Monday, April 15, 2013

Memorial Planning


Today’s A-to-Z Challenge letter is M for Memorial.

While my brother’s focus this week is on muscle power (to continue tackling the jobs around Mom’s house that I would not be able to accomplish on my own), my week’s focus is on getting Mom’s memorial service planned.

She didn’t want a formal wake and church funeral, and yet, we knew she would have wanted some kind of memorial.  So, I called her best friend, Dolores, to brainstorm some ideas, and she provided some really great ones!

My mom was a social butterfly and loved to spend hours upon hours talking to her friends, so what better way to memorialize her than a “Celebration of Life” – a happier event where friends can share their stories, view old photos, eat, drink and be merry. 

I initially called around to some of the banquet halls in the area, but they were not well-suited to the our rapid timeline, unknown number of attendees, and desire for flexibility.  I then happened to remember where we’d held all of our important family parties in the past—at her subdivision’s clubhouse.  A quick call to the manager, and she was completely accommodating.  We could have the whole clubhouse all day!

My mom had lived in the same subdivision for nearly 40 years, and had organized wonderful parties at the clubhouse to celebrate my stepdad’s 65th birthday, and another to celebrate when my stepsister turned 50.  It would be our turn to honor her.

So, I’ve come out of retirement and put my project manager hat back on to get everything planned out— catering, drinks, flowers, decorations, photos, tribute boards, friends and family recruited to help get everything set up, etc.   Fingers crossed that this can all come together by Saturday!


  1. Here are some ideas that helped me in planning my Mom's celebration. Prime the pump and ask a few people to think about stories they might want to share with the group. They could even ask someone else to read the memories with the group. Even if they don't feel comfortable to share the story publicly, I put paper on the tables and asked people to share their memories with us. The stories shared a whole other side of Mom that I dearly love hearing. Sending warm and healing wishes for you !

  2. All that sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate your mother's life.


  3. A super plan....hope it turns out to be a wonderful celebration of your Mother's life !!!!

  4. We just had my dad's 'Celebration of Life' - ironically.. also in his neighborhood's clubhouse this past Monday. It was a very fitting way, as he also didn't want the wake and formal rituals. I trust your mom and my dad are up there toasting us for carrying out their wishes so eloquently (and you and I totally need to meet up and toast them together!).

    Sending you much strength to get through this process, I just know you can do it! It feels... comforting... knowing others are also going through such similar things... ok, and a bit eery at how many parallels there are there!


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