The last chapter of a book is not the complete story, just as mourning at the end of a life is not the only part of honoring a life, either. To lose someone you love is one of the most difficult of human experiences, but many people choose to also honor the life their loved one lived with joy and celebration.
A celebration of life doesn’t have to replace a funeral or memorial service, although it can. And celebrations of life can take place when the family is ready to gather together to remember their loved one in a festive way. Below are a few ways to commemorate a unique life in a meaningful and joyful way.
Where did the deceased find joy in life? Concert venues, golf courses, art galleries, a favorite restaurant—these are all places that a celebration of life can be held. With Albuquerque’s beautiful year-round weather, many outdoor locations are ideal for a memorial event, such as the Botanical Gardens and many of the city’s open space lands. If your loved one was an athlete, hosting a game at a baseball diamond or basketball court is a personal way to pay tribute. For some, a backyard BBQ is the perfect way to honor their loved one.
Family members, friends, co-workers, teammates, students. Everyone who touched a life in a significant way has a unique perspective of that person. Encouraging people to share their own stories of the deceased can create a beautiful and heartwarming experience full of laughter and love. Guests who play music can perform some of the honoree’s favorite songs. Guests can be asked to wear a loved one’s favorite color or sports team, or write down their favorite memories in a book or on a mural.
Memorials, or objects or structures created to remind people of someone, are very important to have after someone dies. They honor a life, provide a lasting place to return to, to grieve and celebrate a life and help facilitate a healthy grieving process. A gravestone is a memorial, but so is a tree planted in someone’s honor, a mural painted on the side of a building, or a bridge named after someone special. If a loved one had a favorite park or fishing spot, a bench with a plaque can serve as a beautiful place to reflect and honor their life. Life may not be permanent, but a tribute to a unique and irreplaceable life can last for generations to come.
Send your guests home with a token of your loved one for them to keep for themselves. A photo memorial card of your loved one, a DVD of a slideshow of pictures and video from your loved one’s life, seed packets of the honoree’s favorite flower or vegetable, or a favorite recipe. Some families have given guests little vials containing some of their loved one’s cremated remains, requesting them to scatter them somewhere they think the loved one would have found joy in. Stories have come back to families of their loved one’s remains being scattered in special places all over the world.
The celebration of a loved one can be documented. Just as you’d capture photographs and video of someone living their life, you can do the same for the people who have gathered together to show their love and respect for someone who had a significant role in their life. Take pictures and video of guests, or record their stories. These moments can be sent to guests afterward, or kept as a personal keepsake to remind you of the characters who cared about your loved one in the story of their life.
There are countless ways to create a personalized celebration of life that perfectly honors the distinct personality of an individual. The staff at all of French Funerals & Cremations’ locations in Albuquerque can help you choose and secure a location, help you come up with unique, customized ideas, and take care of all the details necessary to plan a meaningful event.