Ritual, celebration, ceremony- it's all designed to help

Ritual is a pause we take to mark the end of one time and the beginning of another. Whether it is for coming of age, joining two lives in marriage or marking the end of an era, ritual brings us together to celebrate.

Modern times have many families less connected to a religious faith and more connected to a community of friends who are their support, their social network, their spiritual inspiration, and the people with whom they mark transitions. Today it is more common to attend a “Celebration of Life” than a wake and funeral. And yet, these differing ceremonies are more similar than they are different.

As you ponder your own death, how would you want to be celebrated? Although it is sometimes said that these ceremonies are for the living left behind, often the living want to honor the spirit and personality of the deceased. In writing a plan for your own last days and for the way you’d like your body cared for, you can include some thoughts about what kind of memorial you would want to represent you.

A grief ritual, offered by Peaceful Presence, can be a wonderful way for the grieving persons to gather together and reprocess the death. The “death story” can be told, memories shared, food and drink enjoyed, community connection and loving support offered. Often at a grief ritual, a small token is given to attendees to memorialize the dearly departed and the ceremony.

So whether you’d like friends to literally take a hike to a special place, to gather at your favorite watering hole, or to come together in someone’s home to celebrate your life, to have a particular religious ceremony or to be part of a special ritual, know that each of these will help. Help your loved ones to process and experience their grief and move forward in your spirit.