30 Ideas on a Celebration of Life

Our life has a beginning and an end. Different cultures have different ceremonies for these meaningful events. In this article, we will talk about one of the ways to commemorate the death of our loved ones – a celebration of life. For those who don’t know what it is – a celebration of life is the opposite of a funeral. It’s an event that brings people together to celebrate, share positive emotions and memories about the deceased one. So a celebration of life is an alternative to a funeral. If you are not sure how a celebration of life can look like, here are 30 ideas on making the commemoration of the loved one peaceful, calm, and safe.

 

Host a Goodbye Party

Invite people to whom your deceased one was connected. For example, you can play your loved one’s favorite music and cook some favorite dishes or snacks. Also, you can recall some funny stories related to the dear one.  

 

Release a Paper Boat

Organize a meeting with friends of your loved ones and children to create paper boats. Before releasing them, say gratitude words to the deceased person or say what made this person special for you. Or, write down what do you love about the deceased one on paper and enclose it to the paper boats.

 

Make Colorful Kites

One more idea for children is to make kites and add wishes or memories to the tails. Then, children can fly the kites at the places their loved ones liked coming to.

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Make a Donation

Depending on what your loved one liked, you can donate on their behalf. There are many different organizations or platforms you can contribute to. Some are dedicated to animals, climate change, some to global health and development, or the long-term future.

 

Release an Eco-Friendly Sky Lantern

You, your friends, and family members can lift off a sky lantern for commemoration. It’s a beautiful and even a romantic way to show love, as the night sky will be magically full of light.

 

Memory cards

Ask your family and friends to write memory cards about the dear one, put them in a jar, and then meet up and read the memories out loud on a particular day. You can play the music your loved one liked to make a more unique atmosphere.

 

Accessories as a Keepsake

Have a bracelet, locket, ring, or earrings engraved with your loved one’s name, signature, or picture. You can wear those on specific days to show your love and dedication.

 

Organize a Book Club

You can organize meetings with your family and friends on which you read favorite books or poems of the deceased one.

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Make a Memory Box

Ask your family and loved one’s friends to bring something that reminds them of the deceased one. For instance, it can be a book, a photo, an accessory, or even a pen. The main idea is to collect things that have a deep meaning.

 

Donate the Deceased one’s Items

It might be books, clothes, and other staff. You can make donations to the local school, charity organization, church, or hospital. Add beautifully written certificates to the items that state why do you contribute. For example, “on behalf of the loved father/mother/sister/brother, NAME, these items are being donated to you to remind you of the beauty of life.”

 

Charity

Sign up for a run, walk, or bike ride in the name of the deceased one’s favorite charity. You can also motivate your family or friends to join you.

 

Plant a Tree or a Flower

Give life to nature by commemorating your loved one: plant one’s favorite tree or flower. Once it grows, it’ll remind you of the dear one.

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Symbolic Fireworks

Turn your dearest one’s ashes into a firework. You can set it off on a specific day, like a birthday or death anniversary. A bright firework can symbolize the positive traits or extraordinary life events the deceased one had.

 

Favorite Places

Invite your family and friends to visit the places your loved one liked. This way, you’ll remember what made these places so unique to your dear one. Also, you can organize a picnic in the favorite areas in nature that the deceased one liked.

 

Take an Art Class

Draw a painting that will illustrate your love for the deceased one. Or, you can make a piece of pottery to plant a favorite flower of the dear one.

 

Adopt a Pet from a Shelter

If your loved one liked animals, it’s a good idea to adopt a pet from a shelter in his memory. Then, taking care of the new pet, you’ll show your dedication and love to the deceased one. In addition, you can make a unique collar with his name or a special saying devoted to the deceased one.

 

Make an Appreciation Video

Ask your family and friends to share some positive memories and stories about your loved one. Then, you can play video slides with the pictures and videos of your loved one’s positive moments in their life. Some companies, like Speech Booth, can make video recording kits.

 

Make a Tattoo

Nowadays, it’s not a big deal to make tattoos. You can organize a visit to a tattoo parlor. Just think of the design you’d like to have beforehand. You can tattoo the names of the dear ones or a symbol or several symbols that remind you of them.

 

Name a Rose or a Star

You can dedicate a rose to the loved one by commissioning a name for a chosen rose. Also, your friends or family members can purchase cuttings for planting. Remember to register the name with the International Cultivar Registrations Authority.

The same goes for naming a star. Buy a start by choosing the constellation. Once receiving a certificate and a sky chart, you can view the star online thanks to the Worldwide Telescope.

 

Decorate a Tree

Choose a tree in the backyard to decorate. For example, fill mason jars halfway with water, float candles or flowers in them, and add string or fairy lights to the tree. Another idea is to print some photos with loved ones and write their favorite quotes on images to make photo tags. Additionally, you can hang some beautiful cords and ribbons of your loved one’s favorite colors.

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Movie Marathon

Organize a meeting with friends and family members to watch some movies or serials that your dear one liked the most.

 

Memory Book

Create a memory book with photos and stories of the loved one. You can ask your family and friends to contribute.

 

Sport

If the deceased loved sport, you can organize a sporting event. For instance, you can invite friends and family to play basketball, bowling, or volleyball. Or attend a sporting game in honor of your loved one.

 

Outer Space

If you want to make something unusual, we have an idea. Send your dear ones ashes into outer space to commemorate their love for adventures. Celestis is a company that provides such service.

 

Memory Garden

Dedicate a small and lovely garden to the deceased who loved gardening. Plant favorite flowers of the dear ones, or transplant their plants from their garden. You can also mix some amount of ashes into the soil if your loved one was cremated. Additionally, inscribe special dates or quotes on the stepping stones.

 

Write a Letter or a Poem

Express your feeling toward your loved ones. Write down what they meant to you and how they made your life better. Then, put the writing in an envelope and keep it in a safe place so that you could read it anytime you need some support.

 

Special Space

Choose a particular place at home, like a wall or a table, to put or hang the pictures of the loved ones and add accessories. For example, you can put some aroma candles, hang some items, or put some flowers next to the photos.

 

Create an Artbook

Collect the drawings and paintings your children made for your loved ones and turn them into a book. This book will show how lovable the deceased person is.

 

Music

Music evokes strong emotions and memories. So make a playlist full of your dear one’s favorite music and share it with your family and the loved one’s friends.

 

There are so many ways to express love and dedication to the deceased ones. Some people don’t want to associate their loved ones with grief and sadness. Celebration of life is another way to show your love and memory. Instead of pulling yourself down when thinking about the dear one, you can accept the passing away and express gratitude for them being part of your life. 

Another way to think of this topic is to find out what funeral celebration your loved one wants. Then, it can ease the preparation process. For example, they can say what exactly they want with their body to happen. For example, to choose cremation or burial; to save the ashes in a cremation urn or scatter them into a sea or ocean; to make jewellery from ashes or mix them with soil to plant fruits. After all, sooner or later, our life comes to an end, but it’s not a tragedy. It’s the way life is.

Valerie Stupnikova
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