3 Reasons “Living Funerals” are Gaining Popularity in Milwaukee


Have you ever attended a funeral and had this thought? “My loved one sure would have enjoyed seeing and hearing from all of these friends and family members before they died.”

This is a sentiment many Milwaukee, Brookfield, and New Berlin families express to our care team at Krause Funeral Homes. As we help plan funerals, cremations, and burials, there’s often a sense of sadness or regret that there wasn’t an opportunity to say a final farewell in person before death.

In the past few years, however, we’ve been hearing of more and more elderly and terminally ill individuals choosing to have “living funerals” or “living memorials.” There isn’t one way to hold an event like this. For some, it’s a small, informal gathering where loved ones share stories and look at photos and mementos together. Others want more of a party-like atmosphere, with a long invitation list, music, food, and drinks.

At Krause, more Milwaukeeans than ever are putting their own funeral arrangements into place ahead of time, and a living funeral takes this planning one step further.  Why are so many choosing to host an event before their death?

  1. To say goodbye on their terms. We’ve heard of living funerals taking place at home, church, a favorite restaurant, and even the reception area at a funeral home. The “honoree” is able to choose where they want to gather, what food they would like to serve, and what they would like to say to their friends and family. Time together can also include personal details like readings, poems, prayers, and a sermon given by a member of the clergy or someone else in attendance.
  2. To give friends and family an opportunity to express love, admiration, and share words from the heart. This way, everyone has a chance to say goodbye, ask for forgiveness if needed, and tell that person what they meant to you.
  3. There’s added peace of mind going forward. In our many decades of service, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard regrets from those who didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to their loved one. A living funeral gives family and friends this opportunity, while everyone is able to communicate clearly and say what needs to be said. This closure can help tremendously in the healing process.

Like the funeral ritual, gathering to say goodbye can be an uplifting celebration of life. If you would like to learn more about hosting a living funeral at one of our four locations around Milwaukee, reach out to us anytime. Not only do we offer in-house catering, we’re the first funeral home in Wisconsin to obtain a state license that includes wine and beer. Our facilities are spacious and comfortable and provide an intimate yet spacious atmosphere to share a special time with loved ones.

Our knowledgeable care team can help your family in many ways. From preplanning arrangements to the grief services we offer after a funeral, we’re here for Milwaukeeans before, during and long after the funeral is over.

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