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Celebration of Life vs. a Funeral

Often, people are overwhelmed when a loved one passes on.  There are so many decisions to be made and things can get rushed.  Will there be a Wake or Viewing, how should the Funeral be planned, will we have a Memorial service too, what are we doing afterward, where should we meet, how do we cater, etc.?  Taking the time to plan a celebration of life allows the funeral to occur in its own time and place and provides time to mourn.  Then, either later that day, or even a week or month, family and friends get to reunite to truly remember, enjoy, and celebrate the life they shared.


"What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash."
- The Dash by, Linda Ellis

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What is a Celebration of Life?

Celebrations of life are exactly that: a celebration service for the end-of-life ceremony where family and friends come together to memorialize the unique life of the deceased loved one.  There is more room for creativity in a celebration of life compared to simply a funeral since the individual’s physical remains have already been cared for, and more time can be used to plan this event.  There are three main benefits to holding a celebration of life: personalization, convenience, and to get more people involved.

1. This kind of service allows people to plan the event versus making decisions through urgency – it isn’t time sensitive

2. Allows for all that loved, cared for, and had their own special moments with the deceased to pay their respects and say goodbye


3. Can cost as little or as much as you would like to spend.

4. Allows for the freedom to best display your loved one’s personality, values, and passions.

5. Some celebrations are held months after the person’s death allowing loved ones to grieve and decompress

6. It can be the most rewarding thing any of us can do for someone we loved and lost

How does everything work together?

The most important thing to remember when we are met with the loss of a loved one is that their life does not need to be consolidated into a single day or event.  Take the time needed to discuss the loved one’s wishes regarding burial/cremation, a viewing or wake, a funeral service, and then work toward planning how you would like to celebrate their life.


Ready to start planning or have more questions?  Get in touch with me so we can begin planning your loved one’s unique life.

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There'll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read 'em but all that's gonna matter is the little dash between 'em.

- Kevin Welch

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