Coping With Loss This Holiday SeasonDecember 6, 2018
Life Celebrated Perfectly
If we were asked to choose the part of Green Hills Memorial Park which we were the proudest of, what would we be our choice? Would it be our founding in 1948 and subsequent rich history? How about our upscale and award-winning facilities or our meticulously maintained grounds on the Palos Verdes Peninsula? Perhaps it’s our dedicated and passionate team? We are indeed proud of all these things, but you might be surprised that none of them are our number one. So what is our number one you ask? It’s our slogan, Life Celebrated Perfectly. But, what does that mean exactly? What’s really in a slogan?
To help explain why a slogan is our most significant source of pride, let's look beyond the words and have a look at what Life Celebrated Perfectly looks like in action.
It Begins With Children
At Green Hills Memorial Park, we introduce Life Celebrated Perfectly at a very young age. We host two events, the Harvest Festival and Let It Snow Holiday Festival, where we invite families to indulge in the pure joy of living. Magical and timeless memories are created in the hearts and minds of kids of all ages as they enjoy arts & crafts, a pumpkin patch, hay rides, tree decorating, carol singing, Santa, and even snow sledding! We also creatively nurture traditions of remembering loved ones at these celebrations.
It Continues To Adulthood
Green Hills supports and promotes events and community organizations which connect and uplift people of all ages. These events occur both on and off the Green Hills property:
The Torrance-South Bay YMCA hosts a Grandparents Day, where our Senior Community is celebrated.
In 2018, we hosted our 33rd Memorial Day celebration, honoring those armed services veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and liberty. At the same time, we are building and passing the tradition of honoring the fallen to all ages and generations.
Also in 2018, we supported the “A Dementia Friendly America Initiative” by hosting our first Dementia Friends California event. The Dementia Friends movement seeks to make more Dementia Friends, who change the way we think, act and talk about dementia. Ultimately we share the goal of connecting people by making our communities more dementia friendly.
While seeking new ways to reach out and support community, we also maintain our heritage of making all of our buildings and grounds an inviting setting which sets people at ease and invites families to form new traditions of life gatherings.
It Protects Life Through Preparation
Life is an adventure and often does not go as we planned. The celebration of life can be entirely derailed by unexpected events or tragedy. Often living a wonderful life is just as much about what we avoid as it is what we experience. When you know you are prepared for the unexpected; that whatever life brings, your family is protected and provided for, you live with a liberating feeling of freedom and peace; a fearless feeling that you can live and love through life without worry.
Getting through the season of life after a loved one passes away is hard enough. When preparations have not been made ahead of time the grief for the family is multiplied.
For 70 years we have helped families avoid this multiplied grief and hardship. While some families have known unexpected loss, having preparations in place allowed them to entirely focus on the grieving process and celebrating the life of their loved one. Thousands of families have been spared the pain of being unprepared through the simple motto of Life Celebrated Perfectly, and this brings us an immeasurable amount of satisfaction.
It Creates Traditions of Celebration
I can best describe how these memories are created by telling a story.
There was a local man named Thomas who’s lifelong love was the sea. Thomas especially loved to surf. If he wasn’t working, you could most often find him at Rat Beach on a chill day, or, when the swells picked up, at El Porto catching those perfect towering A-frame waves.
Thomas lived a wonderful life, but in time he passed away. His family chose Green Hills Memorial Park to help celebrate his life. They were looking for a unique way to share his story; to remind others of his love of the ocean and his passion for surfing. After learning as much as they could about this extraordinary person, our Family Service Advisor team recommended that the family purchase a glass-front niche as their burial option and hold a memorial service on our picturesque grounds that would include pictures, stories, and a video of the man they loved. The family was thrilled with the glass front niche option as they could personalize it to embody Thomas’ life. They felt though, that the memorial service fell short; that it didn’t wholly capture the life essence of Thomas.
Upon hearing this, our team went back to work trying to create an option which the family loved. The team proposed retaining the pictures and stories but moving the memorial service down to the sea. The family loved the idea! So, we did just that. We held a Shoreline Memorial Service which perfectly embodied the life of Thomas. We included scattering part of his ashes along the coastline symbolizing Thomas’ eternal union with the sea. The remainder of his ashes were placed in the glass front niche, providing his family with a physical location to gather and celebrate his life. Later, after the memorial service, the entire family shared that everything which was done perfectly celebrated and memorialized Thomas’ life.
It Draws The Living Together
Life is a precious gift meant to be lived and celebrated to the fullest each day. An abundant life is one which is rich in meaningful relationships. By bringing people together in the uplifting experience of moving beyond the grief of loss and into the joyful shared experience of celebrating life, this simple slogan of Life Celebrated Perfectly helps to refocus the living on what is truly important in life; our family, our neighbor, our community - Each Other.
As this brief explanation of Life Celebrated Perfectly is concluded, the Green Hills Memorial Park team would like to leave you with this question - How can you live out Life Celebrated Perfectly today, and with whom can you live it with? Life is a priceless gift. Celebrate it together, today.
From all of us at Green Hills Memorial Park