Why it Matters: Dove Releasing and Other Funeral Ceremonies
It’s becoming a growing trend in the funeral industry for families to hold elaborate ceremonies to accompany the memorial service. From dove releasing ceremonies, in which classic white birds are set into the air, to bagpiping or even a procession that requires a permit and closing the streets, people want to remember their loved ones—and in a big way.
With funeral costs already on the rise, it might seem like an unnecessary expense to add a professional animal handler or musician to the total bill. However, for many families, the chance to say goodbye with a flourish is one of the best ways to begin a healthy grieving process. Here’s why.
- You Only Get One Funeral: We celebrate countless milestones throughout life, and each day is a chance to celebrate what we’ve been given. And while you can honor the deceased’s memory every day through affirmations and memories, this is your chance to make a real and powerful statement.
- Out-of-Town Guests: If there’s one thing you can count on during a funeral, it’s that family members and friends will drop everything to attend. This often means flying long distances, missing work, and adding large travel expenses on top of their grief. Planning a more elaborate funeral ceremony for their benefit can be a good way to say thank you and to ensure that they go home with some positive memories.
- Coping with Cremation: Rates of cremation are on the rise, which means great things for lower-cost funeral plans and reducing the strain of traditional burial on the eco-system. However, it can be difficult for older generations and some religious groups to accept cremation—especially since it can be conceived as a kind of disrespect for the deceased. Incorporating a ceremony can help reduce some of the strain a cremation might be causing in your family.
- Memorials that Last: While a dove releasing ceremony only lasts for a few minutes, you can opt for another, more permanent funeral ceremony instead. Planting a tree, dedicating a park, or making a large financial contribution in the deceased’s name are all great ways to say goodbye while also creating a better future for others.
- Helping Children Grieve: Funerals and death can be especially difficult for children, especially if they’ve lost someone very central in their lives. Holding a dove ceremony (in which they might even be able to handle the bird) or making other tangible connections can be a good way for them to understand the realities of death. Although this isn’t right for everyone, some families find it’s a good way to incorporate their kids in the funeral planning process without overwhelming them.
Funeral ceremonies don’t have to be elaborate or expensive in order to be effective. Some of the best options are small, personal touches (like creating a picture board or writing letters to the deceased that are then read aloud) that can be integrated into the funeral plans.
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By Amy Johnson