Ask any child and they’ll tell you that their parent or loved one was unique, different and unlike any other. And, they’re totally right because we’re all unique. Which begs the question, if we’re all so different from one another and live such different lives, then why do we let funerals have a cookie-cutter approach? Why do we not create final lasting memories that are as unique as the lives we lived?
I bet if you asked children who have experienced death if they would like to see their relative or friend celebrated with a custom ceremonial event, their answer would be a resounding ‘yes’! I have no doubt that they would find a unique and very personalized way of honouring the deceased because children are all about individuality and freedom of expression.
AlaVida.ca, the new special events division of Kane & Fetterly recently held two distinctive Beautiful Goodbyes that were a novel departure from the typical funeral service. They were held on location at venues and invited children to participate.
Alex’s grandmother was a figure skater, so her Life Celebration took place in an indoor ice atrium. Urn in hand, his mom and him led guests on a final skate around the rink before witnessing a beautiful routine by a young competitive dance team who skated to his grandmother’s favourite song.
Another was held in a penthouse overlooking the city where Gospel singers welcomed guests with hand-clapping, cheerful songs after which Eloise and Trixie joined their father and a handful of others to share their happy and funny memories of their grandmother.
Helping children cope with loss means having an open dialogue with them, listening to them and answering their questions and concerns as well as involving them in the ceremony of saying goodbye. Visit alaVida.ca for more ideas on how you can start planning a Beautiful Goodbye™.
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