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An Artists Funeral



Marina Abramovi? is a famous artist from Serbia (once in Yugoslavia). She’s sixty-seven now and although she’s still in good health, she has started to prepare for something that comes to everyone in the end: the day she passes away. As an artist, she has spent her life thinking about ways to make an impact on people’s minds and memories. She doesn’t want her funeral to be any different: it will be a piece of art too. But it will be different from all her other work. She won’t be around to see that everything is done right, so she is making a funeral plan. As you might expect with a famous and flamboyant artist, her plan is something out of the ordinary. She wants three funerals, not just one. Her real body and two fake bodies will be buried separately, one in each of the three cities that she has lived in longest: Belgrade, New York and Amsterdam. But only a few people will know which burial is the real one. These three funerals will reflect her belief that she is really three-people-in-one: a heroic Marina, a spiritual Marina, and a Marina who is interested in money and success. Which is the real personality, the one she likes best and identifies with most? I’m guessing that she will match her real body with the city that best matches her real self. But which one is that? Her art has always involved raising questions like this, so even when she is gone her art will still be at work. She also wants the people attending her three funerals to dress in bright colours, not in black. She made this choice after attending the funeral of her great friend, the writer Susan Sontag, in 2004. When she was alive, Sontag was full of life and energy, but Abramovi? thought that Sontag’s funeral in Paris was too sad and sombre. It didn’t reflect her friend’s personality, so she decided that her own funeral wouldn’t make the same mistake. Her funeral, she decided, would be a colourful, happy occasion – or occasions. There will be three funerals, after all. All this means that her funeral plan is on a much bigger scale than most other people will want, but the basic idea is the same. You think carefully about your funeral in good time, deciding exactly how you want everything to be arranged. What kind of coffin do you want? What kind of service? Do you want a special piece of music played? What about flowers? And so on. You can discuss all this with your friends and family, make sure they are happy too, then make your final decisions. With a funeral plan, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having prepared securely for the future. A funeral plan is guaranteed proof against rising costs and changes in the funeral business. You won’t be surprised by hidden charges or forced to accept sudden changes. What you plan now is what will happen when you pass away. Marina Abramovi? is happy with her funeral plan and so are many other people right around the world.
National Federation of Funeral Directors