If someone asked me 2 years ago “Where do you think you will be,” I can guarantee I would not have the right answer of surviving and thriving during a global pandemic that’s gone on for close to two years.

But alas, here we are, and we are learning to live a little differently. Enjoying the little things a bit more, eating that second slice of cheesecake, and of course, spending more time with our loved ones. There’s no time like the present to recognize that life is a gift.

But as it is part of life, we will lose loved ones. Whether it be suddenly or unexpected, whether they are young or old, it is never an easy time. And with ever changing precautions and restrictions, it’s been a challenge to get friends and family together to mourn, grieve, and remember.

This has brought one of the shifts that we have seen over the last two years: outdoor memorials. Dating back to 2020 when funerals were not allowed to be held, loved ones still wanted to remember and celebrate a person that was near and dear to them. What came of it was a less conventional concept: a celebration of the amazing life of the person that was less focused on the sorrow of grief and loss. Friends and family getting together to share a laugh, a drink, and of course all the memories, is more of a tribute to how anyone would want to be remembered and celebrated. Somberness has a time and place and there are always moments during the party that it naturally swings that way. But then the crowd will shift back into sharing funny stories and the mood will change along with it.

“When we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.”
— Anonymous

Ultimately, death is a part of life. Any decisions made are extremely personal. Not one shoe fits all when it comes to planning. But just knowing there are other options out there may help you with at least one decision during an extremely difficult time.

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Oak Tree Lodge

1412 Schoolhouse Rd, Wall Township, NJ 07753

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