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Tribute services trending as funeral planning gets more personal

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At every jubilant gathering of family and friends — holidays, birthdays, celebrations — the Smith family always had one thing that made the celebration truly special: the time-tested family punch.

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The concoction had been stirred with love by family matriarch, “Phillys,” for more than 60 years and its sweet, sharp flavour became the unofficial Smith “taste.” Indeed, the prickly-sweet drink soon tasted of love, support and togetherness.

When Phillys passed, it was time to celebrate her enduring impact on the lives of those she loved, and so, the Smith family stirred up a bowl of punch to enjoy together as a loving good-bye.

“You wouldn’t think something as simple as that could be the thing that truly symbolizes a celebration of life,” said John Brock, of Brock and Visser Funeral Home and Cremation Services Ltd. “But it’s these little details that can help turn funeral service tears from those of sorrow to those of joy.”

Those little details, as Brock puts it, are the things that he has seen make a lasting impact on funeral services over the years. They’re part of the reason Brock and Visser built a separate Tribute Lounge at their downtown Woodstock location that was designed to provide a more relaxed environment for family and friends to come together, socialize and most importantly, celebrate the lives of their loved ones.

The fully licensed Tribute Lounge blends the traditional funeral service with a more modern setting. Under a year old, the lounge has been designed to be as welcoming and comfortable as possible, with exposed brick, a live-edge wood bar top, warm fireplace and plush as well as high-top seating areas and a large-screen for DVD presentations. And, Brock says, it offers an additional level of personalization. Food service, clergy presence and drink options are all on offer, and families can choose how much or how little they’d like to incorporate.

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“As with our more traditional services along with those staged in the Tribute Lounge, the important thing to remember is that each service can be as personal and unique as required,” Brock said. “Some families may choose to forego personalization, and that’s perfectly fine, too. We’re here to help guide them through the process, present options and help steer the arrangements in the desired direction.”

While a Tribute Lounge service may not be for everyone, Brock says he has seen services done in this setting encourage a positive start to the grieving process.

“The world has to stop for a portion of time so everyone can have some closure and process this monumental event,” he said. “We like to think our tribute services are really a trend for the end user. The service itself is about the deceased, but it’s for their surviving loved ones, and we have really seen how this kind of setting is a welcome step in the grieving process.”

John Brock and Greg Visser are co-owners and Licensed Funeral Directors with Brock and Visser Funeral Home Burial and Cremation Services Ltd. To learn more about services offered as well as tips and planning blogs, visit brockandvisser.com or call 519-539-0004.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Brock and Visser Funeral Home and Cremation Services Ltd.

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