By: John and Dee Ingram  Ingram Funeral Home Quinlan Texas

Q. My brother has requested that his funeral be held on
Mother’s back porch. He wants the family to have a huge
party and family picnic for his service. I know people have
done this after cremation but he does not want to be cremated.
Can we do this with the casket there and who do we
need to call to arrange this?
A. What a wonderfully unique way of remembering a
loved one. I get so excited when someone steps away from
the ‘traditional’ to celebrate a loved ones life. These types
of services are very easily performed and the memories of
it will last a lifetime. Most people believe that the choice
of funeral locations is very limited when the casket is
present. Many families today do not have a home church
and perhaps feel that a service at a funeral home will take
away from the personalization of the service. Many funeral
services (with the body present) have been done in back
yards, gymnasiums, parks, museums or football fields.
Since there are no laws against the location of a funeral,
any funeral home you choose should be able to assist your
family in your many options and hopefully give you some
great ideas for the service. The funeral home will possibly
need to go to your home to ensure there is enough room to
move the casket in easily and perhaps some furniture may
have to be moved. Together with the family, the funeral
director will set a time to bring the casket to the house.
My own father’s funeral service will be held in our back
yard (where we always have our family get-togethers) and
following the service; our family will have a family barbeque-
complete with my brother’s homemade BBQ sauce
that Dad just loves. Our family is also planning to have
our traditional family games (ie. football, yard crochet,
and volleyball) because Dad also looks so forward to
watching his grandchildren & great grandchildren during
these family competitions each year. We have planned a
whole day of events to celebrate who our father is and
Dad jokingly says that he can’t wait. The job is to capture
that persons’ life, and to tell it with all you got. It is
important however, to get your funeral home involved
before the death occurs; so that they can assist you with
the many details. I suggest that you talk with the family
first and write down what you would like, then call several
funeral homes for prices and ideas. I am sure that whatever
your family does will be as unique as your brother
and thank you for wanting to celebrate his life in a very
special way. (If you have a question that you would like
answered in this column, please write to Ask The Director
c/o Ingram Funeral Home P/O. Box 2218 Quinlan,
Texas 75474).