Most people have been to a traditional funeral at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, but celebrations of life are non-traditional services that, rather than mourning a loss, remember and celebrate a life well lived. They give attendees a chance to say goodbye by sharing stories and memories and then laughing and smiling about those stories rather than crying over them.
Since celebrations of life aren’t rooted in long traditions, they can be whatever the bereaved and the deceased want. The best thing about celebrations of life? They have no rules at all. They can be whatever you want them to be! Unless, of course, the deceased left specific instructions for their service.
But if there are no rules, how do you go about planning one? Where do you start? Here are some tips to help you plan a celebration of life. Start with the guest list. Who do you want to invite? Keep the guest list small if you want an intimate celebration or open it up to the whole community if you want a large celebration. Once you have a rough idea of how many people are going to attend you can start to choose a location. Some celebrations of life are held at traditional places like churches, funeral homes, and banquet halls, but others are held at much more unique locales.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box: campfires in the woods, dinners at restaurants, services in a field, or even just a backyard barbeque. Next, think about the service itself. You also need to do some planning for how you will honor and celebrate your lost loved one. Generally, celebrations of life have some kind of officiant or MC that leads the group in memories, speaks about the life of the deceased, and ushers the ceremony along.
However, you can also have a more informal ceremony without a specific leader. If you go this route, consider passing out programs so guests know what to expect, where to be, and what to do. What about activities? A celebration of life can be full of a range of activities to help remember and honor the deceased. Some common activities are scrapbooks or memory boards, reading the deceased’s favorite literature or listening to their favorite music, watching memorial tribute videos, and eating the deceased’s favorite foods. Remember, a celebration of life is a celebration. As such, it should be uplifting and fun. Don’t shy away from good fun, drinks, and even decorations like balloons and streamers. They are interesting, unique and heartwarming ways to celebrate lives.
Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want more tips on planning celebrations of life or on Oakland, CA funeral homes. We are honored to do to however we can in your time of loss and celebration of a life well lived. Call or visit us today. After all, while there’s nothing wrong about being comforted in tradition, there is something to be said for going a different route: a celebration of life.