3 Tips for Planning a Wonderful Celebration of Life

The loss of a beloved family member or friend can be devastating, but the healing process can be strengthened by honoring and celebrating the life of the deceased. A Celebration of Life funeral or memorial service offers mourners a chance to share stories, pay their respects to the family, and support each other through the grieving process. Here are 3 tips for planning a wonderful Celebration of Life:

1. List the things that brought joy to your loved one and focus on how to share them with attendees. “I urge surviving family members to not worry too much about the planning process,” explained John Adolf, Director of Adolf Funeral Services. “It’s best to concentrate on the person’s life and decide how to honor them and have them be remembered. By sharing the special qualities of their family member’s life with others, it helps the family and also the visitors to feel more comfortable at the service.”

2. Sometimes low-key is best. “I frequently discuss Celebration of Life ideas with families, and I tell them I believe simple is best,” added Adolf. “Everyone certainly experiences their own very personal feelings and emotions after the loss of a loved one, and sometimes it’s difficult to think clearly. Keeping things more simple makes the process easier for some families.”

3. After considering the things that brought joy to their loved one, families can divide and conquer. Delegate tasks so everyone (who wants it) has a part to play in planning the celebration. One person can use photos and small objects to create a collage board for display. Another can use home movies and videos to create a “life story” video for guests to view. Someone can be in charge of deciding what to give to attendees; popular gifts include seeds or small starter plants, books, recipes, and other items that remind the family of their loved one.

For more ideas about planning a Celebration of Life, please contact:

Adolf Funeral Home & Cremation Services

John R. Adolf, Director


7000 South Madison Street

Willowbrook, IL 60527


2921 South Harlem Avenue

Berwyn, IL 60402