When a beloved family member or friend takes their own life, the world stops making sense. It becomes a place of incredible fragility and darkness. Despite potential warning signs or previous attempts, the finality and the helplessness in not having somehow known and stopped it are overwhelming. And then to keep on living in the absence…

How then does one create a Celebration of Life for the person who chose to end their life? Should one even attempt to?

I say resoundingly, yes.

Despite this final decision and act, your loved one had a LIFE, one full of moments, edged with laughter and tears. There were crisp autumn days and best friends over for dinner. There were first days of school, of work, of moving into neighborhoods. There were walks, dreams, nightmares, hugs, snowstorms, and hurricanes. There was family, heartbreak, speeding tickets, and holidays.

Every life, with all its myriad moments, deserves honor and remembrance, perhaps none more so than the one cut short because of intractable and insurmountable pain. For the life they led until they could no longer, and for the part you, your family, and friends shared in that life there is a ceremony that can bring solace.