How to Plan a Celebration of Life If No Instructions Were Given

By: Myles O'Riordan
Thursday, February 4, 2016

For centuries, a funeral was the end. Once the casket is underground, the story ends, and life goes on for everyone else. In modern times, however, people are beginning to realize that grief is a complicated process, and many people don’t want their loved one's life to end with shoveling dirt onto a casket. With a Celebration of Life, you celebrate the life your loved one led, rather than remember their end.

But what do you do if the deceased left no instructions?

What Would they Want?

As someone who knew the deceased, whether you were a spouse, child, friend or family member, you need to sit down and think about what they would want to do, if they could. Would it be a feast at their favorite restaurant? A small gathering of family and friends to play softball? Don’t just do something that you want to do, make it special, even if it just an evening of watching home movies.

Drawing up a Guest List

When you’re deciding on who to invite, remember to think of friends as well as family members. Friends of the deceased will have their own stories and memories to share, and you shouldn’t deny them the opportunity. Of course, it goes both ways. People often behave differently with friends than they would with family, and they may have an entirely different perspective than you do.

When you’re creating your guest list, you should take the nature of the event into account. A quiet evening going through photo albums will be a much smaller get-together than a trip to watch the local team play.

Stress Management

No matter what you’re organizing, or how much help you have, any kind of event organization is going to be stressful. Throw in the storm of emotions that come with a death or the anniversary of a death, and you have a recipe for disaster. Start delegating responsibilities to people you can trust. Don’t try to do everything, even if it is just a small family get-together. Assign cooking or cleaning duties to someone else, or get someone to take care of contacting the guests and making sure they can be there.

Above all else, remember why you’re holding this celebration. It’s to commemorate a loved one who is no longer with you. This is a time for sharing memories, not stress and frustration. What matters is sharing your joy, whatever kind of celebration you plan on holding.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Personalizing a Funeral Service

Today, many people are choosing to veer away from traditional forms of conducting funeral services. The focus is now on celebrating the life of the person that has passed, in a unique and memorable...

Dealing With Unresolved Grief

Most people that experience the death of a loved one, find it extremely difficult to deal with the loss. Most of us prefer joy over sadness, life over death and winning over losing. This is exactly...

What’s The Point Of A Funeral?

Funeral services are carried out as a norm when a family member passes away. It is a way for people to say goodbye and acknowledge that the person they have loved has passed on. It also the time wh...

Questions To Ask When Choosing A Cremation Provider

After the death of a loved one, you need to choose a cremation provider, if that was their wish. Before deciding to hand over this responsibility to a particular provider, it’s important to get all...

How to Write a Condolence Letter

People often find it difficult to say a few words of condolence when they meet the bereaved family after a death. It is easier to express your feelings and sympathy by writing a condolence letter. ...

5 Interesting Facts About Cremation

Cremation is becoming more popular than burials for various reasons. Though this is an increasing trend, many people are still ignorant about the benefits of cremation. Here are 5 facts that m...

Choosing a Casket

When a loved one passes away, you want all the funeral service arrangements to be perfect. If you have opted for a burial, this includes choosing a casket. This might seem like a very simple detail...

Coping With Memories Of Loss And Grief At Christmas

When it’s Christmas time, the world around seems to be extra cheerful. But if you have lost a loved one recently, the memories of loss and grief blind you to all the festivities and cause a lot of ...

What is Actually Involved in Pre-planning Your Funeral?

It isn’t that everyone wants to pre-plan their own funeral but there is a growing trend to ensure that you get the kind of funeral you want. While doing so, you are taking off the financial and log...

What if I Want an Unconventional Funeral Service?

Breaking traditions and searching for unusual options now extends from daily life to the death arena. Ideas about how you should be treated after death are taking new forms and technology are enabl...