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When to consider a “Celebration of Life” or other nontraditional services for a loved one

When to consider a “Celebration of Life” or other nontraditional services for a loved one

When to consider a “Celebration of Life” or other nontraditional services for a loved one

A person’s death is an emotional topic for anyone to discuss, but to help with the mourning process, a “celebration of life” may be a more comforting option. 

David Ring, Owner, Indiana Funeral Care, shares the difference between a life celebration and a funeral. 

•    Both funerals and celebrations of life offer a gentle avenue into the mourning process. The main difference between them is the presence of the body; at a funeral it is present, while in a celebration of life it is absent. 
•    Funerals are traditionally held in places of worship, while celebrations of life are held in diverse locations such as homes, hotels, beaches, parks and local pubs – usually somewhere of significance to the deceased. Generally speaking, celebrations of life are also less solemn and can make the passing of a loved one easier to cope with.

Notable celebrations of life have taken place at the following locations: 
•    American Legion
•    Park Shelters – Spring and Summer – played games because that’s what they used to enjoy
•    Basilica in Notre Dame
•    Churches
•    Homes/Back Yards

What takes place in a celebration of life?

The term ‘celebration of life’ is fairly loose. There are no formal arrangements or traditional procedures because events are specifically tailored to the deceased or the wishes of their family and friends. Fundamentally, what sets them apart from funerals is the atmosphere. Rather than focusing on grieving a loss, they place more emphasis on  celebrating the life in a joyous manner. Typical pastimes often include; listening to the deceased’s favorite music, playing their favorite movie, toasting to their achievements, viewing a slideshow, sharing personal stories and playing their favorite games

What are the benefits of having a celebration of life?

Funeral services tend to occur within a few days of an individuals’ death, which can make them difficult to arrange if they weren’t pre-planned. Celebrations of life can occur at any time, sometimes months or even years later. In addition, they don’t cost as much because the casket, transportation costs and burial fees, etc., are avoided.

Funeral services and celebrations of life are becoming increasingly similar. In modern society, there is far less emphasis on the religious and traditional elements than there used to be; therefore, family and friends often take an active role in the proceedings in order to find unique and personal ways to celebrate the life of a loved one.

•    Include decorations that are meaningful. 
•    Many people choose to do a memory table.
•    Have mementos to take away. …
•    Offer guests a private way to share their memories. …
•    Remember to keep it child friendly. …
•    Keep the celebration upbeat. …
•    Include any special requests your loved one may have had prior to passing

Activities to do for a celebration of life include: 
•    Boating/fishing
•    Grandpa always had lifesavers, so handed out lifesavers at the celebration
•    Favorite recipes
•    Harley Davidsons on display
•    Custom caskets
•    Caskets you can write something or sign

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