It is sad when someone dies, and the service or funeral can be a difficult experience. After mourning, lighten the mood and remember the deceased with a celebration of their life.
Eight tips to transform the somber mood of your loved one's funeral or memorial service are:
- Bring in lots of life. Incorporate lots of living plants and fresh flowers throughout the funeral venue. Even if you request that others don't send flowers, make sure you tastefully adorn the space with beautiful arrangements or plants to give the event some life. This also reduces the need for any décor in your venue.
- Spring for live music. Make sure to include music in your celebration. While a DJ or simple background music is fine, invest in some live music to bring an exciting atmosphere to your event.
- Take it outside. Plan on hosting the event outdoors; fire up the barbecue for an after-the-service gathering where everyone can enjoy a good meal, remember the loved one that passed, and let off some steam. The sunshine, foliage, and fresh air can also help to lift spirits during this sad time.
- Plan an off-site reception. After the funeral, plan an off-site event or reception to follow. Have guests move to a second location—a home, a restaurant, or a venue—to eat, drink, and remember the person that has passed.
- Adorn the venue with memorabilia. Display a lot of photos and memorabilia. Some like to set up a table of items belonging to the deceased, which can also give a peek into the personality of the person being remembered. This will also provoke conversation and recollections among your guests.
- Create a memory jar. As guests enter your venue, ask them to jot down notes or memories for a memory jar. Keep it in a safe place for a memorial later, like a time-capsule, or plan on burying the capsule at the deceased's interment.
- Host an entirely separate event. You may also choose to create a separate event, long after the funeral, to remember and pay homage to the person that has passed. This may be easier for guests that are still grieving, and could be a time to plant a memorial tree or start a garden in remembrance of the person that died.
- Pay it forward. Do something that gives back to worthwhile causes or charities; for instance, set up a money tree at the celebration that encourages each guest to clip a dollar to it. Donate the money garnered in the name of the deceased.
A celebration of life is a wonderful way to say a final goodbye to someone near or dear. This provides everyone the chance to fondly recall and smile when remembering the deceased, which can help ease the pain of their grief and loss.