Funeral Industry News

Farewelling: Like Wedding Planning for Funerals

December 12, 2019
Diana Ionescu

Diana is a writer and urbanist based in Los Angeles. Her interests include modern grief rituals, innovative disposition methods, and navigating death and mourning in an increasingly secular society.

Farewelling: Like Wedding Planning for Funerals

Based on the belief that the language we use around death and dying matters, the new online platform Farewelling seeks to change the conversation by connecting people with resources and services for planning a personalized, meaningful end-of-life and funeral experience for themselves or loved ones.

Combining funeral planning resources like checklists and provider lists with advice, personal experiences, and a podcast, the website creates an engaging, supportive space for exploring a wide range of information and resources.

New terminology

Born from a meeting between an accomplished funeral industry professional and a seasoned celebrity wedding planner, Farewelling contributes to the contemporary movement to destigmatize discussions about death and empower people to take end-of-life planning into their own hands.

According to co-founders Karen Bussen and Elizabeth Meyer Karansky, replacing the word “funeral” with “farewelling” “speaks to a more positive perspective on a key human experience we all share.” The website offers resources for making end-of-life arrangements, coping with grief in healthy ways, and creating future plans for yourself or loved ones.

Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan for the future, Farewelling offers concise, clear lists and resources that help you navigate this difficult stage of life. They seek to empower people to curate and personalize their end-of-life experience and simultaneously gain a stronger appreciation for life.

Farewelling provides planning resources, lets you find providers, and produces an insightful podcast featuring interviews with experts and professionals in the field. They also offer bespoke services for those who want assistance planning a unique “farewelling” process of their own.

Farewelling from experience

After dealing with illness and death in their own families, the two co-founders envisioned Farewelling as a way to fill gaps in the funeral and death care market that they observed during their own planning and grieving processes. Elizabeth Meyer Karansky, an experienced funeral director and thanatologist, has dedicated her life to helping people understand their end-of-life options and personalize a meaningful “farewelling” since her own father died.

Karen Bussen pivoted from wedding planning to funeral planning when her sister’s health scareprompted her to confront death on a personal level. She realized she could parlay her existing talents for helping people prepare for a momentous event into end-of-life planning.

Bussen and Karansky are opening up the conversation and providing a broad spectrum of information, resources, and support for planning the end of life. Farewelling’s founders join a growing movement to destigmatize conversation about death and dying and empower people to take control of the important decisions many of us put off.