Why a Celebration of Life Service?

A celebration of life will take many forms depending upon the person who is being celebrated. It’s very rare that the person being celebrated has planned all the details of this event in advance. In fact, most folks don’t do any planning when it comes to their death. They leave those choices to the loved ones they leave behind. At such a point the grieving can be a large burden to bear. Planning this service may prove helpful to the healing process.  In addition, it will keep you busy so that you have time to process the loss in small, well regulated bits.

Some things to consider when planning a Celebration of Life ceremony include:

  • Where should the life service be held?
  • Who will lead the service?
  • What activities should be planned?
  • Which music should be chosen for this event?
  • Will others be sharing their memories of the loved one?
  • What about food and drink?
  • Writing a eulogy.

celebration of life

When a celebration of life is well planned you can count on people being able to find some closure and peace. It’s in the small details of the service that symbols of love and devotion can be brought forward. Things like writing about the person on paper provided for that purpose are a really nice gesture.  These remembrances can help those left behind as they read about their loved one at a later date.  They have the opportunity to learn something about their loved one that they may not have known before.

Possible Locations for Life Celebrations in San Diego County

  • The Mortuary that is handling the arrangements
  • Church
  • A local clubhouse
  • Senior center
  • Restaurants with private back rooms
  • A local park
  • Golf course in their banquet room

Other Event Spaces in San Diego – Gathered from the Internet – (Not an endorsement from SDMS)

  • Luce Loft
    Luce Loft is a beautiful urban event space located in Downtown San Diego.  Housed within the historic 1928 Carnation Dairy Factory, Luce Loft specializes in hosting Wedding Receptions, Corporate Events, Birthday Parties and other Private Events.
  • Brick
    While seated capacity is recommended for up to 300 guests, cocktail receptions can accommodate more.
    The venue is yours to use from 10AM the day of your event until 10AM the following day.
    Bring your own vendors.
  • VENUES Liberty Station
    Various venues listed here

Ideas for Creating a Wonderful Life Celebration

  • Balloon Release
    I had a member tell me that balloons are dangerous for fish and other wildlife and should be avoided.
  • Dove Release
    Dove and butterfly releases are becoming popular. Again, these can be therapeutic for those grieving from the loss.
    To learn about dove release go to www.whitedoverelease.com
    For butterfly release see this site www.renaissancebutterflies.com
  • Create something for the guests to take home
    This could be a folder with the obituary and a picture
    A bookmark with the person’s birth and death date and a little something about them, including an image.celebration of life
  • Memory Table
    Have some small cards and pens available for people to write about their memories of the person. These can be read later for reflection and discovery.
    Creating a table that brings your loved ones pictures and some of their favorite items is a nice touch.
  • Pictures
    Make sure to have lots of images of the loved one. These can be set up on decorative boards that can be purchased at the craft store.
  • Seed Cards
    These are cards with seeds that can be planted later as a reminder of the loved one.

Step by Step Planning a Memorial Service or Celebration of Life Service

  1. Determine the type of service or celebration.
  2. Decide on location, date and time, and who will attend.
  3. Outline a budget.
  4. If desired, publish details about the service or event with the obituary in local papers.
  5. Compile a guest list and send invitations; include RSVP.
  6. Decide who will officiate or host / hostess the event. Consider hiring a planner.
  7. Select readings according to desired tone.
  8. Write a eulogy; consider family or close friends to read, as well.
  9. Choose music. Consider a friend to play, or hire a musician.
  10. Decide sequence of readings, speeches and music.
  11. Create a program.
  12. If cremation has been chosen, consider a memorial urn for the service or keepsakes for close family and friends.
  13. Consider important final touches: flowers, food and drink, a memory table or board, and a memory chest for written notes and/or photos.
  14. Write thank-you notes or prepare a small thank-you gift for help received.

Related Links for a Celebration of Life