WHY FUNERALS AND LIFE CELEBRATIONS MATTER

Regardless of your age, there is a good chance that you have attended at least one or two funerals. For those people reading this article, there is a greater chance that you’ve possibly attended many more funerals than just two. Unfortunately, over the past year, I personally have attended more funerals than normal. With each funeral I attend, my belief that funerals are an important ritual to help the living acknowledge loss and begin the grief process grows even stronger. Funerals do matter.

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PLANNING A LIFE CELEBRATION

At one point in time or another, you will likely be involved with planning a funeral or Life Celebration. While this is a daunting task that no one looks forward to doing, if done in advance your efforts will be very beneficial to your family and friends when it is time to say goodbye to your loved one.  If you are the family member or friend who is responsible for planning a funeral at the time of need, don’t worry, your funeral director will walk you through every decision and help you every step of the way.

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FINDING HOPE DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.  “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”

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PLANNING A LIFE CELEBRATION

At one point in time or another, you will likely be involved with planning a funeral or Life Celebration. While this is a daunting task that no one looks forward to doing, if done in advance your efforts will be very beneficial to your family and friends when it is time to say goodbye to your loved one.


If you are the family member or friend who is responsible for planning a funeral at the time of need, don’t worry, your funeral director will walk you through every decision and help you every step of the way.


Planning in advance does have many benefits. Planning a funeral or life celebration requires family members to make many decisions and notify many people about the death. When plans are not completed in advance, it becomes necessary for family members to make decisions when they are burdened by grief.


Whether you are planning at the time of need or in advance, before you even begin to plan the funeral, take a deep breath. Slow down and focus on planning a personalized funeral to honor and pay tribute to the person who has provided a lifetime of memories for you and your family to cherish.  What made your loved one special? What were his or her likes, dislikes, special qualities, hobbies, passions or career choices?

As you think about what made your loved one unique, consider ways that your funeral director can help you incorporate it into a meaningful funeral ceremony and discuss these during the planning meeting. If you just aren’t sure what to share with your funeral director, simply tell the funeral director that you want the service to be a life celebration and share with him or her information about your loved one and allow them to help you make it memorable.


While some Life Celebrations families involve pre-planning, you might consider incorporating some of these ideas in the Life Celebration:



A well-planned personalized funeral or Life Celebration will not only be emotionally touching to you, your family and friends, it will also help you better cope with your grief and move toward a new normal.

KIM WADE

Kim Wade has been a marketing consultant for more than 20 years specializing in the funeral industry. Currently, she is the Community Relations Director for Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th- oldest continuously operated family business in the United States which operates three locations in Lexington including its Celebration of Life center at 1509 Trent Boulevard. Kim can be reached at marketing@milwardfuneral.com or 859-252-3411.

more articles by kim wade