Funeral Personalization: A Loving Touch to a Final Farewell
In the words of Dr. Seuss “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” The beauty of this earth is that each individual is so unique. No two souls are the same, all life stories are unique. So what better way to celebrate the individuality of your loved one than by planning a memorial service that is unique to the person that they were? There are so many different ways to incorporate special memories that have been shared with the Deceased and to celebrate the things that they loved.
As people enter the facility in which you are holding the funeral or memorial service, line the entry way with a couple of tables that have items of significance on them. For example, pictures of your loved one from both childhood and adulthood. Showcase a hobby they enjoyed, their career, culture, or their relationship to you. Any important mementos from time spent in the military or fraternal order would be a great addition to their memory. Upon entering the memorial service, attendees will be given a snapshot into all of the things that were important to your loved one. It’s a great way to pay tribute to their uniqueness that attendees will enjoy seeing.
During the service consider playing music that your loved one enjoyed. Even if it is not “traditional” memorial service music, it is a great way to make the service more intimate and unique. Also, consider having a photo slideshow playing as people enter the funeral service. Photos of your loved one with those those they cared about or participating in something they enjoyed is an excellent way to make the service a celebration of their life instead of just a time of grieving.
Another great idea is to have the guest book be more than just a sign in spot. Consider a guest book with the picture of your loved one and ample room for well wishers to write. Let guests share fond memories, a description of how they met your loved one or a list of reasons why they admired and loved them. This will make the guest book a cherished keepsake for generations to come.
Even the gravesite service can be made into a more personal experience. Consider having a collection of the deceased’s favorite flower for each guest to place on the casket. Or have small pieces of paper on which each guest can write a small note to the departed. After a time of writing brief notes, have each person attach their note to the string of a helium balloon, say a prayer or a quick word about the deceased and then at once, have everyone release their balloon and watch it float into the sky during a moment of silence. This would be a unique way for people to say their final “goodbyes” to the one they cared so much for. This is an enjoyable reflection of everyone's favorite life stories with your loved one.
It has become somewhat customary to hold a luncheon or meal with relatives and well wishers after the funeral or memorial service. One idea to make the meal a celebration of your loved one is to serve the food they most enjoyed. You can also decorate the tables with their favorite color, flowers, sports team, funeral poems that relate to the life stories of your loved one display etc. This would be a way to extend the celebration of their life beyond the funeral alone.
Also consider a small remembrance piece for each attendee. Be it a bookmark with favorite funeral poems or life stories of your loved one. A small packet of seeds to plant in honor of the Departed would be memorable far beyond the funeral. Some websites even offers small charms that can be given out in remembrance. This is an excellent way to not only comfort but also thank those that joined together to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Since each person is so different, consider adding any other special touches that you think your loved one might have enjoyed. Take a moment to think of the special life stories of your loved one, usually this helps in the idea process of what to add to the celebration of their life. Best wishes as you add a personal touch to the life that you’re celebrating. Remember, it is more than a funeral it is a celebration of their life!