There are many reasons why we have funerals or memorial services. It gives us a chance to say goodbye and it is the beginning of closure for many of us, but perhaps the main reason is to honour the person who has passed away and remember their lives.
A funeral or memorial service used to be very rigid and planned mostly according to religious beliefs but times are moving away from the traditional funeral and people are becoming more interested in holding personal informal memorials or Celebration of Life services. This is because people are realising that a memorial service should be all about the person you are honoring, not what tradition says you should do.
After losing a loved one, it is all too easy to get caught up in the flood of things that need to be done following a death. While there are many details to take care of, remember that they don’t all need to be handled at once. Slow down and keep your objective in mind: honoring your loved one and bringing some of their personality to the service. Don’t rush yourself or make hasty decisions, it really will be okay.
While thinking about the person who has passed, try to consider things such as what made that person unique, what did they enjoy doing and what were they passionate about. Take some time to talk to other people who were close to the deceased. Find out why the person touched other peoples’ lives and what made them important to other people. Gather special memories of the deceased, not only for the memorial service but for your own journey of healing as well.
The next thing to consider are the elements of the service that you would like personalized. Among these are the music, readings and eulogies. Where the service will be held will also allow you to incorporate personal elements to honour the deceased. The biggest challenge may be that your options are almost unlimited but some things you can include in the service are flowers, photos or items that were special to your loved one. Don’t hesitate to include other family members or friends in these decisions, having more opinions will give a more rounded picture of the person you are celebrating.
Another way to personalize a memorial service is a specially designed program to hand out. You can include photos, poems, biographies, scriptures, quotations and more to offer tribute to and reflect the personality of the deceased. The funeral director will be able to help you arrange the design and printing of the program.
The most important part of the planning of personalized memorial service is to ask for help. Even coping with normal daily activities is difficult when going through the death of someone you love, so planning a whole service on your own is an extremely daunting task. Let people you care about be involved, it is a step towards healing for all of you.
A personalized memorial service can bring a lot of comfort to those that are left behind to grieve. Incorporating aspects of the person’s personality and who they were will not only help you to celebrate the life they lived and how much they influenced other people, but will also help you take those first steps on your journey of healing.