End of Life Celebration

End of Life Celebration

End of Life Celebrations

Any end-of-life celebration give family and friends a container in which to remember and honor their loved ones and to express love, as well as grief. These gatherings allow the loved one’s community to come together to comfort and support one another. They give people an opportunity to reflect, set intentions, to begin the healing process of the loss, to share what we appreciate about the deceased, to tell stories and share memories. All of these are ways to help those who are left behind to process the loss.

Some families have more than one type of gathering after a loved one has passed. A family may have a religious funeral followed by a secular celebration of life. Another option is to have a smaller funeral for family only and a larger memorial service for friends, extended family, colleagues and members of the broader community. These are all personal choices.

There is also something called a Living Funeral which takes place while a family member is still alive, but is close to the end of life. See differentiating descriptions below.


A funeral is the traditional end of life service which involves a burial of the casket or urn. They typically take place very soon after the death of a loved one because it involves the burial of the body. Most funerals are associated with traditional religious services and are often held in a place of worship with specific rituals. I am honored to help you put together the eulogy and/or any ceremony or ritual you would like to commemorate your loved one’s life.

Memorial Service

A memorial service has historically been used to refer to an end-of-life gathering where the loved one’s body and casket are not present. Sometimes it refers to a gathering that happens after the loved one’s burial has already taken place. It can also refer to the service of someone that had been cremated. It can be used to refer to a remembrance held for a loved one at any point after they have passed. Some families hold an annual memorial service to honor their loved one every year on the anniversary of their passing. Whichever way you want to celebrate your family member, it is a privilege to co-create this event with you.

Celebration of Life

This term indicates to guests that the gathering will focus on happy memories, life accomplishments and the impact the loved one had during their well lived life. This is a very different tone than that of a funeral, which many think of as having a sad tone and a focus on the loss of their loved one’s life. A celebration of life is often considered to be more upbeat, more joyful and more celebratory on tone. Some families may even encourage bright color clothing to contribute to the upbeat tone. As a Life Cycle Celebrant, I help the family set the tone and can make this event as spiritual or as secular as you wish.

Living Funeral

This is a gathering that takes place before the loved one passes away. The purpose is to allow the person who will soon be transitioning, to hear all the beautiful memories that their family and friends want to share and allow them to say good-bye to the people most important to them. This may be done after someone has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and they know they are nearing the end of their life. It allows a loved one to reflect back on their fulfilling life and enjoy the presence of their family, friends and colleagues. I would work with the family to conduct a ceremony tailored to the beliefs, values and desires of a deceased individual and their family members.

All services begin at $350.00.