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

5 Ideas For Creating New Holiday Traditions After A Death

The holidays are a time for festivities and celebrations. You spend time with family and friends and have relaxed meals. However, if you have lost a loved one, you may not feel like participating i...

How Does A Funeral Help In The Grieving Process?

Funerals have existed for thousands of years, and many burial sites across the world show that this practice is an essential aspect of how people deal with death. While most do not realize it, fune...

Supporting Someone With An Addiction

If a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can be tough for you to handle the situation. Not only do you need to be compassionate and patient, but you have to be able to stand your ground as w...

What is the Philosophy of Hospice Care?

Sometimes, people with terminal illnesses suffer for a very long time. This journey can become very painful and tedious for the patient as well as family members. However, in these situations, one ...

Remembering And Honoring A Loved One Through Holiday Meals

Holidays provide the perfect opportunity for family members and loved ones to get together. It's not uncommon for people to travel a great distance to be with their family during Christmas or other...

Life Choices To Put On Hold If You're Grieving

When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you mustn't make any critical life choices. It isn't easy to deal with death as it takes an emotional and physical toll on you. It means you aren't in...

Modern Ways To Memorialize A Loved One

If a loved one passes, it can become quite challenging to deal with the grief and the sense of loss that envelops you.  There are many different ways in which you can keep your loved one's mem...

Top Reasons to Pre-Plan Before You Need It

The concept of pre-planning a funeral is gaining some traction among people that do not want to burden their families with their funeral arrangements and costs. A funeral can be expensive and chall...

What Is Funeral Crowdfunding?

When a family member passes away, in addition to coming to terms with your loss, you also have to organize the funeral service in the best way you can. Most people that are handling this for the fi...

We Personalize So Much In Our Lives, Why Should Our Funeral Be Any Different

Most of us like to make sure that the things we do are as per our preferences. We want to personalize almost everything ranging from the decor in our house, to how we set the dining table. Tips to...