Great-grandmother, 93, will attend her own funeral before she’s even dead
A 93-year-old woman who doesn’t want to ‘miss out on the fun’ of her own funeral is set to attend her own wake this month.
Ethel Leather, from Derby, has dubbed the party ‘my golden years’ and said it is a chance for her family and friends to come together to celebrate her life.
The former Rolls-Royce worker said: ‘I’m not missing out on my party. I didn’t want them to enjoy themselves without me.’
Ethel was born in 1925 in a caravan in Surrey but soon moved to Derby with her parents.
She married her first husband Herbert in 1943, but has been on her own since her second husband Stan died three years ago.
The party will see more than 30 members of Ethel’s family come together including her eight siblings, four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
During the party, keen karaoke fan Ethel will be singing her favourite song, When I Leave This World Behind by Al Jolson, which she once sang on board the Oriana cruise ship.
The novel idea was first mentioned as a joke by her daughter, 73-year-old Pauline Neal, while they were on holiday in Poland.
But Ethel thought it was brilliant and Pauline has organised the shindig at their local pub on February 23.
Pauline, 73, said: ‘I was talking to my mum about what I wanted to do after her funeral and she said ‘that sounds nice’.
‘I said as a joke “do you want to come” and she thought it was a great idea so we’re having a pre-funeral party in a couple of weeks.
‘I think its lovely chance for everyone to celebrate mum’s life while she’s still here. There’s going to be about 30 family members there.
‘It’s obviously unusual for people to attend their own funeral party but maybe it will catch on as it’s a wonderful opportunity.’
Her son Allan Barlow said: ‘We haven’t all been together as a family for a long time so I think it will be a great day for mum.
‘We take good care of her, she’s 93 but is doing very well – and certainly isn’t shy.’