Survivor Ceremony

Remember the song, “I Will Survive.”?

That Top 10 70’s hit is truer today than ever before. We have a lot to survive: illness, divorce, death of a loved one, job loss, overcoming addictions, and the list goes on. As we learn to cope and survive everything that life throws our way, having ceremonies to recognize survival have become increasingly popular.

“Survivor ceremonies honor a moment or event of crisis in one’s life for the purpose of healing and transition,” according to Charlotte Eulette, International Director of the Celebrant Foundation & Instituteā„¢.

“They help people to express themselves, work out their feelings and ultimately foster new feelings of clarity, meaning, and resolution.”

Survivor ceremonies are held at two key points:

  1. While the person is going through the ordeal, such as a life-threatening illness. This type of ceremony centers around thanking loved ones for their support and looking ahead to a better tomorrow.
  2. After one has come through a crisis, such as when a divorce is finalized. This ceremony focuses on lessons learned, analysis, and reflection.

Survivor ceremonies provide an opportunity for people to express themselves in a manner that is true to them and one that captures the essence of their survival. By reaffirming the bond held with family and friends, there is a greater appreciation for their lives, giving them the strength needed to face new challenges and future survival situations.

“When we overcome something, it is a natural instinct to want to shout to the rooftops that we did it, we made it and we are stronger for it,” said Ms. Eulette. “Ceremony gives people a means of expression.”