SendOff, a Twin Cities Based Funeral Provider, Transcends Tradition

February 16, 2024
4 min
Kelly Roberts, Founder of SendOff

It wasn’t long ago that nearly all weddings were held in a church and officiated by a pastor or priest. Over the last three decades, the role of religion in wedding ceremonies has diminished in importance (or disappeared altogether), and these traditions gave way to vows being exchanged in backyards and barns, on beaches and golf courses, and everything in between. While authentic and personalized details have become key components in wedding planning, the traditional funeral ceremony has remained virtually unchanged.

Though the majority of Americans have shifted from casket burials to cremation — with cremation becoming the prominent choice in 2015 — the funeral or memorial service has retained the same format. We may have started calling them “celebrations of life,” yet little else is different: a church service or a gathering hosted at the local funeral home (or some combination of both) followed by sandwiches and brownie squares placed around a tri-fold foam board displaying photos of the deceased. Sound familiar?

As the desire for authenticity grows and the number of people without religious affiliation increases, attitudes toward the traditional funeral are evolving. In my nearly 20 years of owning a funeral home in Forest Lake, Minnesota, I regularly heard “I don’t want a funeral, I want a party.” More and more Baby Boomers are opting out of cookie-cutter services and asking for something more unique, something that feels more like them, and we suspect this trend to continue.

It makes sense. We don’t want to think about our friends and family being overwhelmed with grief while mourning our death. We want the people we leave behind to celebrate how we lived, laugh while telling stories, and to feel gratitude, even happiness, as they honor our memory.

After 25 years of experience in retail, hospitality, and funeral homeownership, I was inspired to change the narrative in the funeral home space by creating SendOff – Funerals Reimagined, a new and unique memorial brand curating highly personalized events in the Twin Cities area.  

Some individuals still want to incorporate their church or religious traditions into their end-of-life celebration (and we’re happy to accommodate those requests), but they don’t want to be limited by the formalities we associate with the traditional funeral. We help families break free from those limitations by planning a more thoughtful, more personalized tribute, in a space that has meaning to them. Most funeral homes aren’t doing that yet.

To meet the demand for bespoke memorial services, non-traditional funeral companies are popping up across the country — but SendOff is proud to be the first and only one of its kind in Minnesota. As a licensed funeral provider, we can help manage every detail from end to end, including burial or cremation arrangements. We’ve established partnerships with nearly 40 different venues, big and small, throughout the Twin Cities metro, and we dedicate our time and resources to ensuring every SendOff is one-of-a-kind.

Ultimately, we want each guest to leave a SendOff service thinking “That was so on point,” and to truly see or even hear the person they’re celebrating in every detail.

If you close your eyes and think about your grand finale, what do you see? A live band while everyone dances? A final round at your favorite golf course? Sparklers at sunset on a pontoon parade? A bonfire under the stars? We’re living in an age where the options are endless. We can get married in a barn and have a funeral on a beach. Life is meant to be lived and celebrated. That looks different for each of us, and each SendOff celebration should be different, too.

Pro-tip: The best, most memorable SendOff events are the ones people have planned for themselves. Planning ahead isn’t just practical, it can be a gift to your friends and family. Plus, being a participant in your own planning process can actually be a positive, even enjoyable experience. Start the pre-planning conversation with SendOff now.

Thanacare and SendOff announce a partnership that bolsters similar missions of providing people with better options as they navigate the pre-planning process at end-of-life. Both firms strive to create space for people to meaningfully own their end-of-life decisions and wishes.