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Grieving the loss of a loved one during “normal” times is hard enough. During this Coronavirus Pandemic, the grief is magnified with fear of the unknown. Hearts are heavy with grief and sadness, not only for the passing of a loved one, but for our communities and the world. A handshake or hug was commonplace a month ago, but not today. Funerals and Graveside Services are currently being held in Colorado with no more than 10 people and the 6’ social distance rule is in place. Live streaming may be an option for those who would like to view from their homes.

Celebrations of Life are being postponed daily to a future date. However, mourning cannot be postponed it is happening right now. My heart goes out to you and your families during this unsettling time.

How can we plan a Celebration of Life during the Coronavirus? The gift of time is on our side right now. It is important to talk about the memories, stories and begin planning to honor a loved one the way that seems best. Instead of rushing, there is time to put together all the elements that make up for a very memorable Celebration of Life.

As your Colorado Celebrant, Officiant or Ceremony Leader, the only change I’ve had to make is setting up Zoom audio/video conferencing instead of meeting with you in person. Zoom is incredibly easy to use whether you are tech savvy or not. The quality of the video and sound is excellent. We can all see and hear each other, you can show me pictures and mementos too. It’s almost like being together in person.

The healing that begins to happen during our online sessions is comforting and uplifting. Although a specific date or Venue may not be secured yet, everything else will be ready ahead of time. This is really peace of mind to have all the preparation and planning complete. Also, those living in other states or countries will have time to make their plans to be here.

Checklist for a Celebration of Life

  • Photo Tribute – Gather photos for the slideshow and some to enlarge/frame to have on easels or a table.
  • Gather personal mementos for a Memory Table.
  • Order the Guestbook, Special Takeaways, etc.
  • Design and Print the Programs
  • Select Flowers
  • Check out Venues online. We are fortunate in Colorado to have so many outdoor options. Suggestions in this Blog Post may be helpful: Selecting a Colorado Venue for a Celebration of Life.
  • Review Catering Menus online and select your choices. Call Vendors to get answers to your questions and recommendations for planning ahead.

Closing Thoughts

Although many things are uncertain right now, your family may be absolutely certain that your loved one is worthy of a uniquely memorable Celebration of their Life. Their legacy lives on in every life they touched. I will truly be honored to officiate in person at your loved one’s Celebration of Life. In every crisis, there is an opportunity. There is time to be more creative and think differently. When the COVID-19 Virus is over, we will all be different and changed in some way. I am here to be of support and guidance to you and your family.

Anita Larson Denver Funeral Officiant

Anita Larson is a Ceremony Leader and Officiant who blogs about her experiences with Celebrations of Life. Providing uncommon ideas and encouraging her readers to "Think Outside the Coffin®" when planning a Fabulous Farewell.

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