Is your friend turning 70, 80, or even 90 years old and still kicking with that same spunk they had when they were 20? Well, what better way to celebrate their continued ability to laugh in the face of death than by throwing them a fake funeral!
Tell all the guests to come wearing black attire, as they would if it were a real funeral. Instead of normal gifts, you could tell them to bring flowers and/or food, as these things are commonly given to the family of the deceased at or after a funeral. Also, tell everyone to get sympathy cards rather than birthday cards - it is a funeral, after all. The decorations and birthday cake should be black to contribute to the somber mood.
If you want to make it really authentic, you should set up the room where the majority of the party will be taking place the same way that the chapels of funeral parlors are set up. Arrange chairs in rows facing the front of the room, where you can set up something to represent a lectern - a tall stool or a portable reading desk will work great. You can put a sofa near the lectern to represent the coffin—unless for some reason you have a coffin lying around your house, in which case you can use that. Place framed pictures of the “deceased” and some of their prized possessions as mementoes around the sofa.
The party should proceed like a funeral would. As the guests arrive, have them place their flowers near the “coffin”, and their food (if they’ve brought any) in a designated area. The “deceased” can walk around and talk to the guests until the actual ceremony starts, but for the most authentic experience they should be lying on their coffin-sofa the entire time. Make sure that they are on the sofa, with their arms crossed and looking as serene as they can, when it’s time for the funeral ceremony to start.
The person who’s organized the party should act as the funeral director or clergyman, and can read a prayer or sing a hymn (unless their singing is so bad that it could be considered desecration of the dead’s memory). Then, any guests who want to can give a eulogy for their friend, either humorous or touching. Of course, the “deceased” will hear everything that’s said, so be careful not to be too honest! After the eulogies, all there would be left to do is the burial—but you might want to skip that step in this case. Instead, the deceased can get out of their coffin, and the party can proceed like a normal birthday party. Holding a fake funeral is a special (if a little unorthodox) way to celebrate the life of the birthday person and wish them many more years to come.