Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Celebration Of Life Versus A Funeral

When my Uncle Dudley died in July of 2007, my entire family was heartbroken.  He had long been a backbone that our family depended on.  When he died, it was left to his only daughter, Arianne, to put the peices back together.

In a way, she had been lucky that he laid out directions for her.  He not only had his wishes listed in a will, but he had also written notes to her during the months that he was sick that laid out his wishes and gave her encouragement.  What he wished for was to not have a funeral because he always said that he hated funerals.  Instead of focusing on the life that he had lost, he wanted the focus to be on the life that he had lived.  So, he decided that he wanted a Celebration of Life, which would give everyone a chance to celebrate the life that he led.

So, Arianne rented a large banquet hall and got a caterer to serve my Uncle's favorite meals, and she sent out invitations (the event took over a month to plan), and people came out of the woodwork to attend.  (In fact, so many people wanted to attend, that some people had to be turned down for the celebration of life and invited to other parties).

Everyone was dressed formally in black ties and fancy dresses when they arrived (just as my Uncle's wishes) and everyone enjoyed themselves as they told wonderful stories of my uncle.  After we ate some of his favorite foods, there was a slide show that was beautiful.  Then, everyone had a chance to speak to the crowd, which was wonderful.

So, if as your preparing your will (which, as morbid as it is, is very important), you might want to consider having a Celebration of Life. 

6 comments:

TERRY SNYDER said...

Very nice, but now I'm wondering if a "celebration of life" post, rabbit style would be in order. :)

Terry Snyder, The Great Black Swamp Graveyard Rabbit

Brian said...

My grandpa did something similar. He obviously knew he was passing on when he was diagnosed with cancer. When I purchased my grandparent's house when my grandmother moved into assisted living. My grandpa has notes all over in the basement about everything and how to take care of it for when he wasn't around to do it. To be honest, it did help me a lot when I first moved in. He was a very organized guy, unlike me. :)

Anonymous said...

This year we lost our grandfather and it was very hard for everyone involved. So much so, that no one even had the emotional energy to go through what was necessary to plan his funeral. A friend of mine, Kelly, who had just gone through the same thing, gave me the information of a company that helped her through the entire process. Going to the company website, www.4celebrationsoflife.com, and then finally hiring them was the best decision I could have made for my family. They took the time to really get to know my family, and my grandfather. They handled everything quickly, professionally, and were very sensitive. We had a memorial mass, and a celebration of his life reception that really allowed everyone to remember what a special man my grandfather was, and what an amazing life he had lived. In some ways, it made it less sad, and grieving a bit easier. For anyone that is going through this I would recommend a celebration of life instead of a traditional, sad funeral.

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