Planning A Funeral Can Be Fun

I am a planner and wanted to plan my own funeral. It took Mark some time before he was ready to take this step but he finally agreed. I decided it would be fun to invite a funeral director and his wife to our home to have dinner with Mark, Kelly, Bryan and myself. These great people, Chris and Kristin Barnhill, happen to be friends of ours and are gifted musicians. Chris is not only the Funeral Director for Sytsema Funeral Home, he is also the Music Director at Prince of Peace Church. Chris plays the piano and organ during mass and Kristin has a beautiful voice and sings while Chris is playing. Because I want a lot of music at my funeral I thought they would be a perfect combination to help us plan my funeral.

The night was full of emotion, but with lots of laughter and some tears. Chris and Kristin listened to my wishes, even though my requests were out of the ordinary, and said we could make them happen. We loved our visit with this amazing couple at such a tender time in our life. That night we didn’t quite finish our planning so Chris said to e-mail him if we had any requests or questions.

A few days ago I heard the song “For Good” from the musical Wicked and decided I wanted it sung at my funeral. This song is not religious so I didn’t know if we could use it so I e-mailed Chris and this is what he responded with.

Hi Rosemary: 

You may have any song you want at the end of your funeral… The only one I will never permit is “Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead”!!! For obvious reasons, but mostly because it just doesn’t fit for you!!! 



Now do you see why funeral planning can be fun?


8 thoughts on “Planning A Funeral Can Be Fun

  1. Rosemary you are a special person. Don't know if you remember but my brother has ALS. You and he both have such a sweet spirit and an attitude that just keeps on giving to all your friends and family. I pray for you and Mark and your whole family as they stand with you as you go through this special time in your life. I remember our good times with you and Mark. Love and Prayers coming your way. Lou B.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information Rosemary, I've talked with my family for years about my funeral (even though I am a mere 39 years old). I want it to be a celebration, full of music too. Two of my songs would be “Sing” by The Carpenters, it is a song my mother sang to me when I was little and it encompasses me and my true self and “Say Hey, I Love You” by Michael Franti & Spearhead ( get everyone dancing and allowing the words to express my love for all. Love you xo

  3. The song I want played at the end of my funeral is the one hit wonder from Norman Greenbaum, “Spirit in the Sky.” Really loud.

  4. This reminds me of planning my mom's funeral. I insisted on two songs. Amazing Grace was one and the Beer Barrel Polka was the other. Those were the last two songs I heard her play. I'm so glad Father allowed it, but I'm sure I surprised a few people. Darene

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