Planning a memorial celebration.


Hopefully you have spoken to your loved one about their final wishes. Do they want to be buried, laid in a crypt, cremated, etc. Do they want a formal funeral in a church or funeral home or do they want a celebration of their life. Part of these decisions also go to the survivors. Because while death is the sacred time for the dying and all focus is on their needs, afterward is really about the survivors and what will give them some comfort. 


My family has had a variety of styles of remembrance. My father loved to go to the grocery store every day and get a cup of coffee. So we held his celebration in the store’s community room with finger food from the store's deli. My mother had hers at a winery because of the beautiful view of nature which she loved. My partner had his at our local community center and featured his favorite foods; orange juice and pizza. A friend of mine actually held her celebration while she was still alive so she could enjoy seeing everyone one more time. She had food and singing and gave out small gifts while people shared remembrances. After she passed they held a memorial for her in her church as well. 


It is valuable for those who want to, to be allowed to speak about the deceased, so try to include time for that when it is appropriate. Other things that have been uplifting at memorials are videos that show the person in photos throughout their life. My partner was a musician so I showed actual videos of him playing his music. My family also displayed poster boards with photos of our loved ones at each of the various celebrations we have held. When my sister in law died, she had been an avid bicycler so members of her club all wore bicycle jerseys to the celebration. Another person I knew had lived in Hawaii so every one wore Hawaiian shirts. Being creative and incorporating things that were valued by the loved one makes a memorial celebration that much more beautiful and meaningful. 

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