Preparing For the Final Celebration
When someone you love is in end-of-life care, it’s inevitable that you would start thinking about how you will prepare for the final celebration. Having a proper sendoff to commemorate a life lived well is no easy feat. It takes a lot of thought, a lot of planning, and a lot of patience as you grieve at the same time. Today let’s discuss how you can prepare for the final celebration of a loved one in Santa Clara and elsewhere.
But first, what is the “final celebration” really? Well, there are no hard and fast rules. It’s not a party in the traditional sense wherever everyone brings gifts and has cake. Rather, it is a somber yet joyful time to look back on your loved one’s life, recognize their achievements, remember what they accomplished, and celebrate the depth of life they lived. The type of celebration you plan will depend on the personality and wishes of your loved one, of course. Some don’t want a lot of fanfare and would prefer to say their goodbyes in private. Others want a traditional funeral after they die. But sometimes, family and friends would prefer to host a celebration of life after their loved one has passed rather than a traditional church service, to help them heal.
What you choose to do will depend on your family and your loved one’s wishes.
Invite Ideas and Start Planning
First, you’ll want to be open to ideas on how to celebrate your loved one’s life. Friends and family can find comfort and closure by planning a celebration of life, so invite and encourage all input and ideas, suggests USA Today. Next, choose a format. Perhaps you would like to plan something small first with your loved one while they are still alive, to share stories, reminisce, and comfort one another. Then, in lieu of a traditional funeral service, you can plan a larger gathering as a celebration of life.
Decide on a venue to hold the celebration. This could be anything from a catering hall or a place of worship to someone’s home or a community space. Make sure you consider any audio-visual needs for presentations, food preparation, parking, and accessibility. Think about space constraints when creating an invite list. Unlike funerals in a church setting, for example, a private residence may have limited seating and space. When choosing a day and time, be mindful of guests who have to travel from out of town.
Choose Music, Readings, and Photos
In order to make the celebration of life as meaningful as possible for everyone involved, plan the music, readings, prayers, and remembrances. Select items that meant something to your loved one and that can be inspiring and comforting for those left behind. Invite anyone with special talents to participate, such as a family member who is a musician.
Display photos and show videos of your loved one around the room or space so each person can take their time viewing the memories. Leave out a memory book so attendees can jot down thoughts on what they loved about the person or a special memory that will never forget.
Consider a Living Funeral
Some people in hospice, or even before they enter hospice, express wishes to plan their own final celebration instead of tasking their bereaved family with it. This allows them to add their own personal touch and use it as a constructive way to deal with the fears associated with venturing into the unknown, says Our Life Celebrations.
A living funeral makes this possible, and this is basically a celebration that involves you before you pass on. When the end is near, a living funeral can be a beautiful send-off gathering for your loved one to say farewell to family and friends. You will have to ask yourself some questions first, or help your loved one answer them:
- Do you want a memorial service or a funeral?
- Where do you want the celebration of your life to take place?
- What theme do you want?
- What kind of music should be played?
- Should one person give a eulogy or would you prefer an open-mic ceremony?
- What flowers should be displayed?
- What readings or inspirational poems do you want people to read?
- What should the post-ceremony party look like?
There are many benefits to having a living funeral. This allows people to tell their family member or friend exactly how they feel about them before they die. For the person in hospice, they get to hear what people have to say about them while they’re still here. It also helps them face the unknown and embrace it by celebrating memories that have defined their life. Having a living funeral or celebration of life is a way to spend meaningful time with the ones you love, while you still can.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
Here at Pathways, we are dedicated to helping family members get through this tough time, and that includes offering advice and suggesting resources when it comes to planning a final celebration. To learn how contact us today at 888-978-1306.