Funerals are the last time we have a chance to say goodbye to someone. For the most part, they are solemn occasions where people cry and hang their head in sadness. But there are some funerals that celebrate the person’s life more than mourning their death. These are the ones that personalize the ceremony to make it more meaningful. Here are some suggestions for making a funeral more of a personal goodbye instead of the heart-wrenching occasion that it usually is.
Making a funeral more personal is an act of love for the deceased as well as your fellow mourners. Celebrating a life encourages others to share their memories, open up and come together. It also unites you as a group and a family. At the same time, finding ways to personalize a funeral can be a difficult process. Planning a funeral is difficult under the best of circumstances but when you’re in the throes of grief, being creative is especially challenging.
That why we brought together seven simple options to help you customize a funeral quickly. These options can work for just about anyone and can also spark inspiration for new ideas. If you’ve used one of these ideas or have a new one, please feel free to share it in the comments section!
• Bring in your deceased loved one’s favorite song or songs on a CD or MP3 player. Most funeral homes will have equipment to play this over the speakers in the room so everybody can enjoy it. If someone in your circle of family and friends is good with video production you can have photos or video clips playing during the song as well. Reach out the your funeral director to learn what equipment they have available.
• The act of letting go can provide a powerful catharsis for mourners. Have some helium balloons that mourners can release at the grave. Ask somebody to say a few words about the deceased before letting the balloons fly into the air. Some people have concerns over the environmental issues balloon launches have. For the environmentally conscious, consider floating flowers that can be released down a stream in order to “let go” without worrying about the impact on the environment.
• Put together a picture board that includes the deceased having fun with various friends and members of the family. There’s no better way to personalize and celebrate a person’s life than to have pictures of them having fun for everybody to see. Invite people to add their own photos to the collection and display it near the guest book.
• If your deceased loved one was a classic car enthusiast, ask the funeral director about renting a couple old cars to use instead of the traditional funeral cars. If you have a family member with classic cars, that’s a good option, too. The funeral home may have a classic hearse they can use and, with the help of fellow car enthusiasts, you may be able to find enough cars for the immediate family to use as well.
• Funeral readings are often chosen as a way to share what was important to the person who has passed away. Readings from the Bible or other religious text are traditional, but they aren’t your only choice. Include passages from their favorite novel, a poem they loved or even music lyrics that meant a lot to them or serve as a reflection for their life.
• Hold the funeral somewhere unique, even if that means venturing outside the traditional options of a church or place of worship. People who loved being by the water would appreciate a service held on the beach, at a marina or near a body of water. Think about a place that was special to them and see if it is possible to hold a memorial service nearby.
• Speaking of special places, consider tailoring the route you take from the service to the cemetery. Talk to your funeral director about passing by your loved one’s favorite local place on the way to the burial site.
Filed Under: Funeral Trends