Celebrating Life at a Funeral

15 August 2019 • Planning advice

Celebrating Life at a Funeral

The Traditional Funeral

Funerals are traditionally sombre, dignified occasions, to remember the life of a lost loved one and mourn their passing. We fondly and sadly remember the good times and symbolically take the first, tentative steps into a future without that special person in it. Having said a final, sad and public goodbye, bravely we move on with steely determination.

An Alternative

But what if funerals were times to celebrate life? Not thinking of how we will carry on without that person, but embracing, enjoying, sharing and celebrating joyful memories? Acknowledging and appreciating the impact that person has had on our lives.

Why don’t we celebrate life at a funeral in a way that our loved one would want us to. This might be by including an element of fun, with smiles and why not some champagne if that is what they enjoyed during their own life.

This approach may not be the standard for all, however, if your loved one that has passed was a person with a zest for life, a glint in their eye, a sense of humour, an adventurous type who was not bound by tradition, why not farewell them in a similar manner?

Celebrating Life at a Memorial Service

You can choose to have a memorial service after your loved one has been privately buried or cremated. The absence of a casket can mean guests are more relaxed, less formal and the service is more a gathering of friends to remember a loved one than a formal funeral with the traditions that are attached to it.

Memorials can include readings or recitals of celebrating life poems, celebrating life quotes or Quotes to Remember a Loved One by, they can also be solely activities where the person is remembered.

Celebrating Life Quote

Celebrating Life at a Funeral

Celebrating a life at a funeral can take many forms. The service can be held at a different location from a traditional funeral. It can also involve guests taking part in a variety of activities that best connect people to the loved one who has passed.

For example, the service could be near the water with fishing from their favourite pier or a paddle surf if that's what they enjoyed themselves. Why not combine a simple service in a small church, a large ‘do’ in a community hall or even a quiet graveside service with more light hearted activities like a barbecue, a high tea, a picnic in the garden, a walk along the beach or in the rainforest. A sing-along with their favourite music, even a few drinks at their favourite pub; the options are endless.

If your deceased loved one had an activity that they were known for, then maybe celebrate their life in that way.

Memorialising your Loved One

Life celebration activities can also revolve around an activity that will memorialise the family member, friend or loved one who has passed. This may be planting a tree, a grove or a garden in memory of the loved one; a beautiful rose grove or arbour can be a lasting memory of someone who love the softer, more gentle things in life or who loved the wonder of life. These places can then become special locations for those who want to visit and remember the loved one, years on from when they passed. Celebrating the life that has ended through planting and fostering new life and growth is something that is incredibly healing and soothing.

For those who loved to ‘think big’ or loved astrology, dedicating a star to your loved one may be a wonderful and permanent reminder of them. There are many companies who offer packages that include a certificate that a particular star has been dedicated to your loved one, with a date, the coordinates of the star and your loved one’s name. In celebrating a life in this way, you can gather family and friends for a meal or refreshments and view the dedicated star after the sun has set.

A simpler, but very personal and meaningful idea to celebrate a life is gathering family and friends and asking guests to write their favourite memories of the loved one who has passed on cards or in a memorial book. These can then be treasured by the family as a keepsake, or copies made available to all guests to remember that special someone.

Or, in today’s world of digital and online dominance, why not consider an online memorial page to display photos, quotes, statements, songs or special memoirs of your loved one? Providers such as Skymorials.com offer online memorial pages that are completely simple to build and easily customisable.

Gather memories or anecdotes from friends and family and store them safely forever on your own page. You have full control over the page, who sees, accesses and contributes, what contributions are published and such. Through these pages, only memories that you want your loved one to be remembered by will be displayed and will remain online forever to ensure memories last a lifetime.

Memorialise Loved One, Plant a Tree

Who Can Lead a Life Celebration?

Life celebrations are often more informal than a traditional funeral, but you may still like to have someone officiate an informal service. Celebrants or ministers / priests / reverends can lead an informal funeral or memorial service.

For a very relaxed style or a distinctly personal touch, a member of the family can also officiate if they feel they are comfortable and capable to do so.

Consider Your Options

So why not consider a celebration of life funeral, celebration memorial service or life celebration activity to farewell your deceased loved one? You may be surprised by the special memories that are made in the process of saying goodbye and starting the healing process. Memories that can be captured to last a lifetime and beyond. 


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