Having a funeral service for your loved one is an excellent way to help friends and family grieve. At the service, they'll have an opportunity to face the reality of your loved one's death and offer support to one another during such a difficult time. And while the funeral will also give family and friends a chance to memorialize your loved one's life, the atmosphere doesn't usually make people feel like celebrating. If you're looking for a way to celebrate the life that your loved one lived, consider inviting the family and friends who are also interested in celebrating to one of these events after the funeral:
Have a Potluck
Invite friends and family members to your home for a potluck after the funeral so nobody has to cook when they get home. Have each guest bring a dish that they know your loved one enjoyed during their life – you can always make a list of their favorite dishes and have guests volunteer for their preferred options. Everyone can enjoy a meal together while listening to your loved one's favorite tunes and sharing fun stories from the past that will make each other laugh. Decorate with balloons and streamers to keep the atmosphere upbeat throughout the get-together.
Host a Collage Party
Another interesting way to celebrate the life of your loved one is to host a collage party and ask guests to bring along any photos they have of the deceased. Gather as many photos as you can that feature your loved one and put them in a box. Place the box of photos, paint, glue, permanent markers, scissors, pieces of poster board, and any other supplies that you think will come in handy when making collages.
When your guests arrive, have them place their photos in the box and take a seat around the table. Once everyone is settled in, the fun of creating memorial collages can begin. Have everyone take turns telling a memorable story about your loved one while the art is being made to keep the mood high throughout the party. Provide frames for the collages so your guests can take them home and immediately hang them on the wall.
Plan a Poetry Event
To give friends and family a chance to express their feelings and share their positive memories about your loved one after the funeral, plan a poetry event. Ask each guest to write a poem about a time they spent with your loved one that makes them feel good. Provide light snacks and beverages to enjoy in a casual environment and have each guest simply stand up one at a time to share their poems. If possible, make copies of each poem before your guests leave so you can compile them into a memorabilia book for everyone to enjoy.
These celebration opportunities will give everyone a chance to feel good about the time they spent with your loved one and get used to smiling instead of crying when old memories surface.