Creating a Celebration of Life Ceremony
After losing my daughter, Sammi, at the end of June, I was faced with having to choose what to do with her. Sammi was a free spirit here on Earth, so I didn't feel a normal burial would be what she wanted. I also knew how infrequently I visited the graves of my other family members, so I decided on cremation. With being able to do cremation without the aid of a funeral home, I had to decide on whether or not to do a funeral, or do more of a memorial service.
Sammi lived a short 21 years, but she touched so many lives, and was know to shine a light so bright. I felt a Celebration of Life service would suit her best, and also fall into my budget better. But where to have this service? I called around to local fire halls, hotels, and community buildings, but ultimately was able to find a church through friends in my network that agreed to hold the service. By doing this, I was able to have a pastor speak, and also make sure that we stayed on schedule. They didn't require a payment, but we did make a donation to the church afterwards. They were also kind enough to print up programs for us at no charge.
Sammi was an organ donor and was able to donate 4 of her organs, so the Living Legacy Foundation printed up the Memorial Cards for us at no cost as well.
Friends of the family, as well as Baughers Restaurant (a place where several family have worked over the years) volunteered up their time and food to put out a large spread for the Celebration. I was very grateful for this, and all the leftovers. It helped to keep our family fed throughout the week.
I wanted to give some of Sammi's friends Vial Necklaces with her ashes in them. I ordered two styles: one for the females Mealguet Jewlery Stainless Steel Glass Openable Container Vial Tube Urn Keepsake Cremation Ashes Memorial Pendant Necklace, and one for the males Zysta Stainless Steel Clear Acyrlic Open Container Tube Pendant Pendant Necklace with 19 inches Chain.
I was really in no shape to go into a store, so I utilized my Amazon Prime account to get the rest of the items for the Celebration of Life, and also for a balloon release the following day. I actually put a small amount of her ashes in each biodegradable balloon before we filled it up with helium. It was a very cool idea, but let me warn you! Some her ashes blew back out when I took the balloon off the helium tank. If you are someone who would not be able to laugh at this, do not try it!
Here are some of the other items I purchased for the Celebration of Life and the Balloon Release:
I had also spent a lot of time creating videos for the Celebration. If you click on the "Sammi" page of this website, you can view all of the videos that I made.
Overall, I was very happy with the way everything turned out. I really wanted to honor the life of my daughter, and I know she was there watching us and was proud of how much I pulled off in such a short amount of time. I couldn't have done it without the amazing support of so many people, and if you are going through a loss of your own, be sure to ask for help, and accept help that is offered to you.