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Celebration of Life Ideas that We Love

Published: January 5, 2021
by Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home

WHILE a death is naturally a sad time for family and friends, increasingly those left behind are choosing to remember and celebrate the life of their departed one rather than commiserate at the loss.

Of course, it is natural to grieve, and we do so because of the love and affection we had for the deceased.

But why did we have that love and affection for them? Because of the way they made us feel, the way they loved us, the things they did and the people whose lives they touched.

Today many traditional funerals are being augmented or replaced with celebrations of life, with ideas only limited by the imaginations of those celebrating. Funeral directors are pleased to work with families to ensure their send-off of their loved one reflects who that person was.

Just as the departed was a unique individual, so your celebration can be customized to them, reflecting their passions, hobbies, and interests as well as reflection and respecting any faith or spiritual needs the family may have.

If you are stuck for ideas, here are some of the commonly requested features of a celebration of life:

Stories – we all have great stories of the person we loved. Adventures and scrapes we got into, journeys and trips we made, successes and blows we shared with them. Often other celebrants will be delighted to hear something they did not know. Some people will be happy to share these stories openly and publicly, others may prefer to write a note down for the family.

Music – play the songs and tunes the deceased loved. Traditional funeral music and hymns are fine if you wish, but there is nothing that says that is all that is allowed. If they loved country, play country, if they enjoyed jazz, put on a number they danced to.

Food – what was their favorite dish? What did they like to drink? Sharing a meal together is one of humanity’s oldest and most endearing traditions, common through all history, faiths, and cultures. What a suitable time to serve the food they most enjoyed.

Memory boards – whether a table, a poster board, or a PowerPoint presentation put together a montage of images and pictures of the departed doing what they loved to do and being with the people they loved to be with. This will also help people share their stories and memories further.

Causes – if the deceased had a particular charity, organization caused or non-profit they supported with time or money, a collection in their name can provide a legacy to help others.

Hobbies – if a particular hobby or interest was well known, share it with everyone. Put out their model train display, or their baseball card collection, or their quilted blankets. Be proud of their passion and show others their skill and interest.

Activity – mark the occasion with a symbolic gesture of your loved one’s passing. Balloon releases, fireworks, tree planting, seed spreading, or even bubble blowing are just some ideas people have used to mark the death of their loved one.


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