Funeral Planning Tributes
Personalizing a funeral is one of the best ways to remember the deceased. All too often, family members and friends get caught up in the reverence and traditions of funeral planning, making sure that the tone is set for people to mourn. While there certainly is a time and place for this kind of atmosphere, it is acceptable to add a little fun and creativity to a funeral ceremony. By personalizing some of the traditions, you can not only honor the life the deceased led, but you can also pay a lasting tribute that no one will soon forget.
Small steps to personalize the funeral plan are typically easy to implement and come at a low cost. You can gather photographs of the deceased to place in a slide show or photo album. You can play music he or she was fond of during life. You can even bring in a favorite pastor to provide the ceremony, or ask a few close friends to come up with some words to share.
Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself when gathering ideas for simple funeral tributes include:
• What were his/her favorite activities?
• What were his/her passions?
• How did he/she feel about work?
• What was his/her religious or spiritual beliefs?
• How important was his/her heritage?
You can use these answers to guide your funeral planning process (and you may be surprised how well they open up the dialogue between loved ones).
Creative Funeral Planning
Of course, if you’d like to make a unique and personalized tribute, you may have to dig a little deeper into the things that made the deceased such a special part of your life. If there was a particular hobby or passion that was important to the deceased, you can personalize the casket with mementos, display trophies or other awards, or create a photo collage of the deceased engaged in this activity. Friends from a club or group can speak or make a presentation.
Other options can go even further – as long as you keep the individual’s preferences in mind, there is virtually no limit to what you can do. For a Harley fan, opt for a procession composed almost entirely of motorcycles. Someone born and bred in Texas might be best remembered by an open-pit barbeque after the service. Sports enthusiasts might have appreciated a tailgate party or special remembrance at a local game. A gardener might have taken pride in the floral arrangements being taken entirely from his or her garden. Live music, a change of venue, a public scattering of cremated remains, a fashion show – all of these options can work, given the right setting and right funeral planning.
A funeral tribute can be just as unique and individual as the deceased, and for many families, this is one of the best ways to start the grieving process. If you have any questions about what may or may not be allowed, talk with the funeral home or funeral director. And remember, even though there may be restrictions at the funeral home, off-site ceremonies can open the door to a whole new level of funeral planning.
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By Amy Johnson