I have been away from my desk recently, a family emergency back in Saskatchewan tore me away suddenly and unexpectedly, and since I got back I have been having a hard time talking about it. I have had a chance to process the events of the last two and a half weeks, and am finally feeling ready to share a bit.
Following an amazing weekend here in Creston working with Serene Spa, bringing an Outdoor Movie Night to a birthday party, and picking grapes, I received a phone call that completely shattered my world. My dad passed away unexpectedly. Upon receiving the news, I got in my car, and began the journey back to Saskatchewan to plan an event I definitely did not want to plan - my dad's funeral. While it was by far one of the most difficult and painful things I have done, I know my dad would have been proud of the results. With the help of some very sensitive, caring and supportive event professionals, I believe we were able to put together a celebration of life that truly showcased who my dad was. The non-traditional funeral was held in a location my dad held dear rather than a funeral home, he was on the Board of Directors for the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina, a venue used by many touring artists, musicians and performances. The team there did an amazing job of managing the very emotional task of putting together the funeral, and were exceptional in their handling of my grieving family. We did use a funeral home for some of the services, and they too did a fantastic job. I truly learned a lot from the tact and grace with which those individuals assisted and guided our planning journey.
These recent events are still so fresh, I am still not sure I quite believe that it is real. What I know is that I did the best I was able given the circumstances, and making those plans soothed me and kept me focused in a time when my thoughts and emotions weren't necessarily under my own control. I gained insight into a different aspect of event planning, a more sensitive side of things, and feel more prepared than I was to assist with the planning of an event that isn't lighthearted and fun. I saw that the basic requirements of planning an event don't really change, regardless of what that event might be, and it is the personality and goals of the client that makes each event unique and special. I hope that moving forward I can help bring some calm to the chaos of planning an event for others the way that the people I worked with on my dad's funeral did for me. I hope that I am able to demonstrate the tact and sensitivity they did, and cater to clients' needs in a way that lets them know they are special and that my goals are their goals.
To those who helped, to those who reached out, to those who took a moment to think of my family in this time, I offer my most sincere thanks.
Amanda, along with her team, coordinates, facilitates and creates awesome events in and around the Creston Valley. Through her business, AM Event Coordination, she strives to create awesome experiences and memories through the creation and execution of quality events.