First off, I am so sorry that you’re here.
Whether you’ve landed here as the person bearing the responsibility and burden of planning a memorial, or as someone looking to help a friend or loved one–my heart is with you.
Planning a memorial service, funeral, celebration of life, whatever you choose to call it… can be challenging and painful.
I hope that something here helps lighten your load in any way possible.
Now, let’s get into it:
I want to be very clear, all the things you’re feeling right now, all the pain in your heart, all the overwhelm, one day it will lighten. And it is my personal mission to make sure that when that day comes, you are proud of each and every decision you made while weathering this storm. The best way you can do that, is to operate from a lens of love.
There are going to be hard things that come up inside this already difficult time. People may let you down, things may not go as you planned. That’s okay. You are doing the best that you can. This is not a time for ego, or leveling the playing the field, or selfishness. Let your actions be a reflection of a heart wide open, full of love, even when it seems impossible. Do this to the best of your abilities, and you WILL be proud of your decisions, no matter the outcome. And that pride will withstand the tests of time.
If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or upset, let yourself feel it. Do not push it down. Feel your feelings. Let yourself be SAFE to experience what you’re going through. And then, recognize that this is not permanent. Regardless of your circumstances, choose love every time. Even in the simplest of things: what songs you’ll play during the service, what bible verse you’ll use in the program, etc. Make those decisions with LOVE. Your loved one will be proud regardless.
Trust me, there’s a reason I made this Step #1. Use this to guide everything else to come.
As someone who planned a celebration of life with zero experience and only resource being Google–I can tell you it’s easiest to work backwards.
What’s the end game? The service, right?
Okay, now let’s work back.
What needs to be organized in order for the service to occur?
Now you have an idea of what all needs to get done in order to get you to the day-of. You know who’s going to be by your side and what everyone’s responsibilities are.
Now that you have an idea of the structure of the event–it’s time to consider the flow.
It can be overwhelming making all of these decisions. Give yourself time. I don’t really understand the rush to hurry and host a service after someone’s passing. I don’t believe there is any right or wrong way to do this. Honor your needs, and honor your loved one the way they would’ve wanted. I’d say shoot for within a month of their passing–it also doesn’t do anyone any good to push this off.
If you’re struggling to make these decisions, your best bet may be using a church or funeral home. You lose the ability to customize the memorial, but you gain the relief of having someone else plan and prepare the event–all you have to do is show up.
Take a deep breath. You’ve got this. Feel the light of your loved one shine on you. They are with you every step of the way. The universe is guiding your steps. Supporting you through this time. You are enough just as you are. Know in your heart that everything is going to go exactly as it should.
All my love.
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