Having a loved one pass away can be an extremely difficult experience, and the need to plan a funeral service can add to the challenge. Although planning a funeral can seem overwhelmingly painful at first, it's important to realize that your loved one's funeral service is an opportunity to say goodbye to them in a memorable way, and to capture their personality in a beautiful ceremony. By taking the time to plan a personalized funeral for your loved one, you can gain a great deal of peace and comfort in the wake of your family's tragedy.
Here are 4 unexpected but meaningful ways to customize your loved one's funeral.
1. Host a Candle Lighting Ceremony
A candle lighting ceremony can be a beautiful and touching way to remember your loved one. Done in much the same way as a Christmas candle lighting ceremony at a church, each funeral attendee is given a small taper candle before the service. A larger pillar candle is placed near the deceased, and is lit at the beginning of the ceremony.
During a speech or a meaningful song, the family of the deceased lights their taper candles, and "pass" the flame on to the attendees until everyone's candle is lit. This represents the light your loved one leaves in your life, even after they are gone.
2. Use Color Coordinated Silk or Real Flowers
Floral arrangements are a large part of any funeral service, and are used as a significant way to honor the loved one who has passed away. However, many families don't view the floral arrangements for the creative outlet they can be. Color coordinate the flowers at your loved one's funeral service to reflect their personality, or to commemorate their love for a sports team. By using the floral arrangements to personalize your loved one's funeral, you can create a particular atmosphere that both reflects and honors the life your loved one led.
3. Share In Something They Loved
Take some time during the ceremony to share in something your loved one enjoyed very much. For example, if your loved one had a cup of the same tea every day, everyone at the funeral could also enjoy a cup of the tea one last time with their departed family member or friend. Or, if your loved one enjoyed dancing, you could dance to their favorite song as the final goodbyes are being said before your loved one is placed in the hearse.
Discuss with other family members things that your loved one deeply cared for, or did on a daily basis to discover interesting things you may be able to incorporate into your loved one's service.
4. Pass Out Meaningful Keepsakes
While many people may take a flower out of the casket spray as a keepsake for the funeral, you can make it even more meaningful by having keepsakes made ahead of time. A golf ball with your loved one's name and the date of their birth, a tree sapling that can be planted in your loved one's memory, or their favorite candy bar can be a special keepsake that the family members and friends of your loved one greatly enjoy.
No matter how you choose to personalize the funeral of your loved one, remember that creativity is key. Don't worry about what you should or shouldn't do at a funeral, and focus more on remembering your loved one in a way that they would have wanted. Funeral homes are there to help you plan a service that honors the life of your loved one in many different ways. The memories of a meaningful, beautiful goodbye will join the other wonderful memories you hold of your loved one and will bring you comfort and peace as you grieve their passing.
Talk to your director at the funeral home to assist you.