A funeral is more than just a traditional ceremony that is “expected” when someone passes, it is truly a way to say goodbye to someone who was loved, to remember and celebrate the life they lived and to come together with friends and loved ones to share our grief and help each other heal. It is no wonder, then, that even though certain religious services and structures remain in place, more personalized funerals are becoming the norm. Here at Phaneuf we work with families to plan a service that is reflective of the person being commemorated. Here are three simple customizations that may go a long way to creating a very special and unique funeral.
Most people will offer some form of refreshment after a funeral service, but if your situation allows, consider making this part something special too. You may serve a favorite food of your deceased loved one, or honor their heritage by include culturally significant foods. Was there perhaps something that was served at their wedding? A particular delicacy they loved on their birthday or holiday? Sharing a special meal with these special people will surely be both memorable and personal.
Special things are accumulated over the years—why not share what your loved one has deemed important with those that he or she held dear. If they were a collector, for example, consider sharing the collection among friends and family. Alternately, share Christmas ornaments or make remembrance ribbons out of ties. You will know what is right for your family and loved one, and you will see how meaningful these gifts can be.
3.A Book of a Well-Lived Life
Create a book with your loved one’s milestones and write any memories around that time, then leave a few pages around each and encourage funeral attendees to write in their own memories and special times, too. The end result will be a beautiful book, full of love and shared experiences—truly an amazing memorial and something that can be treasured for generations to come.
There are many ways to personalize your loved one’s funeral—after all, you will know what was special to them, how they would like to be remembered. Whatever you decide, just remember that the services you choose can be as personal as you want; in most cases, funeral homes can accommodate various requests, including video or photo montages and special displays. Say goodbye in the most personal way possible.