Hi Karen, I lost my father to cancer 8/23/09. I held a memorial at my house and all items displayed referenced his favorites and him. Framed photos and loose in baskets all around, i served his favoirte food and candy. I had a DVD made that was playing all day on a big screen of favorite photos that included all family members and freinds. I had all his faforite music playing all day. IT WAS REALLY SPECIAL AND WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, just like him... James Lamoree Fribley. Your in my prayers Karen...jackie
I am sorry for your loss. I just went through the same thing during xmas. Just have something simple at your home or where he lived. My Dad lived with us so we had all his things around us and just put together pics of his life all over a wall with scotch tape on back and had a guest book for people to sign in and made a note to write something special they remembered about him. Food was easy with platter you can make yourself of veggies, fruit and sandwich meat. I had some of his favorites as well ,like pizza. Don't get worked up over it ,people understand you are going through alot and may offer to bring something. Let them. Good Luck
We lost my Mom on Jan 6, 2010. We held a non-religious Memorial service 2 weeks later (she was cremated). I was responsible for planning the service, and it was overwhelming. Some suggestions that I have for you include:
1. if you are having a memorial service, check with the venue prior to putting anything together. Ask what technical abilities they have: eg-If you are putting together a what software versions do they have? Is what you use compatible? Can you run music simultaneously? etc.
2. I built a soundtrack from what I knew about Mom's preferences, through iTunes suggestions and from family input. I love what I came up with-it was very personal and perfect for everyone at the ceremony.
3. Consider your budget. It sucks to talk about money during a time like this-but it's true that death is even more expensive than birth! Do you want to have a public reception or a reception at your home? If you have a home style reception, I strongly recommend either hiring a caterer or enlisting loving neighbors to contribute to after ceremony snacks.
Best of luck to you-hope something I said was helpful. Most of all- I learned how important it is to discuss plans with family, to make sure that everyone expresses their feelings about the proceedings.
Karen - First off I am so sorry for your loss. You don't get to know how this feels until it finally happens to you. I lost my mommy May1, 2009. She was just 19 days shy of her 81st birthday. But, we are not religious either. Had her memorial about 2 1/2 months after her leaving us. She was cremated. I scanned all the pictures I could find into my computer, put it on a zip disc and a friends husband put together a wonderful DVD of her life in pictures. I only had to choose one song. He did it the best, based on his relationship with her over the last 10 years or so. I made a cd of songs that reminded me and my sister of her. I called a couple of people and asked them for input since I wasn't a part of all of her life. She had work friends and older firends that knew stuff I may not have. For the cover of the cd I found the most beautiful picture of her. The inside cover included the names of the songs with the background being a picture of a place I think she found special. I know it was special for my sister and I when we think about her. We made copies of the cd's and gave one to everyone that attended. I so wanted my moms memory to be in everyone. She loved her martinis but had given them up many years earlier so we had a martini party and let everyone get one and then at the appropriate time we raised our maritini glasses after I said the final words. Their martini's could be a soda pop if they wanted. We had the dvd playing during the whole event so people could just sit and watch it when they wanted too. It was just a big party like my mom would have had. I thank you for letting me post this as it feels good. It is only a couple of months til her 1 year anniversary. Good luck with everything you have to do , and I hope you find a great job.
Hi Karen, I know it is hard. My son, husband & I caught colds immediately after my fathers funeral and I can't bare do much of anything. My father turned 58 on 2/14 and died on 2/20. For his viewing I did a celebration. I had oldies playing throughout the funeral home and he was dressed in his favorite clothing, black jeans and black t-shirt.. I also had pics everywhere. One poster in particular I did him as a baby and him below with his last days which were taken at his birthday party. I hope this helps.