Cancer campaigner Kris Hallenga reveals her plans for a ‘living funeral’
CoppaFeel! founder Kris Hallenga, who is living with stage four breast cancer, has revealed she has chosen to have a ‘living funeral’.
The campaigner, 37, from Cornwall, was first diagnosed in 2009 with incurable secondary breast cancer at the age of 23 and given a life expectancy of just two years.
Rather than succumbing to despair, Kris made a conscious decision to face her illness head-on, determined to seize every opportunity and live her life to the fullest.
Almost 15 years on, Kris and her twin sister Maren have taken their charity CoppaFeel! to huge heights including creating checking tools, projecting onto the Houses of Parliament, and showing the first nipple on a billboard.
Now, she’s taken to Instagram to announce she’s organised a living funeral, so that she can be ‘drunk on love and gratitude’ for the people who surround her.
Kris Hallenga, 37, seen here with her friend Clinton, recently told her followers she was planning a ‘living funeral’ and encouraged her friends and fans to seize every opportunity and live their lives to the fullest
Kris’s motto is ‘you only die once’ and she’s determined she gets to have her funeral her way and be there to enjoy with her friends and family
The 37-year-old has been living with incurable breast cancer since 2009 and campaigns tirelessly to help raise awareness and encourage people to check their boobs
Next to an image of her with her cat Lady Marms, the best-selling author wrote: ‘YODO (you only die once).
‘I have done a thing. I’ve made a pretty big decision to have a living funeral, a FUNeral to be precise, before I die.
‘I want to be present at the event where my people have a thing or two to say about me, where I have the opportunity to show how much they mean to me, to be drunk on love and gratitude for having these people in my life and to toast to my rich and beautiful existence.’
Kris went on to say that she had never been to a living funeral so would be making it up as she went along, but that it had already been an ‘enormously emotional ride’ and reflected on what a privilege it was to be in this position.
The 37-year-old added that while she wouldn’t be sharing the specifics of the event until after it had happened, the reason she wanted to talk about it at all was because it was ‘becoming more and more clear about how little we know and understand about that post-death bit’.
She finished her post by writing: ‘The more I explore and talk about death, the more reassured I feel about one of life’s inevitables and guess what, it helps me to live better too,’ adding the poignant hashtag #dyingmatters.
Kris, left, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 while holidaying in China. She was initially given just two years to live but has defied the odds to be here almost 15 years later
As the founder of CoppaFeel! Kris has achieved some huge milestones to bring awareness and information to those living with cancer and in the hopes of early detection
Kris is the best-selling author of Glittering A Turd, seen here with an advert for her book which details how she discovered her life after being told she would die
Lots of Kris’s followers on Instagram shared their own experiences of funerals and praised the 37-year-old for doing things her way
Kris’s followers were quick to praise the CoppaFeel! founder in the comments section of her Instagram post and share their own feelings.
One person wrote: ‘My mum wanted what she called a pre-funeral funeral. She said people say good things about the person who has died and she would like to be there to hear them said. It was a wonderful celebration of her life, and when the whole concept was explained to my 16-year-old niece, she said ‘Oh, Granny’s A-wake!’ So that’s what we called it.’
‘Wow! I recently trained as a funeral celebrant and this would’ve been a fantastic addition to the course. What truly empowering and unique experience for everyone to get to attend! I hope you have a FUNtastic time at your FUNeral,’ [sic] added someone else.
While another follower penned: ‘Wow, this is the most empowering thing I’ve heard. I remember after both of my parents funerals thinking “I wish they’d been here to see how loved they are” a FUNeral sounds like something we should all get on board with. I hope you have the most magical and special day, you Seaver it x.[sic]’