Sci-fi and fantasy fans are planning the ultimate tributes with themed funerals honouring their favourite books and films.
In recent years, the rising popularity of personalised funerals means that there’s more choice than ever when it comes to choosing how you want to be remembered. Now people young and old are choosing to plan themed funerals based on their favourite books and films.
Recently Veronica Leaning, a 78-year-old woman from Grimsby, has been making headlines by planning her own Harry Potter funeral.
After a terminal cancer diagnosis, Veronica started planning the perfect Potter themed send-off, including a customised coffin painted in the Hogwarts house colours. She has also requested that mourners ditch traditional black suits and instead dress up and witches and wizards in honour of her favourite fictional world.
“I don’t want my funeral to be a sad and boring occasion,” she said. “I want people to have a nice time and enjoy some of the things that I loved in life and I can think of nothing better than everyone coming in dressed as wizards and witches.”
Back in 2016, mourners paid tribute to 18-year-old Arthur Peebles with a superhero themed funeral. In loving tribute to the teenage comic book fan, guests arrived dressed as Batman, Buzz Lightyear and Captain America, to name but a few.
Arthur’s custom coffin featured the Superman logo and the funeral service included a reading from one his favourite films, Iron Giant.
Last year, 30-year-old Roman Parsons from Stoke-on-Trent also had a comic book themed funeral. Hundreds attended, with guests dressed as superheroes such as Iron Man, Wolverine and Spiderman. Friends and family gave floral tributes in the design of Captain America’s shield/
The Afghanistan veteran was also an aspiring actor who dreamed of starring in a Marvel film.
“’For as long as I can remember he was a geek, and loved collecting comic books and dressing up as characters from the Marvel films,” his sister Rebecca told the Daily Mail.
“When he passed away, it seemed right to pay tribute to him with a comic book themed funeral, it’s just something that the whole family agreed on very quickly. It’s something that’s a bit different, but that was Roman to a tee. It’s lovely to know that we’ve been able to lay him to rest in the way that he would have wanted.”
Star Wars super-fan Gordon Deacon from Cardiff had a funeral worthy of a true Jedi after he passed away in 2015. The traditional funeral horsedrawn hearse was led by a procession of stormtroopers.
“He was mad on Star Wars. We went to see the first film in 1977 and ever since then he was fixated with it,” said his wife, Marilyn. “My husband didn’t want people to wear black, his wish was to have a different funeral.”
Another Star Wars fan in Yeovil, Somerset, also had Stormtroopers leading his funeral procession. Roger Conway, 41, was remembered by friends and family dressed in Star Wars tee-shirts and fancy dress. The ‘Imperial March’ music from the movies was played as his coffin was brought into the crematorium, and the ending theme from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was played at the end of the service.
How to plan your themed funeral
If you’ve got a favourite film or book that you want to incorporate in your send-off, here are just some of the ways you can make your funeral a themed celebration of life:
- Ask guests to dress up in costumes or different colours – and many funeral directors will also be happy to join in with the fancy dress.
- Check out custom coffins that can be decorated with any logo or picture you choose.
- Think about floral tributes too. Are there any words or logos you’d like to adorn your coffin in the form of flowers? Florists can accommodate all sorts of unusual requests.
- What kind of music do you want? You could play the theme song from your favourite film.
- Include quotations from the book or film as readings in the funeral service.
- Continue the theme for the funeral wake. Having a wake after the funeral service gives you a chance to go all-out with themed decorations.
If you’ve got an unusual request or personal preference, make sure you write your wishes down or talk to your loved ones about your ideas. That way they’ll know what you want and you’ll know that you’ll get the funeral you want.
When you buy an Avalon funeral plan, you can fill in a special requests form, which is kept with your nominated funeral director. When the time comes, the funeral director will share your requests with your family. Find out more about the benefits of buying a prepaid funeral plan with Avalon.
About the author
With a Masters from the University of Bristol, Jessica Hanson has worked in the funeral sector for several years, following the latest industry trends and writing about end of life planning. Jessica has previously written as a blogger for the Huffington Post, covering topics such as death positivity, understanding grief and how funerals are changing. You can find Jessica on LinkedIn and Twitter.