It's Time to build a Legacy for Your Loved One
Funerals aren’t going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean celebrations of life aren’t a growing business.
More people are wanting to have a party after the funerals of their loved ones and friends. In fact, a Kelowna couple is banking on that.
Allen and Christine Ransome are the husband-and-wife team behind Cheers for the Years, a new business that helps anyone throw a party for their recently deceased friends or family members.
“The traditional funeral will always be there, and we’re just trying to talk about the best parts of a loved one’s life,” Allen Ransome says. “You get the eulogy at the funeral, and everybody’s really sad. It’s time for final closure.
“A celebration of life, even though it’s about a deceased loved one, is for the living. It’s for the people that are left behind who really want to talk about great things.”
The Ransomes came up with Cheers for the Years after watching one of their close friends pass away in March 2018. The man’s wife hosted a celebration of life a few months later, and the Ransomes realized there was nothing like it in the Okanagan.
“It had such a profound effect on us,” Allen says.
The retired investment manager put together a business plan, conducted some focus groups and eventually launched their new venture.
When COVID came along, in-person gatherings were suddenly prohibited by the government. After attending their grandson’s first birthday through a ZOOM meeting, they quickly switched their business model to accommodate Virtual Celebrations of Life. Their business really took off from there as they hosted and administered over 60 Virtual Celebrations of Life all around the world. Friends and family were so happy to be together as some had not seen each other for years. It made those Celebrations of Life so meaningful.
Anyone wishing to throw a celebration of life will sit down with the Ransomes and go through a proprietary questionnaire in an effort to customize the event right down to the last detail. Cheers for the Years will take care of everything, including the invitations, securing the venue, videographer and photographer, video slide presentations along with creating pamphlets, favours and picture collages.
Think of it as a wedding without the stress.
“A celebration of life is a lot less (money),” Allen says, “and I don’t think the memories ever go away.”
Allen also realizes the population is aging at a remarkable pace, especially in B.C., and more people want to celebrate their loved ones instead of saying goodbye throughout the staid, depressing and stressful funeral process.
“We’re trying to separate ourselves from the funeral industry,” Allen says. “We don’t really want to deal with the mourning part. We really want to deal with the happiness and the happy memories.”
More people are pre-planning their own celebration of life as they would want their friends and family to remember them by. Cheers for the Years offers pre-planning events as well to accommodate them.
“We are creating ever-lasting legacies to be retained by the family and to be shared with friends and future family members.” For those who subscribe to Ancestry.com, this is a terrific way to supplement your family’s history of loved ones.