Unique Funeral Keepsakes
A funeral does not need to be elaborate, grand, or unique. The memories you cherish and the people you love are all that are needed to make this end-of-life celebration memorable. Whether you hold a quiet ash-scattering ceremony at home or invite the entire town to a public funeral, a funeral can be everything you need it to be.
However, there are options to personalize a funeral in ways that can bring you comfort and joy in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Create a tribute that honors your loved one with a few of these unique funeral ideas and keepsakes.
- Memory Jar: Ask everyone who attends the funeral to write down their favorite memory of the deceased, and then have a jar, box, or other receptacle where they can place them. These memories can be read immediately or savored over time—either way, they can bring comfort for years to come, and can even be put on display later.
- Favorite Things Buffet: Food at a funeral is nothing new, but most people opt for sharable casseroles and other easily portable foods. Instead of serving traditional dishes, consider making a buffet entirely of the deceased’s favorite foods. This is a great way to share memories and honor your loved one.
- Memory Table: Oftentimes, there are personal items that define a person. A well-loved hat, a pair of cowboy boots, family heirlooms, a favorite novel—all of these things can evoke memories and start conversations. If you would rather not bury these objects with the body, consider setting up a table display that captures everything you knew and loved about the deceased.
- Life Story Infogram: If you know someone with graphic design skills, consider making an “infogram” style obituary for display at the funeral. (These can also be printed and handed out, or even shared through social media online.) It is a quick and heartfelt way to capture a lifetime, and can also serve as a keepsake for years to come.
- Personalized Playlist: If the deceased loved music, you might want to make a playlist of all their favorite songs. This can be burned onto a CD and passed out at the funeral, or you can simply share the list with others. Not all the songs can usually be played at the service (and some of them may not be funeral-appropriate), but that does not mean you cannot share them.
- Photo Collage: Photo collages are very common at funerals, and no two are the same. Create a digital slideshow that can be shared with everyone. Arrange the photos on a wall or a poster. Have all the pictures framed to hang or place on a table. You can even make copies and tell guests that they are free to take any photo that speaks to them.
There are few “wrong” ways to hold a funeral. As long as you are respectful of other people’s feelings and property, you can provide a loving farewell that will be full of keepsakes and memories for everyone to share.
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By Amy Johnson