Planning a Celebration of Life

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After the death of your loved one, you may want to have a service that honors the life they lived and the impact they made on everyone around them. If so, then you should plan a celebration of life. Your funeral director can help with this process, but here are some tips to plan a great one. You may have a celebration of life with a body present prior to burial services or also when cremations services are chosen.

The first key to planning a celebration of life is to make sure that it is an event that your loved one would have liked. To ensure this, there are several aspects to think about. One aspect is how casual or formal you want your loved one’s celebration of life to be. If your loved one was the kind of person who wore jeans, t-shirts, and flip flops, then you don’t want everybody showing up to their celebration of life dressed up. However, the reverse also holds true. The type of clothes that everyone wears to your loved one’s celebration of life should match what your loved one would have wanted – and would have worn.

Another aspect is the type of music that your loved one liked. Whether your loved one loved hip hop, country, jazz, rock, or classical music, the music that you play at their celebration of life should bring smiles to everyone there because the music reminds them of your loved one.

A third aspect of the celebration of life for your loved one that you should consider is what type of food should be served. Your loved one had favorite foods and they should be the centerpiece of their celebration of life. A couple of food options that are popular is having everyone who attends the celebration of life bring a dish that reminds them of your loved one or holding the celebration of life at a restaurant that was a favorite of your loved one.

A final aspect that should be incorporated into your loved one’s celebration of life is highlighting the things they were passionate about and that motivated them. If, for example, your loved one volunteered in the community, you could ask everyone to spend a couple of hours volunteering with one of the groups your loved one appreciated.

You may not think a program for your loved one’s celebration of life is necessary, but having one is a good way for everyone who’s attending to follow along. Although each celebration of life is unique, the format of the program may follow a similar outline:

  • Mingling – You can allocate a period of time at the beginning of your loved one’s celebration of life for people to mix with each other and share memories of your loved one.
  • Music – Include the song titles and artists of the music that you are playing at your loved one’s celebration of life.
  • Readings – Include the title of the works being read and their authors.
  • Food – Establish a set time when food for your loved one’s celebration for life will be served or when everyone will meet at your loved one’s favorite restaurant. Set a beginning time only, unless the restaurant has a set reservation limit for the meal.
  • Activity – If you have an activity to honor your loved one planned, include it on the program. If it will occur at a different time and place than the celebration of life, then be sure to include the date, time, and location.

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A celebration of life is a wonderful way to say goodbye to your loved one, and it can bring great comfort to all those who attend. For more information on the cremations services we offer, you can speak with our compassionate and experienced team at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home.