How Do I Plan a Celebration of Life if I Have no Instructions?

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The concept of death is never easy; when you are faced with it you are hit with a wall of many different emotions, from sadness, to anger, to anxiety, to stress. On top of moving through the grieving process you are also faced with the task of planning the celebration of life that your loved one would have always wanted. But how are you able to do that when you weren’t able to have that conversation with your loved one before they passed?


In some cases, the end of life conversation was not able to happen, and you will have to face the daunting task on your own of planning the celebration. It is important to remember that with a celebration of life, it is exactly what the name states, it is a celebration of the life that your loved one lived and their accomplishments and happy memories you shared with them. In times where you begin to feel overwhelmed, think of this planning process as a step-by-step process that we have outlined here in this article.


The first step towards planning the celebration of life is contact family and friends of the deceased. The more people that you are in contact with the more information you will have on your loved one. You may think that you know every micro detail of your loved one but you will learn so much more by speaking to other family and friends. Some important questions to ask them are people that should be in attendance, or even passions or hobbies that you may not have been aware of.


The second step of the process after laying out the foundation of quest attendance and even hobbies and other personality traits, is to consider what the budget is for the celebration of life. For many people a budget and financial factors are a huge stress factor. Although you want to provide the best service for you loved one, you also can’t put yourself in financial debt because of it. There are things like venue cost, caters, decorations, flowers, entertainment, they are all things to consider.


Thirdly, you will need to consider the order in which you want the celebration of life to take place. You will want to figure out a timeline for the day and how you want the day to transpire. Our funeral directors have outlined a general timeline of a celebration of life to help guide you. The first step is the musical and spoken introduction, followed by the eulogies. After the eulogies have finished, normally family members will tell stories or sing songs that remind them of the deceased. In closing they will say or show a short video of the person’s personality, and say a few messages in closing.


Lastly, following the closing remarks, there is normally a reception that follows. Think of music and memoriabilia or pictures that should be on display. Maybe even select a playlist that they loved.


If you have any further questions on this topic, please contact us at Thomas Gallagher Funeral Home.


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