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Examples of Creative
and Unique Life Celebrations That Are Way Beyond Traditional Funerals
Below you will find a couple of examples of creative and
unique celebrations of life. You'll see that they go way beyond the traditional
funeral. Perhaps they will inspire you with some ideas to create a lasting
tribute to your loved ones that friends and family will never forget.
Alicia Had Her Celebration of Life Her Way and it Included Wine
and a Farewell Video
Alicia Johnson, a self proclaimed wine connoisseur prearranged her service
to include four separate wine tasting ceremony stations established in
her garden at her suburban home. Her family and friends walked to each
of the four stations, tasted wine and experienced the important areas
of her life. At the first one, they listened to some of her favorite music
while enjoying one particular wine she had invested in and talked amongst
themselves about Alicia, her wine and her music. At the second ceremony
station, the funeral director provided each attendee with a message card
to write words of comfort to the family if they chose, while enjoying a
different wine and hearing her husband talk of their life together. At
the third ceremony station, beneath an outdoor tent, they tearfully watched
Alicia in a video in which she talked to them from her bed just weeks
before her death. She had heartfelt and loving messages to more than ten
members of her family and friends.
Jack Killington's Jogging Club Added a Special Touch to his Celebration
of Life Along the Way to the Cemetery
Jack Killington was a fifty
two year old member of the Mohawks jogging club. To conclude his service,
while he rode in the hearse, he was escorted on ether side by tearful jogging
Mohawk club members for the two miles to the cemetery.
Dave's Celebration of Life Was at his Favorite Place, the Zoo
Dave had a
love for animals and had many safari adventures with his wife Margaret.
It seemed appropriate to make animals the focus of his celebration of
At Dave’s service:
Funeral attendees were invited to greet the family under an outdoor tent
outside of the zoo gates where coffee and cocktails were served, and an
opportunity for informal social exchange between family and friends was
provided. They were given a 10-inch square memorial folder imprinted with
the ceremony agenda and pictures of Dave throughout his life.
At the appointed service time, family and friends boarded one of several
waiting zoo trains and began a slow Ride to the first “ceremony
presentation,” this one in front of the outdoor bear pavilion. At
this station, several tripods held enlarged photographs of animals that
had been taken by Dave. These were on display next to a podium with a
Once family and friends disembarked the trains and gathered around the
podium, Dave’s wife, Margaret, began a discussion of her husband
and, in particular, their safari experiences and devotion and love for
animals. At the conclusion of her remarks, she invited others to share
memories and recollections of her husband. The group then re-boarded the
trains for the short ride to the next “ceremony Station”.
At the second stop, at the lions’ pavilion, several more tripods
displayed blown-up articles about Dave, his work and his devotion to the
animals, and a display table held Dave’s PETA awards and PETA donation
envelopes. Dave’s closest friend, Don Strattermier, began the presentation,
talking about his friendship with Dave and Dave’s love for animals.
He then introduced Christine, who related her “behind the scenes”
experience of Dave’s work in PETA, sharing several little known
but admiral successes and breakthroughs he had accomplished on behalf
of animal rights. At the conclusion of her remarks attendees were given
another opportunity to make spontaneous remarks.
The entourage re-boarded the trains and proceeded to the zoo arboretum.
Chairs facing a large screen enabled family and friends to sit while viewing
an eight-minute slide presentation of the deceased life; photographs taken
from the family album depicted Dave from his childhood to present, including
several safari scenes. The very last picture was a close-up of Dave’s
face. While that photograph remained on the screen, attendees heard four
rings of a telephone, followed by Dave’s voice on his personal home
message machine, a message most of the audience was familiar with: “Hi,
this is Dave. I’m on safari, leave me a message and I hope to meet
you along the trail somewhere someday.” Following the slide presentation,
each person was given a three-by-five card and pen to write a message
to Dave and/or Margaret.
Following the slide presentation, an opportunity was provided for those
who cared to, to pay their last respects to the deceased, whose casketed
body lay in state among the foliage and flowers of the arboretum. As they
went by the casket, each was greeted by Margaret who received their message
cards, hugs and loving words.
At the conclusion of the viewing, the funeral procession was formed in
the zoo parking lot for the trip to the cemetery.
The casketed body was hoisted atop of Dave’s beloved 75 year old
elephant Tranzago which began a slow trek to “The Teachers Valley”;
a well groomed animal cemetery at the zoo, followed by friends and family
on foot. Prior permission had been obtained from the local city Mayors
office for the burial.
Although the family was not religious, the funeral director felt that
Dave had lived a spiritual life and suggested that a local Buddhist devotee
and friend of Dave and Margaret who could draw those parallels between
his devotion to animals and his spirituality be asked to make brief remarks
to that effect at the committal service.
The funeral director also suggested that Don Strattermier remain at the
gravesite until the casket was lowered and the graved filled. It should
be noted that Tranzago refused to leave the burial site until the burial
Our top selling items for personalizing a life celebration
heart cards can be personalized with your loved one's name and distributed
to friends and family. They can then plant the heart and wildflowers will
grow in their memory.
Have friends and family share
memories of your loved one on these memory cards. Often these are distributed
at the service, and the memories that are shared will provide comfort to you
now and in the years to come. Available with and without drilled holes,
which can be used ffor inserting into our memory books.
At the service, distribute these pouches with a vial of wildflowers inside
and every year beautiful wildflowers will bloom in memory of your loved
one. View Unique Memorial