I mentioned in a post a couple of years ago, about the serving Bishop who died in our stake at that time, that I attended his funeral. It was exactly the standard Mormon funeral - with a eulogy, lots of beautiful music and a couple of talks about him and the Gospel he loved so dearly. It was exactly what he and his wife wanted, and it was intensely moving and beautiful - to a large degree because even the “gospel” talks were focused on Bishop Hazleton. Even they were personal in nature.
On the other hand, I have attended funerals that had the same format and that weren’t nearly as moving or beautiful. The talks were more like regular church talks - having little or nothing to do with the person - and sometimes not what the deceased would have wanted.
I have told my wife and children that I want to have a tape recorder placed in my coffin for the funeral. I want it set at the highest volume level possible and set to play my voice after one hour saying,
“STOP IT ALREADY!! IF THIS KEEPS GOING, ROLL ME OUT OF HERE AND THEN KEEP TALKING. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT! THAT’S ENOUGH TALKING ABOUT ME AND CRYING. I MADE YOU LAUGH WHEN I WAS LIVING, SO GET INTO THE CULTURAL HALL AND PARTY!! TELL JOKES, ‘CAUSE YOU KNOW DARN WELL I’D BE TELLING THEM IF I WAS SITTING THERE WITH YOU (WITH MY WIFE PUNCHING ME IN THE ARM TO TRY TO GET ME TO STOP AND BE PROPERLY SOMBER). — I MEAN IT. WRAP IT UP ALREADY AND GO EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY!!”
I have NO expectation that my wife and/or children will follow those wishes, but that would be my ideal funeral - a heartfelt eulogy by a friend or family member and lots and lots of great music and dancing and eating - a real party. I want to be celebrated, not mourned . . . but that’s not my call, ultimately.
In the end, I want my wife and/or children to construct whatever arrangement will be best for them - that will bring them the greatest degree of peace.