Saturday, June 20, 2009

Clown Funeral

A meaningful funeral is a combination of ritual and personalization. When the loss of a loved one turns our world and lives upside down, going through the familiar rituals of our culture and faith is reassuring to us.

death ritual

Photo Credit: Marshall Gorby

Participating in funeral rituals helps to reinforce the reality of the death, and reminds us that we are a part of a community that shares our grief. Personalization involves a recognition of who our loved one was, the impact their life has had on ours, and a celebration of the unique gifts that this personality has brought to our lives.

death ceremony

Photo Credit: Marshall Gorby

On Friday, May 29, 2009, at the funeral services for Norman ‘Boppo’ Thompson, fellow clowns from the Antioch Funster Clown unit honored his memory and service. The comforting and reinforcing rituals of passing by the casket to offer respects, and carrying one of own to their place of rest, were made even more meaningful with the personalization and participation of his fellow clowns.

death ritual memorial

Photo Credit: Marshall Gorby

Looking at the pictures, we can tell right away that this was a special and meaningful part of Mr. Thompson’s service. The participation of his fellow clowns reminded all present of Mr. Thompson’s spirit and of the impact he had on others.

death ceremony

Photo Credit: Marshall Gorby

Special thanks to blogger, Christine Quigley for finding this story. To view her post on this subject, visit:

funeral ritual ceremony

Photo Credit: Marshall Gorby

This story was first reported by Bridgette Outten in the Springfield News Sun. For the original news story, a video and more great photos by Marshall Gorby, visit:

burial ritual ceremony

For more posts about personalized funerals, follow the links:

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Funeral service faces a crisis of relevance, and I am passionate about keeping the best traditions of service alive while adapting to the changing needs of families. Feel free to contact me with questions, or to share your thoughts on funeral service, ritual, and memorialization.