How to Make a Funeral Ceremony for Mom a Celebration of Life — from Greenwood & Myers Mortuary

10/25/2021, Boulder // PRODIGY: Feature Story //

Funeral services often have a rather somber mood. That is understandable. It is not easy to say goodbye to a loved one. However, it is increasingly common to turn a funeral ceremony into a celebration of life or to have a separate event before or after the funeral ceremony. Many people find that approach to be particularly fitting for their mother. After all, she is the person who gave them life—often physically but always in supporting and nurturing them to help them make the most of their life.

But if you choose to have a celebration of life before, during or after the funeral service, how do you do that? A great way to approach it is to come up with an overarching theme that runs through the entire event, from the music and decor to the menu of a post-service meal.

To find your theme, you can look at what mom was passionate about. She was surely devoted to caring for her family, but what were some things she did more for her own entertainment or amusement? What put a smile on her face?

When you select a mom-focused theme, attendees enjoy fond memories of her throughout the gathering. Plus, you will likely find that brainstorming about mom’s passions with other family members and friends is a very positive experience for everyone involved. It is an important reminder that while she will no longer be present in the flesh, she will always be present in the hearts and minds of those who loved her.

8 Ways to Commemorate Mom’s Happiest Times in a Funeral Service

Below are eight ideas to consider for making a funeral service also a celebration of life for mom.

  1. Include works of art. If mom loved viewing or creating paintings, sculptures, etc., decorate the site of the service with her work or replicas of her favorite pieces by other artists.
  2. Play mom’s favorite music. Did she love going to the symphony, the opera or other concerts? Incorporate music by some of her favorite composers or performers into the service—perhaps played in scaled-down form by a live musician. If she kept tickets, programs or other items from performances, have them on hand.
  3. Take inspiration from a beloved vacation destination. Maybe one of mom’s favorite things was going to a particular destination every summer with the family. Or maybe she frequently talked about the once-in-a-lifetime trip she made with dad to Europe. Choose one of those adventures as your theme. Or, perhaps, make travel in general your theme.
  4. Create a sports-themed event. If mom loved golfing, cycling, running, tennis, sailing or some other sport, place photos and other mementos from those sports like the “bib” from a race she ran, her golf glove, etc. where attendees can view them before or after the funeral service. You can also use them to enhance the decor so they are in view throughout the service.
  5. Use mom’s hobby as your inspiration. Did she enjoy spending time in her garden? Did she knit? Was she always proudly pulling out the scrapbooks she made? These hobbies are wonderful representations of who she was and can feature prominently in the funeral service, both visually and in mentions by anyone speaking at the event.
  6. Have a cooking theme. A mom’s handwritten recipe cards are a true treasure. So are kitchen utensils she used to lovingly craft delicious dishes for family and friends. Have those items at the funeral ceremony, and if there will be a meal afterward, feature some of her favorite creations.
  7. Use “game night” as your focal point. Mom’s are well known for getting their families to gather around the table to play cards or board games. Use items from her favorites as decorations, and if certain snacks got passed around the table, have them at your post-service meal.
  8. Recognize mom’s career. Did she work outside the home and truly relish her career accomplishments? If so, decorate the ceremony site with reminders of her career—photos of her at work, clothing she wore, awards she won, etc.
Other Ways to Honor Mom’s Memory

Some people choose to have a traditional funeral service and then celebrate mom’s life in a separate event. Here are some ideas:

  • Attend a game and cheer on her favorite team. You have memories from early childhood of mom wearing her favorite team’s uniform and creating the perfect environment for game day. Invite friends and family to join you to watch her team in person, perhaps wearing shirts recognizing her as the team’s #1 fan. Or, recreate game day in your home.
  • Have a picnic in her favorite spot. Mom loved to eat outdoors at the local park or a favorite camping spot. Pack up your picnic basket and reminisce about her as you share a meal with family and friends.
  • Volunteer on her behalf. If mom supported a particular charitable organization, organize a group of family and friends to lend a hand in her name. You enjoy some very meaningful time together and the organization benefits—again—from your mom’s commitment through you.
  • Dedicate an enduring item to mom’s memory. Have loved ones join you in planting a tree, designing a rock garden or creating some other lasting monument to mom.
  • Complete an item on mom’s bucket list. Maybe she always wanted to go whale watching but had not been able to do that. Let her have that experience through your eyes.
Your Celebration of Life Honors Mom and Supports All Who Loved Her

Acknowledging mom’s passing by celebrating her life not only honors her, but it also helps family and friends focus on all the joy she brought to people around her. In that way, a celebration of life is a wonderful way to begin the healing process.

About Greenwood & Myers Mortuary

We know there are other funeral homes in the area to choose from. But we also know that families who turn to us during a time of loss, or for pre-arrangement services experience our very high standards of service. We offer professional guidance and personal and specialized attention before, during and after the loss of a loved one. Our reputation for honesty and integrity is very well-known, and it is our most valuable asset.

Greenwood & Myers Mortuary Media Contact: Mike Greenwood | (303) 440-3960


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