I'm a fan of words from languages which are difficult to translate in English, or, as they are sometimes called ‘untranslatable' words. This, itself, is a poor translation; we don't have these words in English because, for one reason or another, we haven't sought to label the experience. Take ‘age-otori' (Japanese) which means the shame you feel after getting a new- and disappointing- haircut. A classic: my life feels more complete when I learn these words! They provide an insight into different worlds. More importantly, they suggest the boundless nature of human experience, which we limit through language. (With good reason... experience would probably be overwhelming otherwise.)


One such word is ‘Wabi-sabi' in Japanese (wabi- loneliness/solitude of living in nature; sabi- chill/lean/withered) which roughly translates as ‘celebrating beauty in all its imperfections and impermanence' or, in modern Japanese ‘wisdom in natural simplicity.' The key word in the latter translation is ‘natural.' Wabi-sabi is not so much a word as a world view, hailing from Zen Buddhism, a lineage which has profoundly influenced Japanese aesthetics. When you think ‘Japanese beauty' you are probably thinking ‘wabi-sabi' to some extent- bowls with wobbly edges, simplicity, gold-lined cracks. In fact, Kintsugi, the craft of golden joinery, celebrates broken pots by repairing them in beautiful ways.


In this extract, from The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki, relates to this craft to the ways life can change in a moment. If you are tend towards TL:DR, just read the final paragraph and you'll see what I mean. 


Personally, I think it works for a ceremony- in the right setting and perhaps with some adaptations. If its too long for you, it offers a subtle beauty to our understanding of death and could serve as inspiration for poetry or other readings that draw on this wonderful word.