Flash Befitting a Diva: Aretha Franklin’s Funeral

Aretha Franklin died in August, and the world mourned her passing. One of the most famous entertainers in the world, she had a career that spanned seven decades, and music that transcended generations. To say she was very well-loved is an understatement, as was made undeniably evident during her public viewing, which included two outfit changes over three days of lying in state at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. During those three days, thousands of people came to pay their respects, and 100 pink Cadillacs lined the streets in her honor. 

Her funeral was a spectacle befitting her celebrity status.  It was a remarkable eight hours long, and featured a long list of performances by big-name stars, including Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Gladys Knight, Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Holiday, Alice McAllister Tillman, Audrey DuBois Harris, Chaka Khan, Ron Isley, Faith Hill, Aretha’s son Edward Franklin, and many more. There were prayers and readings by several different pastors, but the speakers included not just pastors and friends but also performers, politicians, athletes, and activist. Her eulogy was delivered by Reverend Jasper Williams, Jr., pastor of the Salem Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.  

All along the way, her final arrangements reflected her personality, with little touches that celebrated who she was. Rather than being tucked inside a casket, her neatly crossed ankles were propped on a satin pillow, showing off a different pair of fabulous shoes each day to correspond with the three different outfits she wore for her viewing and the additional one she wore to her funeral. The aforementioned Pink Cadillacs escorted her to the funeral, and a red carpet was rolled out to greet her casket as well as her VIP guests. It was a party that truly honored a spectacular performer. 

Your funeral may not be an elaborate extravaganza like Aretha’s, but you can follow the Queen of Soul’s example and preplan. When you preplan, you can make your funeral everything you want it to be. From your favorite music to your favorite shoes, you can write down all the details and be certain that they’ll be followed to the letter. Preplanning also keeps your family from having to answer difficult questions during a stressful time and allows them to focus on what’s truly important: mourning your loss and comforting each other.  

At Greenwood, we know a few things about preplanning. For more than a century, Greenwood Memorial Park has served the San Diego community, building a reputation for quality, sincerity, and trust. We’ve done that by providing exceptional service, caring for people of all cultures and faiths, committed to celebrating the unique life of each individual while respecting the wishes of every family. Visit us today to see our beautiful grounds for yourself, check out our Plan Ahead page for information and a free preplanning guide, or call (619) 241-4312 to learn more about all we have to offer.

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