When a loved one dies, we do not just bury them and forget their existence. We want to make them feel loved. Sometimes, it’s our way to deal with our regrets at the things we have not done for them. Though they may be gone, we want to engrave them in our thoughts and hearts forever.
We long for as many people as possible to carry on the legacy of your loved one in their mind, heart, and existence. You don’t want them to be forgotten. You don’t want them to cease to exist now or in the years to come. We feel that it is up to us to make their memory live on in the lives of the living.
Don’t stop yourself from thinking of the wonderful memories you had with your deceased loved one. What were they good at? What were their passions? What good do you remember them for? Surfing, cooking, music, arts, friendliness—all these are just some of the thoughts that will come to your mind. How about your family and friends of your deceased loved one? Do they know the person in a different light? From those ideas you can think of ways to personalize the imminent funeral or memorial service. Don’t forget to ask this question: when was he or she the happiest? Doing what? Being with whom?
Avoid the typical route and be creative with how you showcase photographs of the life of your loved one. Curate the best possible images even tracing from childhood and include important people in their life. Include photos with business associates as they go hiking on a weekend, high school photos of their favorite clique of all time, a childhood photo in the arms of a parent or grandparent, all these highlight their life in all its beauty.
There are many ways you can display the photos in a new light, like:
- Photo slideshow
- Video montage
- Clothespin-style photo board
- Table memorial of photographs
- Wreath of framed photos
Their secret garden funeral
You want to make the funeral solemn yet filled with all the good things your loved one cherished. This includes favorite flowers. Think of their favorite blooms when ordering funeral flowers. It sounds so melancholic to have to order funeral flowers but many florists have the creativity to make an arrangement that will make the funeral or memorial service a lovely paradise for your loved one.
A florist can create a uniquely-shaped floral spray designed in light of the things your loved one was passionate about. Florists can now create shapes aside from heart and cross-shaped floral sprays. They can make a bike floral spray, a violin floral spray, or make arrangements surrounding a theme like surfing or cowboys.
Opt for pressed flowers
You can make your own permanent memorial of funeral flowers by drying or pressing them. You can make a shadow box with the funeral flowers and some personal trinkets your loved one cared for. You can also make a Christmas ornament ball and fill it with the funeral flowers. This way, you feel they are always with you during the holidays. Pressed flowers can also be made into a pendant chain you can wear all of the time.
Share your fondest memories
Ask close family and friends of your loved one to talk about their lovely memories during the funeral or memorial service. If talking about it gets everyone’s emotions too high, you can also opt for other ways to share your memories and learn about them. Guests can write down fond memories on a stone, a scrapbook, or photo board, or perhaps carve them on a memory tree.
Transform pre-loved items
One of the hardest things to do after the passing on of a loved one is to clean their closet or room. Don’t just donate or give away the clothes. Keep a few clothing that you have fond memories of and make them into a quilt, a pillow, or a teddy bear that you can hug.
Create a quote board
You can use quotes from their favorite authors or poets, or maybe even a quote they always shared with people when giving advice. Guests may also have quotes they can remember passed on to them by your loved one. You can make a large quote board where guests can contribute. A quote board can provide consolation for everyone attending the funeral or memorial service.
Join the communities dear to their hearts
If your loved one was passionate about a certain charity, you can ask guests for donations to the local charity. You may also volunteer your services so you can learn more stories from their friends at the community. You will also see why they loved this community so much.
During the funeral, you can incorporate the community’s logo, emblems, or colors as part of the décor. You can also order casket flowers that are in the same color as their association’s colors. Florists can create the ideal arrangement using such colors or logo. You may also add a flag of the organization on the casket or nearby.
Play their favorite game
Does your loved one enjoy golf, any sports, or board games? Host a family game night in honor of your loved one. Perhaps they loved doing crossword puzzles. It’s a nice way to bring everyone together doing the things your loved one was fond of.
Make a memorial website
Go beyond your Facebook feed to share photographs and loving memories of your loved one. Create a website and encourage friends and family to record their memories there too. You can add poems, stories, and favorite songs aside from the photographs. Add a comment section where friends and acquaintances can pay tribute every year.