How To Plan A Celebration Of Life If No Instructions Were Given

By: James Donofrio
Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult. When the deceased hasn’t left any instructions for their final arrangements, planning a meaningful celebration of life can feel daunting. But with compassion and creativity, you can organize a special event that honors your loved one's spirit.

How to Plan a Celebration of Life

The Blair Mazzarella Funeral Home team has outlined these steps on how to plan a celebration of life:

  • Start planning by reflecting on who your loved one was as a person. What did they care about? What brought them joy and purpose? Make a note of their hobbies, causes, favorite places, and cherished relationships. Think about special memories and funny stories that capture their personality as it will help guide the tone and components as you shape a personalized celebration of their life.
  • Reach out to your loved one's inner circle of relatives and friends for input. Ask them to share their favorite memories and what made the person so special. Compile a list of meaningful songs, poems, movies, or books your loved one enjoyed. Friends may cherish certain traditions or recipes that you can incorporate.
  • Consider gathering at a spot with significance, like your loved one's favorite restaurant, park, community center, or place of worship. Or host the celebration at home and decorate with nostalgic photos and memorabilia. If selecting a more traditional venue, choose one that allows flexibility to personalize décor and activities.
  • Of course, grieving has its place. But focus on making the mood upbeat and celebratory as much as possible. Rather than styling it like a somber memorial service, set a positive vibe with bright colors and casual attire.
  • Use photos, music playlists, treasured possessions, and favorite foods to infuse nostalgia and meaning. Set up a memory table featuring the person’s collections or hobbies. Display a slideshow or video montage of their life. Have guests sign a memorial banner with written memories and well wishes.
  • Give guests opportunities to commemorate your loved one's legacy actively. You can have an open mic for sharing stories, passing around recipe cards for a customized cookbook, or making arts and crafts featuring the person's favorite colors and motifs.

Other Things To Do

Have a few close loved ones deliver positive, lighthearted remarks about the person and the impact they made. While you can share a few tears or emotional moments, keep the focus on heartwarming life reflections and humorous anecdotes.

You can also provide small gifts or mementos attendees can take home, like photo bookmarks, pins with inspirational sayings, personalized candles or mugs, wildflower seed packets, or snacks in the person's favorite flavors.

For more information on- how to plan a celebration of life, call Blair Mazzarella Funeral Home at (718) 282-1164 or via this online form.

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