When you think "party," you most likely imagine happy occasions where you're surrounded by friends and family, and all of you are celebrating something or someone special.
Nowadays, though, we also may be invited to another type of party: "The Celebration of Life," which generally follows a funeral or honors the passing of a loved one.
Since it comes at a sad time, those who attend — and even those who plan it — may be unsure of the proper tone. Should it be a mournful downer? Or is it the place to smile and share memories of good times, loving relationships, and the specialness of the person who has died?
That's up to you or the persons planning the "party," and figuring that out is usually on the immediate "to do" list.
But there's more to a "Celebration of Life" party than ordering food and saying a few meaningful words.
The big question is: What would your loved one have wanted as his or her farewell to everyone?
Do you know the answer to that? And since you're thinking about the subject anyway, here's another question: Does anyone know what you would want?
Do you prefer a simple, traditional newspaper obituary? Or do you want some sort of social media announcement? Do you lean toward cremation or is burial more to your liking, and if so, should the coffin be plain or elaborate?
Would a quiet graveside ceremony suffice, or do you want your sendoff to be a big party complete with videos, warm storytelling and lots of hugs?
These are all great questions, but too often we don't know the answers — either for ourselves or our loved ones.
After all, this is not a pleasant topic to discuss, so we simply choose not to discuss it. We procrastinate until it's too late.
But if we want to truly honor those who die, we need to be proactive. We need to discuss this before the inevitable occurs, and the conversation needs to be part of the bigger picture — making end-of-life arrangements.
Sure, no one wants to give up fun time to work on this, but a lack of preparation will lead to undue stress, anxiety, heartache, errors and unnecessary expenditures.
More importantly, without the proper planning, we won't have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that in death we showed respect, caring and love for our loved one.
Plan that party now, and do it just right!
Susan Alpert (susanalpertconsulting.com) is author of “Later is Too Late: Hard Questions That Can't Wait.” She also is a speaker, entrepreneur, and frequent guest on national radio and television shows.
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Source : http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/end-of-life-arrangements-parties-no-plan-article-1.2953672