When somebody that has meant so much to us dies, we want to honor them and have a chance to say goodbye with family and friends supporting us and most importantly celebrate the Life that was lived. In the past, funerals were the only way to serve this kind of purpose. Funerals have tended to be a more somber, dark, religious event, so what do you do if you want something different? A Celebration of Life memorial is a newer type of option.
So, what is a Celebration of Life?
I feel it is an event that still has a service section (which could be in a church and religious still if desired) and a reception section. The major difference is that it is more personalized, the tone is more uplifting and has a tone that is more celebratory. Guests can celebrate the joy that the person has brought to others and the world. You can host one if the person is being buried or cremated. You can still incorporate religion or choose a non-denominational service and then host a reception where a theme is incorporated that includes a lot of the persons likes, interests, hobbies, and favorite things. You can hold one anywhere and even more importantly at any time. Some places I have helped clients hold a Celebration of Life memorial has been- golf courses, beach area, hotels, parks, backyards, etc. There are no rules to a Celebration of Life! This is important to know because it will lower your stress when you think about ”what am I supposed to do”, and I always recommend planning it later then one week after the passing. Why force yourself to do so much in such a quick amount of time, your loved one would not have wanted you to be stressed and by doing it a couple of weeks to a month or so after allows you to find better options and give out of towners options on getting there to be a part of as well.
What is entailed in a Celebration of Life memorial*?
You will quickly find that it is overwhelming and stressful to plan a 100 plus person event while you are grieving and doing other things that need to be accomplished like gathering death certificates and closing account and dealing with life insurance etc. A large elaborate Celebration of Life memorial can feel like you are planning something like a wedding. Wedding typically take a year to plan and now you find yourself doing this in a couple of weeks. Celebrations of Life memorials have a lot of the same things that need to get done as a memorial. You have a service that needs a venue, an officiant, flowers, audio visual components, handouts, guest book/memory box. The reception entails getting a venue, food, beverages, rentals, audio visual, music, memory tables, etc. Because of all these moving parts I created a company that helps people that are grieving and already overwhelmed to host an amazing Celebration of Life memorial without having to do all the work themselves. Eternally Loved is a planning and coordinating company that specializes in memorial planning and Celebration of Life coordinating.
Why hire a Celebration of Life planner?
Overwhelming does not begin to describe planning a 100 plus person Celebration of Life memorial! Handling grief, family members suggestions and questions, then planning an event that has about 40 things that need to get done is intense pressure. Then you must get there early the day of to set everything up, coordinate vendors and stay late packing and cleaning everything up! How can you truly be present to honor your loved one and get the support you deserve and need from the family and friends that are attending? Eternally Loved is a Celebration of Life memorial planner that comes in and helps with everything! From finding out what you are looking for, who the person was so we can tailor everything to fit the life that was lived, budgeting, negotiating with vendors (flowers, caterers, bartenders, dove release, etc.) and coordinating everyone’s timeline, making notifications, finding venues, making programs and take-home items, producing slideshow, and so much more. Again, I feel the most important thing to having a Celebration of Life memorial planner isn’t just taking away the 30-50 hours that would go into preparing for the Celebration of Life, it is that you get to just show up the day of and be present! Why do weddings get to have planners, why aren’t there Celebration of Life planners since you are going through so many emotions and the timeline is tighter? Organizing a Celebration of Life can be intense and most people that do it on their own stifle the grieving process because they are so stressed out. Having a planner that organizes, coordinates and puts together everything allows you to grieve, allows you to stress less, and really be there with your family and friends.
If you are interested in getting help and hiring a Celebration of Life planner, please go to Eternally Loved’s website www.eternallyloved.com. We will be with you every step of the way and take over as much of the process on planning and coordinating a Celebration of Life memorial as you want.
Create an event to honor your amazing loved one.
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