Many families today want a service which celebrates the life of their loved one. We introduce them to the concept of a celebration of life, and provide support in designing a celebration of life that is as unique as the life of their loved one.
We always enjoy working together with families in planning a celebration of life for their loved one. While it can be a challenge to put together an event that both pays tribute to and celebrates the life and spirit of a complex individual, it's also one of the most rewarding things any one of us can do for someone we've loved and lost.
Sarah York opens her beautifully-crafted book, Remembering Well, with the very personal story about how her family chose to pay tribute to her mother. "My mother died in April 1983... She didn't want a funeral. 'Get together and have a party,' she had said when the topic was allowed to come up." However, she was quick to tell readers that the survivors did not honor the request. "We needed the ritual. We needed to say good-bye, but we also needed a ritual that would honor her spirit and would be faithful to her values and beliefs."
When Ms. York acknowledges the position of her family—that they needed not a party but a ritual—she teaches us all something important: the celebration of life events we plan with families should be shaped as much by their own emotional and spiritual needs as their desire to celebrate the life lived.
While celebrations of life are not burdened by social expectations—they can be pretty much anything you want them to be—it's important to realize that the event you're planning should meet the emotional needs of the guests. So, think about exactly who will be there, and what they're likely to want or need. Then, bring in those unique lifestyle and personality characteristics of the deceased; perhaps add live music or refreshments, and you've got the beginnings of a remarkable celebration of life.
Remembering Well: Rituals for Celebrating Life & Mourning Death, Sara York
01 The Foodie
If your loved one enjoyed tasting new recipes, you may want to consider organizing a dinner party that serves their favourite foods. The dinner can be at someone’s home or at the deceased’s favourite restaurant. Attendee's can feel connected to the deceased through the food that they loved, as well as being together to share stories and memories.
02 The Sports Fan
If your loved one was a devoted sports fan of a particular team or avidly played a sport themselves, consider focusing the celebration of life around that team or sport. An idea for this could be organizing a golf or baseball tournament in honour of your loved one, or even attending a game of their favourite team.
03 The Musician
Was your loved one a musician or a dedicated fan of a singer/ band? If so, you may want to consider showcasing that particular form of music for their celebration of life. You could consider hosting a small tribute concert in memory of the deceased, where the genre of music they loved can be played.
We serve all of Jefferson County, Ohio including, Steubenville, Wintersville, Mingo Junction, New Alexandria, Toronto, Richmond, Belvedere, Unionport, Bloomingdale and all other surrounding communities.