How to celebrate the birthday of a lost one

Written by tanya khan
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How to celebrate the birthday of a lost one
Pay tribute to the deceased on his birthday. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Although the birthday of a deceased friend or family member is a hard one to confront, planning an intimate and special celebration provides an opportunity for others to reflect upon the lost one's life and discuss memorable moments. You can honour the deceased by doing something special on her birthday. Gather friends and family members to reminisce and commemorate the life of the person on the day that meant so much to her.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Invitations
  • Chairs or floor cushions
  • Floral arrangements
  • Balloons
  • Streamers
  • Photos
  • Glue
  • Paper

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  1. 1

    Inform other members of the family or close friends of your decision to celebrate the birthday of the deceased person. Discuss the scale of the celebration, the venue and other essentials several weeks before the day so you can begin organising accordingly. Ideas include having a dinner party at home, visiting the deceased's burial site, travelling to his favourite holiday spot or eating at his favourite restaurant.

  2. 2

    Send invitations two to three weeks before the occasion so people can rearrange their schedules. Mention the purpose of the celebration and ask guests to bring memorable photos of the deceased, home movies, favourite items or to narrate anecdotes during the ceremony. Also request the guests to bring salads, dessert or savoury dishes if hosting a potluck dinner. Include an RSVP so those who can't make it can inform you on time.

  3. 3

    Set chairs or floor cushions in a circle so the guests face each other while reminiscing and discussing touching stories. Place a table on a side with photos, picture albums, trophies and other personal belongings of the deceased for guests to see.

  4. 4

    Decorate your home if you're celebrating the party there. Pay tribute to the deceased by including her favourite flowers in fresh floral arrangements or selecting her favourite colour theme and decorating with balloons and streamers.

  5. 5

    Tell stories about the person's life. Discuss commendable traits, humorous mishaps, his strengths, funny stories and personal tales. Ask an older relative to share stories from the deceased's childhood education, upbringing and work life.

  6. 6

    Watch home movies you or other guests may have that feature the deceased person. Arrange a scrapbook using memorable photos and memorabilia guests may have brought along. Paste the items in chronological order and write a caption under each. You can give the scrapbook to the deceased person's husband or child as a keepsake that treasures her memorable life.

  7. 7

    Ask the deceased person's wife, child or parent to blow out his birthday candles and cut slices for the guests. Ask everyone to say a prayer for the lost one. You can also give each guest a white helium balloon and request him to say a prayer for the departed before letting it float freely.

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