There is no greater honour then to be asked to plan a celebration of someone’s life.
Our client, the deceased’s son, was coming from Chicago to settle his dad’s estate and knew he was going to need help to make this celebration happen. Planning a celebration of life requires intense focus for several short days because a service like this happens quickly. You don’t have months to plan.
Before I was involved a hall had already been booked. I took a tour of the space and was worried about its size. It was very large and plain. Hardly what I would have considered for this type of event. However, I am a believer in everything happening for a reason. This hall was booked for a reason and I just needed to figure out why.
Graham was the President of the Merrickville for many years. Perhaps we needed this space because of the large number of people who were going to attend. No, that wasn’t it. The family was very comfortable with their estimate of about 75 people. As I sat and talked with family and friends of Graham’s I learned everything I could about him. His favourite colour – dark blue – perfect dark blue table cloths it would be. His favourite food – good food, he loved good food – so contact with the caterer was made to make sure we had “good food”. He didn’t really drink but we made sure there was beer and wine for the guests. I was still struggling with this space. Then came the mention of his prize possession – his red BMW – ahha! that was it. We were going to drive his car right into the space. And we did. His car was the focus of the set up for the event.
Graham’s second prize possession was his dog. We knew he was going to be there too so we made sure we had a water bowl there just for him in his own special little place.
At the request of our client he wanted the guests to have an opportunity to roast his dad. Yup, he wanted people to get up and tell funny stories about his dad. And they sure did. It was so simple and simply so perfect. When the time was right everyone just stood around the podium and told their stories. A few tears were shed but for the most part the group just laughed, laughed out loud. Even a few good old belly laughs.
Graham was remembered just the way his son wanted and we were able to make it as easy for him as possible so he could focus on the most important things at this time. There is no greater pleasure in my life then being able to provide this service to families during their most difficult moments.
It was so simple and simply so perfect. When the time was right everyone just stood around the podium and told their stories.
"Julia, I wanted to write you a quick note to say how pleased everyone was with dad's memorial party. You were great to work with at a tough time. You helped us plan and hold a party that was tasteful, meaningful and fun while still being affordable. Everyone associated with your company was professional and attentive to our every need. The little extras and attention to detail made it a hit. You helped us turn a terrible event into a celebration of dad's life. I had several people tell me the party couldn't have been better. It was simply the right way to send off my dad; he would have appreciated it."
– Iain Smith