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The Guilt of Moving on After a Loss

Dealing with loss

After a loss, it is common to feel shocked and angry. However, over time, these feelings begin to change, and eventually, you will be looking to move on with your life. Unfortunately, many people begin feeling guilty at this point in their life. Moving on after a loss can be extremely difficult, especially if you are riddled with guilt. However, there are some things you can do to make the journey a little easier. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Join a Support Group

Start by joining a support group filled with people in situations similar to your own. Discussing your feelings with others going through the same thing can be a great way to process those feelings. You may also be able to receive advice from those who have been in your shoes in the past and who have already moved to the next stage.

Joining a support group is also beneficial for another reason. You will have the opportunity to share your experience in the hopes of providing relief to another person in pain. Supporting each other is the main purpose of a support group, and you never know how your experience may help another person.

Analyze your Needs

Also, when you are feeling overwhelmed with guilt, take some time to analyze and assess your needs. Are these needs being met appropriately? Are you taking care of yourself as you should? After a loss, it is extremely important to focus on what your needs are and to take care of yourself.

Some people begin failing to meet their own basic needs after a loss. This could cause them to fall ill or to not perform well in many areas of their life. Oftentimes, these actions are related to the guilt the person is feeling. This is especially true when survivor’s guilt is in the picture. Taking care of your needs and your health properly can help you to minimize the amount of guilt you may be feeling.

Show Patience

When you are trying to move on with your life, especially if you are considering dating again after the loss of a significant other, make sure you take small steps. Give yourself plenty of time to grieve and avoid jumping into a new relationship until your mind and heart are healed significantly.

Getting back into a relationship quickly after a loss could lead to overwhelming feelings of guilt. However, by waiting and taking it slow, you can avoid many of these feelings. In addition to this, it could help you avoid a huge heartache down the road. Most relationships that begin too early after a loss fail miserably. When this happens, the person experiencing the loss often goes through a period of extremely high emotions.

Forgive Yourself

Finally, make a conscious effort to forgive yourself. Understand that moving on is a natural part of the grieving process and forgive yourself for doing so. Remember, your loved one will not have expected you to hang onto them after they are gone. Therefore, moving on is the only natural response to their loss.

You should also share these feelings with friends and family members that are there to support you. Avoid sharing with those who may be critical of what you are doing. Instead, only discuss your situation with those who are supportive and loving towards you.

Feeling guilty when you are trying to move past a loss is a completely natural reaction. However, when you are able to put the items listed above into action, you will be able to find solace and peace in the process of moving on. Eventually, the guilt will be replaced other feelings that make living life after your loss a little more bearable.

Dealing With Loss: Speaking to the Right Individuals

Dealing with loss

Whether the death is sudden, or your loved one slowly passed away, it’s never easy dealing with loss. Between the initial feelings of anger, learning to adjust to living without them, and even blaming yourself for the loss, it’s important to surround yourself with support. Of course, though, there’ll be moments where you want to be alone. Regardless, talking with people about your feelings is important. While there’s definitely not a “cure” for grief, talking to others helps to release those bottled up emotions. However, is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? Everyone has different feelings on what it means to lose someone. While you may want to talk to as many people as possible, sometimes it can actually be more harmful than helpful. Overall, here are some reasons why you need to be careful about the people you choose to talk to when dealing with grief.

People Can Be Insensitive 

When you’re talking to others about loss and grief, always remember that people can be very insensitive. In fact, this is the main reason you need to be careful when sharing your feelings with others. After all, there’s nothing worse than someone saying hurtful words in the midst of your pain. Sometimes, these people have lost loved ones too, but their insensitivity is because their experience is different from yours. In other words, they haven’t necessarily experienced what you’re feeling.

For example, let’s say a person only experienced one loss in their life, which was their mother. However, the loss was very sudden and unexpected, and it had a major impact on them growing up. On the other hand, you have another person who has lost a lot of relatives. However, not only were they not very close to their relatives, but those numerous losses have also made them desensitized to the feelings of others. They may jump to conclusions about your grief, and assume you’re supposed to be feeling the way that they did.

Of course, though, that’s not the only reason some are insensitive to the feelings of others. If anything, it may also be because they haven’t experienced grief. The thing about loss is that it’s something many people don’t understand unless they’ve experienced it themselves. They might not know how to respond to you, and even when they do offer advice, he/she may end up saying the wrong things. In this case, their insensitivity is more unintentional than anything else.

Overall, there are plenty more reasons people may be insensitive to your experience. Regardless, always be smart about who you choose to share your feelings with. Talk with your family members about what you’re going through, and chat with those whose experiences are very similar with yours.

People May Feel Uncomfortable

When sharing your feelings of grief with others, always make sure that person isn’t uncomfortable. This is especially common when you’re talking with people who haven’t experienced loss. One reason why sharing your feelings could make them uneasy, especially if you’re their friend, is because of how vulnerable you are. Your friends may end up seeing a side of you they haven’t seen before. It brings up feelings of uneasiness, since it’s uncommon for you to open up so much. Lastly, he/she may also be uneasy, because death is an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Sure, your friend hasn’t lost anyone in their life, but it also brings them to a reality they don’t want to face. After all, what if they lose a loved one next? Many people know it’ll be a reality someday, but attempt to brush it under the rug or shrug it off.

All in all, when dealing with loss, it’s important you speak to the right individuals. Between dealing with those who are just plain insensitive, and others who may feel uncomfortable, opening up to the wrong people can be more harmful than helpful. Visit us at Fairmount Funeral Home, and one of our family care providers will give you the help and support you need during this emotional time.

How to Help Children Deal with Loss

Dealing With Loss

Without a doubt, the loss of a loved one impacts most people significantly. However, loss can have an especially profound effect on young children under the age of 5 or 6. This is especially true for young children who do not yet understand the concept of death. If you’re trying to help your children cope with the loss of a loved one, here are a few tips that will help you do just that.

Explain Death in a Child’s Terms

A child will have a difficult time moving on from the death of a loved one if he or she does not have a good understanding of the meaning of death. Therefore, to ensure your child deals with grief in a healthy manner, you should explain death to him or her in a child’s terms.

Children who are 5 or 6 years old and younger tend to have a very literal view of the world. To help your child understand death, it is important that you explain it in the most concrete and basic terms possible.

For example, if the loved one died of old age or illness, you can explain that the loved one’s body stopped working and the doctors couldn’t do anything to fix it. If the loved one died suddenly in an accident, you can explain that a tragedy caused his or her body to stop working suddenly.

You also want to make it clear that the death of the loved one is no one’s fault. Due to misunderstanding, young children are prone to thinking that their actions or behavior somehow caused the death.

Avoid Euphemisms

Since many young children have a difficult time grasping the concept of death, you don’t want to make things more difficult by using euphemisms.

Many parents make the mistake of telling their children that the loved one “went to sleep” or “went away.” Since young children tend to think literally rather figuratively, these euphemisms may make a child believe the loved one may come back at some point. It is also possible that these euphemisms may make a child fearful to go to sleep.

Be Honest with Your Child

Chances are your child is far more perceptive than you think. Be as honest with your child as possible and encourage him or her to ask questions.

Of course, you may not have answers for the most difficult questions your child asks, but just do your best. You can also share with your child the spiritual beliefs you have pertaining to death. Encouraging questions will create a comfortable and open environment for you and your child. You don’t want your child to feel as if there is a “right” way to react after a death.

Take Your Child’s Questions Literally

Sometimes, the questions young children ask about death sound deep. However, in most cases, these questions are not nearly as deep as they sound to you. Once again, this ties back to the tendency of young children to view the world literally.

If your young child asks where the loved one who has died is, chances are he or she is being literal. Therefore, your child may be satisfied with the answer that the loved one is in the cemetery. However, this would also be an opportune time to share with your child the beliefs you have about what happens after life.

Dealing with loss is hard for both adults and young children. As you attempt to process your grief, it is important that you also help your child through this difficult time. Visit us at Fairmount Funeral Home and one of our family care providers will give you the help and support you need during this emotional time.

Six Reconciliation Needs of Mourning

Dealing with loss

The loss of a loved one has a profound impact on our lives that never truly goes away. The process of mourning is a long and difficult experience. In order to heal from a tragic loss, it is best to not set aside your grief, but rather to face it head-on. This process requires you to deal with inner feelings, but it also involves mourning, which is the outward expression of grief. There are six waypoints along the path of mourning which represent different needs for reconciliation. Once a person has undertaken these steps of mourning the person will be more capable of moving forward after a loss.

1. Accept the reality that the person is gone

This first step is not easy, and it may take weeks or months for it to fully sink in. There is an instinct to avoid this reality, but this delays the process of mourning. An important and natural part of accepting a death is to remember the events that occurred at the time the person passed away. These include memories that are both good and bad. Each time you replay these events in your mind, the truth becomes more real to you.

2. Let yourself feel the loss

This task is difficult because it requires a person to embrace pain, while the natural instinct is to avoid it. The instinct is to repress or deny the pain of grief, but without confronting it, the pain will linger much longer. During this process, it’s best if you don’t try to deal with all the pain at once, because it can easily become overwhelming. Instead, it helps to create a safe place where you can deal with it a little bit at a time. In order to spread the task out over time, it might be necessary to find distractions that temporarily take your mind away from grieving.

3. Remember the person you lost

Even after a loved one has passed away, you still continue a relationship with them through your memories. These memories are precious and should not be repressed. It helps to keep belongings and photographs that remind you of the person you lost. Don’t let people convince you to get rid of keepsakes or photographs of the person, because moving into the future is best accomplished when you have a healthy regard for the past.

4. Develop a new sense of self

When someone with whom you were close to passes away, the loss has a transformational effect on who you are. A wife whose husband dies becomes a widow. When losing a child, a parent becomes a bereaved parent. The way you see yourself and they way society sees you is changed. Also, after a person dies, you may need to take over the role that they previously filled. This process may require more work which reminds you of the person’s death. This transition into becoming a different person can make you feel afraid, almost as if you are a child that needs to discover his or her identity. However, by going through this process, you may discover new qualities in your personality and new strengths.

5. The search for meaning

When losing a loved one, it often causes people to question things that they may have previously taken for granted. It can cause you to question your faith, or look for a new perspective on life. After losing someone extremely important in your life, it feels like a part of yourself has died, and you may wonder if life has any meaning at all. A difficult but important reconciliation need is to search for this meaning and find a renewed focus for your life. This may mean questioning your spirituality or reaffirming your faith.

6 . Be willing to receive support

Many people are made to feel that they should not rely on others or not let things get them down. Some people may tell you “Turn that frown upside down,” or “It’s time to move on with your life.” However, trying to deal with loss by yourself can hinder the healing process. It’s important to be around compassionate people who are willing to acknowledge the significance of your shared loss.
Reconciliation is a process that helps to shape the new person you become after a loss, and it enables you to face the future without the presence of a person who was important to you and helped define the meaning of your life. You will never forget this person, and the pain of loss will never completely disappear, but as these feelings become less intense and less frequent, you will begin to feel more able to continue on and have a rich and meaningful life.

Beyond the Funeral: Helping a Friend Cope with Loss

The death of a loved one is an earth shattering experience. Immediately after the loss, life is a whirlwind. Memorial services and funerals occur very quickly, many times while those left behind are still in shock. Extended family and friends from all over flock to the family home to remember their dearly departed, but once the services are over, the grief remains. Helping a grieving friend is never easy and understanding that grief often comes in waves and that everyone’s grief is different is vital.
As a treasured friend, it is important to be there for the griever long after the funeral has ended. Consider the following:


Grief is experienced differently by everyone at different times. Avoid telling a grieving loved one that you know how they feel or trying to rationalize their feelings. One moment a grieving person may experience sadness that their loved one was taken from them and in the next moment they may express startling anger that their loved one left them behind. Whatever they are feeling is acceptable. There is no correct way to grieve. As a friend, one of the best things you can do is to listen to their feelings and show compassion without judgement or criticism.

Provide Ongoing Support

Immediately after a death, loved ones are often in shock, bombarded with visitors, and busy themselves with the technicalities of funerals and settling the estate. It may be only after the funeral when they return to an empty home or settle into a life that no longer has their loved one’s physical presence that they grief fully manifests. Grief has no time limit and the griever often needs more support in the weeks and months following the loss than at the initial time of death. Stopping by to check in every now and then, reaching out with a card or quick phone call, and offering help or simply an ear to listen can make the world of difference to someone feeling alone and lost in the grief. Keep yourself available for months and even years and understand that it is often difficult for someone to reach out when they need help.

Remember Holidays and Anniversaries

Special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, and anniversaries are often especially difficult. The events and celebrations associated with these special times often emphasize the loss and absence of a treasured loved one. As a friend, you need to understand that there may be pain associated with this and that is a natural extension of grief. Never try to convince someone that they should be celebrating or emphasizing other people’s happiness during this time. Respect the griever’s pain and offer to help whenever possible. Understand that past traditions may no longer bring the joy they once did. Consider organizing a special remembrance or attending one if you are invited. If your friend lost a spouse, consider hosting a dinner where old friends can share stories about the lost loved one or simply recall a favorite memory. Always be compassionate in your efforts and remember that everyone grieves differently. While some may want to focus on remembering their lost one, others may prefer to focus on remaining loved ones. Discuss any potential plans with the griever first.

The death of a loved one is difficult and the repercussions are life altering. Offering a shoulder to cry on, a compassionate ear, and a friendly presence following a loss are the most important things you can do for a friend. Remember to never criticize or try to minimize their pain and constantly be aware that grieving lasts far beyond the funeral. For additional tips, consider reviewing some of the information from Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. at the Center for Loss & Life Transition.

Kim Garland – Fairmount Family Care Provider

My story started about 6 years ago when I lost my 35-year-old brother (best friend) to a motorcycle accident. I received a phone call on Thanksgiving that brought me to my knees (literally).

I had spent my entire adult life in the corporate world.  When I lost my brother nothing could prepare me for that loss.  Even though he was married, my father and myself were the ones who made the funeral arrangements.  Something I have never experienced.  The funeral director who sat with us and walked us through this tragedy was a Godsend.

By far the worst day of my life, she made it easier with her compassion.  I left that meeting with a feeling of gratefulness and with no worries.  She had everything under control for us.  We celebrated my brother’s life with her guidance.  I walked away from the experience with thoughts that I had no purpose in life.  I spent my time away from my family to make corporations more money.  I needed a change; I needed to make a difference in the world, in others lives.  I needed to give back what she gave me.

A week later I moved to Colorado and walked into Fairmount.

Today, my experience gives me the tools to help families thru their worst possible day.  I know their pain, I relate.  It’s an honor and privilege to take care of them.

How to choose a funeral home.

How to choose a funeral home

It isn’t really a topic we want to talk about or deal with: our passing, or the passing of a loved one. And yet, it is one of the inevitable parts of the human existence. At some point, we will find ourselves needing to plan a funeral, and with that comes the question of how to choose a funeral home.

The Role of a Funeral Home

A funeral home coordinates funeral arrangements. This can include planning what the memorial service will look like, preparing the deceased for the funeral service, and assisting with products and services needed for the arrangements.

With over 20,000 funeral homes in the US alone, choosing one can seem daunting. However, just like with any service provider, there are things to look at to help you make the best choice for you and your family.

Questions to ask about the funeral home

Funeral Home Facilities

Are the facilities well kept and welcoming?

How do they handle transportation?

How is the deceased handled through the process? Do they handle refrigeration, embalming, cremation? How many people move and handle the deceased?

Are their facilities the right size for the funeral you are planning?

Is the facility easy to access as far as location for the people who plan to be there?

Funeral Home Services Offered

Do you feel pressured to buy only from the funeral home and not outside vendors?

Does the funeral home offer the types of services and products you are interested in at a fair price?

Do they offer refrigeration, embalming, cosmetics, restoration or other desired services?

How much is their Basic Services Fee? Is this comparable to other funeral homes you are considering? (They must disclose this fee and more according to the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule.)

Are they able to work with your budget?

Do they have relationships with vendors for things you would like such as flowers and music?

Style of the Funeral Home Services

Is the funeral director willing and able to provide the type of service you are requesting?

Do they understand your religious beliefs and are able to hold a service to honor that?

Do they understand your interests and family dynamics in a way to support the type of funeral you want?

Are they flexible with how the service is performed to meet the personalization you are wanting?

Fairmount has been serving Denver families since 1890 and can support you through the entire process including: pre-planning, funeral or memorial services, burial services, funeral reception and bereavement needs. Our Family Care Providers will meet with you in your home or in our private offices that look and feel like a living room. We want you to feel comfortable and cared for. Give us a call today to get your questions answered or schedule time to meet with us.

Understanding the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule

The Federal Trade Commission put the Funeral Rule into place in 1984 and revised in 1994 to prevent unscrupulous funeral practices that favored the funeral homes and were considered predatory by some consumers. These protective measures help you make better informed choices, especially at a particularly difficult and vulnerable time.

One way to help ease the process of planning a funeral, is to put your own desires in writing and going through the pre-planning process. This can help your family with the decisions by communicating your end of life wishes and, in some cases, pre-paying for some of the expenses.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule

The Funeral Rule requires funeral providers to provide accurate and itemized price information, as well as provide disclosures about funeral products to consumers or face hefty fines (up to $16,000 per violation).

It was designed to prevent misrepresentation of legal requirements or process requirements involving cremation, embalming and cemetery needs.

Everyone who is a funeral provider is subject to the rule, and the FTC defines a funeral provider as those services used to:

Care for and prepare bodies for burial, cremation or other final disposition; and those used to arrange, supervise, or conduct the funeral ceremony or final disposition of human remains. SOURCE: FTC Funeral Rule Compliance

The Funeral Rule Components

The Funeral Rule has several components, but we will simplify it and look at what you need to know as a consumer.

The General Price List

This list is available to you to take with you. You can request it or it must be offered once you begin discussing pricing options. The General Price List must have the contact information for the funeral provider, be titled “General Price List” and display an effective date. It will have 6 disclosures that provide you with additional information and your rights as a consumer.

  1. Right of Selection Disclosure

This disclosure says that you have the right to buy only what you want to buy, with the exception of the non-declinable services which are included in the Basic Services Fee.

  1. Embalming Disclosure

This disclosure lets you know that the law doesn’t require embalming in all cases, as well as when it is required.

  1. Alternative Container Disclosure

This disclosure tells you about the right you have to use an alternative container in a cremation. The funeral provider should list the specific alternative containers available. If the provider doesn’t offer direct cremation service, this disclosure may not be included.

  1. Basic Services Fee Disclosure

This is an important disclosure because it states what the professional fee for services is. This fee must be disclosed by all funeral providers and will allow you to compare services between funeral providers. This fee includes basic services and overhead and cannot  be declined.

This fee will typically include the charge for performing services, planning the service, coordinating vendors, cemetery or cremation, and preparing and securing permits and notices. It will also include overhead expenses. They don’t have to break down each item, but they should tell you what is included in the price.

  1. Casket Price List Disclosure

In this disclosure, you will be notified that a Casket Price list is available for you to review that lists all available caskets. This disclosure was created so consumers understood that the models shown may not be the only ones available. Consider your budget and review the Casket Price list to find the casket best suited for your needs and objectives.

  1. Outer Burial Container Price List Disclosure

This final disclosure, like the casket price list disclosure, simply informs you that an Outer Burial Container Price List is available to you. A complete price list should be made available to you in order to match your budget needs and desires. Some areas of the country require these containers and others do not. The funeral provider can give you guidance on the local laws as well as the chosen cemetery requirements. The Outer Burial Containers include grave liners and burial vaults.

General Price List Itemization

In addition to the Disclosures, the General Price List requires itemization of several services and products including the price of: Forwarding, transferring or receiving remains between funeral homes; cremation; burial; basic services; embalming; body preparation; use of space; use of equipment; use of staff; transportation; casket pricing, and outer burial container pricing.

Alternative Price Lists

Alternative Price Lists can be used for special situations such as:

Children and Infant Services

Government Benefits (such as military services)

Special Groups (such as membership based groups)

Even though alternative price lists can be used, you can also see the General Price List for groups other than these and you can choose from the other items available. Alternative Price Lists must still comply with all the disclosures and the Funeral Rule overall.

Other Information

Special Rules apply to Cash Advances and notifications prior to embalming. For more information, visit the FTC Funeral Rule website or contact one of our Family Care Providers who are knowledgeable and helpful in every step of the funeral process.

Fairmount has been serving Denver families since 1890 and can support you through the entire process including: pre-planning, funeral or memorial services, burial services, funeral reception and bereavement needs. Our Family Care Providers will meet with you in your home or in our private offices that look and feel like a living room. We want you to feel comfortable and cared for. Give us a call today to get your questions answered or schedule time to meet with us.

Your “Just in Case” Checklist, Part 2

Emergency preparedness can be scary, which is why many of us chose to ignore doing it or even thinking about it. However, a proactive approach is empowering, and if we never use it, is still worth the peace of mind in knowing it is done. We challenge you to not just think about it, but follow an action plan to get things together ‘just in case’ you have an emergency that may result in death.

We don’t like to think about our mortality, so instead we ask you to think about your family and friends who will be handling any arrangements in order for them to manage them the way you would want without additional distress. We broke the checklist into smaller components to be addressed in a clear state of mind. If you need help with this checklist or pre-planning in general, contact us to schedule a free appointment with our Family Care Providers.

The information contained within this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult your lawyer, pre-planning specialist or financial advisor for your next steps.

We have broken the process down into a 8 week action plan which includes:

Creating an Emergency Contact List

Preparing your most important Emergency Documents

Documents for your loved ones

Your Annual Review Documents

Electronic Devices

Online Passwords


End of Life Wishes

Let’s pick up with month two of the Checklist, but if you missed month one, check out “Your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist, Part 1”.

Week 5 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: Electronic Devices Passwords

Create a master document with all your passwords. It is suggested to have it digitally as well as tangible, in the case of destruction of one or the other. Include on the list any passwords for locked devices such as:

Cell Phone





Home Security System


Electronic Safe

Remember any of these items at your place of work as well

Any new technology not listed above

Week 6 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: Online Passwords

We live in a digital world where passwords are required for nearly everything online. These passwords are important for access to the sites, but also to allow online sites and services to be changed or closed to prevent cyber attacks. Create a document or use a password manager and give that information to a trusted person in case of an emergency. Include login information for both home and work applications of:


Cloud Storage

Voice Mail

Online Banking

Online Gaming

Online Music

Online Shopping

Social Media Accounts

Website Hosting

Online Services

Online Medical Sites used

Online Memberships

Any other site that may require a password to be altered or closed.

Week 7 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: Inventory

Emergency preparedness includes many plans that include taking inventory. This can be an ongoing process. Do what you feel is most important for your situation, but some inventory recommendations include keeping a list of:

What’s in your safe-deposit box

Special Collections (ie. Coin collection, Antiques, Guns)


Items to be given to others in your Will

Hobby items

Keep your inventory lists apart from the items they include. These can be important for insurance reasons in case of an emergency.

Week 8 – Preparing your ‘Just in Case’ Checklist: End of Life Wishes

Prepare items that will communicate your end of life wishes including your desires regarding:

Burial and Cremation

Organ Donation

Funeral Preferences

Obituary information

Fairmount has been serving Denver families with their end of live needs since 1890. You have nothing to lose when meeting with our Family Care Providers to begin your pre-planning process wherever you are in your life. Our Family Care Providers will meet with you in your home or in our private offices that look and feel like a living room. We want you to feel comfortable and cared for. Give us a call today at 303-399-0692.

Funeral Reception: A Spontaneous Family Reunion

Why Hold a Funeral Reception?

Funerals and weddings bring families together, sometimes even more than a family reunion will. There is something unique as well about a funeral in that it seems to put life into perspective. Funeral receptions, therefore, have become a spontaneous family reunion. And although it is not under the happiest of situations, the truth is they become a time to reconnect with friends and loved ones. It can easily be extended to really honor the loved one by having a celebration of everyone coming together.

At one time, receptions that didn’t carry a somber feeling were practically taboo. The modern funeral reception is now growing in popularity, and also practicality, because everyone is together. Today’s culture is much more open than past ones, and they are taking the idea of community outside the boxes of conventionality.

Some funeral receptions will offer food, cocktails and even music and dancing. This reception helps people reconnect with loved ones, celebrate the life of the deceased and bring laughter, support and connection to an otherwise melancholy event. Just like any other celebration, thought should be given to how the event feels, looks and flows. Consider ways that you can personalize the funeral reception so it truly is honoring.

Funeral Reception Ideas

Personalize it. Decor and mementos that were meaningful in the life of the person being honored, are always a good idea. Offer favors such as wildflower seeds or ask guests to bring something memorable as a way to celebrate the things the deceased loved. Place them on a memorial table for people to see.

Offer Refreshments. It is fairly traditional for the reception to be potluck style. However, as people are in mourning, and we are faced with more food allergy restrictions, asking for food to be brought can pose a challenge. Instead, consider some light catering options such as appetizers, trays or platters of food and a variety of beverages.

Allow expression. Show a video or slideshow of the family and friends of the departed. Ask people to share stories, poems or songs. If music and dancing seems right for the venue and the celebration, don’t be afraid to incorporate it. Don’t force people to be happy and don’t be upset if people cry. Everyone processes death differently, so allow that. Offer notebooks for people to write memories and stories, or offer a video booth for them to create a story visually.

Take off the pressure. Likely, the funeral reception is rather last minute, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make everything perfect. Use an event planner, especially one associated with the venue, to pull together a fast and easy reception. What you lack in experience, they have done hundreds of times and already have relationships with multiple vendors. They also will likely be more clear headed, so let them do the work. Ask for help when and where you need it.


Fairmount has been serving Denver families since 1890 and can support you through the entire process including: pre-planning, funeral or memorial services, burial services, funeral reception and bereavement needs. Our Family Care Providers will meet with you in your home or in our private offices that look and feel like a living room. We want you to feel comfortable and cared for. Give us a call today to get your questions answered or schedule time to meet with us.