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Puppet From the Jim Henson MuseumThe death of a loved one can be a difficult thing to grapple with. Often, a funeral or similar ceremony is a person’s chance at making peace with what has happened. Though it is not always an immediate transformation, this ritual is one that can begin the healing process. Of course, there is also an impersonal nature that permeates many of these traditions. Throughout history, people of all backgrounds have gone out of this world in a way that is befitting of their spirits. With a little help from friends and loved ones, anything is possible post-mortem. 

These examples of unique funerals showcase how the human spirit can shine through even after death has claimed the body. Look over the details and discover some truly fascinating individuals. 

Miriam Banks’ Final Party

Some people live each day to the fullest. When they go to parties, they cannot help but be noticed and take advantage of the captive audience. Miriam Banks was one such woman, who always had a good time drinking and carousing with friends at such gatherings. When she passed, her family decided that her funeral should forego the usual somber atmosphere. Instead of being placed in a coffin, the body of Miriam Banks was placed at a table where her loved ones could sit and have a final drink.

To add even more detail, a bottle of her favorite whiskey was placed in front of her and her brand of cigarette was placed in her hand. Throughout the event, the music Miriam Banks enjoyed was played to keep the party vibe going in the way she would have appreciated. 

Jim Henson Encouraged Weirdness

Jim Henson, internationally beloved puppeteer and creator of the Muppets, died in 1990 at the age of 54. The surprising nature of his death caused a massive outpouring of grief among not only friends and family of Henson but generations of people touched by his creations and legacy. Since Jim Henson was known as irreverent, genuine and a fan of the weird, his family arranged for both private and public funeral ceremonies. Not only were the events televised, but they incorporated everything possible to capture the soul of this artist. 

From the New Orleans brass band that kicked off the funeral on an upbeat swing to Harry Belafonte discussing Henson’s humanity to Big Bird tearfully singing “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” there are fewer perfect examples of a person’s life being celebrated in such a relevant manner.  

A Little Touch of Dracula 

Bela Lugosi was the actor made famous for his depiction of Dracula in 1931. His career would include a number of horror films, and the actor himself would become synonymous with how Hollywood and pop culture portrayed vampires. Throughout Lugosi’s life, he struggled with his inability to get roles outside of the horror and science fiction genres. Still, he accepted and cherished the parts he got to play. In a final way of paying tribute after his death, Lugosi’s wife and son buried him in the Dracula cape he would often wear to make appearances in his later years. 

Death in the Digital Age

Most people agree that tweeting at a funeral is a terrible idea. Still, when publicist and marketer Michael O'Connor Clarke passed away, his good friend made it a part of the goodbye process. Using Clarke’s love of Twitter to fuel the idea, friends and family tweeted about the event with specific hashtags and shared powerful memories and moments with the world.

Though death can be a sad and uncomfortable experience, it does not always need to be. Finding ways to truly celebrate a person’s life after he or she has passed away is a great way to pay tribute to a person you care about.

Category: Funeral

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