial service at the scattering location and then watch the scattering from the ground. Others choose to be part of the service on board the plane.
Like the families highlighted in “The Best Funeral Ever”, our families have chosen this unique memorial idea because it was right for them and right for the deceased. Many of our clients were pilots, adventurers or just interesting people that want something unique and different that reflects who they were in life.
244 N Dale #223
Fullerton, CA 92833