When Nan’s mother died, she was not only losing a mom but the matriarch of a four-generation family. She wanted to create a celebration of life that would bring the family together to honour her mother’s life and legacy in a meaningful way.
Rituals for a celebration of life
I have always been drawn to the idea of ritual and ceremony, especially when it comes to enriching life passages in meaningful ways, but I don’t always know where to start. We needed something as a family to help us say goodbye to my mother Mimi ~ a send off fit for a matriarch.
I chose the Celebration of Life ceremony in the App and really appreciated the different suggestions and ideas, especially as it relates to closure. My niece and I went through all of the rituals and chose the ones we thought would resonate with everyone.
We were looking for ideas to bring together three generations of family members ~ 17 people in total, with six children ranging from 9 to 15 years old. I appreciated that the rituals had lots of ways for the kids to interact and be a part of the ceremony.
The rituals we chose
Before the ceremony, we mailed out an invitation that included dissolving paper for writing a message. We would be hosting this celebration of life during our annual family reunion at the shore of Lake Placid, NY where my mother spent part of her childhood. We wanted a non-church setting, and the lakeside ceremony seemed perfect.
To begin, I welcomed everyone and shared stories about my mother. I then offered everyone a chance to share a memory or thought. Prior to starting, all of the grandchildren helped turn the dissolving paper messages into little boats. We then launched our boats into the water as a way to send off our thoughts and prayers, watching them slowly disappear into the water. It was a very meaningful moment.
Next, we spoke about Mimi’s passions, which included gardening. We invited everyone to choose a packet of seeds to grow at home, in her memory. Everyone then chose an object that was hers and shared what it meant to them.
Finally, we all lit sparklers as a way to say goodbye and close out the ceremony. The rituals kept everyone engaged, including the children, and gave the adults who were uncomfortable expressing their grief something to do instead of having to share aloud.
There is no question that this ceremony made our family closer. It was a gift to be able to come together like this, and the rituals Be Ceremonial offered gave us a place to start and create something meaningful to us, and to my mother.
After the ceremony, our son-in-law took me aside and said what took place was really my coronation. We are a matriarchal family and now I am steering the ship.
Next, I hope to create a House Cooling ceremony when we get together in my mom’s home of 70 years for the last time.
Create your own Celebration of Life
To create your own celebration of life ceremony, set up a free account and decide if you’d like to purchase a single ceremony or become a member of our Be Ceremonial community where you can access workshops, events, and our daily rituals for self care.