It is becoming increasingly common for people to choose a celebration of life instead of a traditional funeral or memorial service for a loved one after they pass. Some people are even choosing this for themselves for when the time comes. These celebrations are typically more uplifting and cheerful, centered around remembering and honoring the person who has passed, rather than the more solemn gatherings we’re used to. We’ve put together some ideas of ways to get started with planning, but there are so many ways to celebrate someone and make it personal based on who they were and what they loved in life.
Get together with friends and family at a park for a picnic. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share or get it catered for simplicity. Just being outdoors in a cheerful space can feel lighter and can be a great place for people to share memories and fun stories about the person being remembered. You can even ask guests to wear your loved one’s favorite color or even just ask that they wear anything but black. This can set the tone for a more cheerful day, just by having brighter colors than a traditional funeral with dark clothing.
Visit their favorite places. Wherever it may be, there are places that remind us of our loved ones. While there, reflect on memories of them and enjoy the things they loved there. Take time to write down your thoughts about them and the space so you can look back and read them later.
Make a memorial video. With an app like Reflect, friends and family from all around the world can share their favorite memories or thoughts about the person. The app will create a beautiful video that can be played at a memorial service and shared for years to come to keep their memories alive.
Plant a tree in their memory. You can do this online in a national forest or even in your own backyard so you can think of them when you see it.
Have a memory quilt made with bits of their old t-shirts or clothing. You could choose to use it all the time, or something you choose to display to remember them.
Choose a charity or organization that was close to their heart to volunteer at or donate to in their name.
There are so many ways to honor your loved one’s memory and celebrate them that you might even decide to do multiple things. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but many people are finding the more uplifting celebration style services can be helpful in the process of grieving by celebrating their loved one and their memory while mourning the loss of them at the same time.