The word “funeral” has become ubiquitous for any event to honor someone who died. Funerals might include visitations and graveside services – or they might not. They can be held indoors or outdoors. Funerals often include religious or spiritual material, but some are secular. And it doesn’t matter if your loved one chose cremation or burial: both qualify for this critical post-life event.
Funerals let us acknowledge someone’s passing. They reinforce our religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs. Although funerals might not lessen our grief, they are an essential first step toward healing.
Funerals, Memorial Services, and Celebrations of Life
Traditionally, funerals are held shortly after passing. They often have the casket or cremated ashes present. Memorial services are usually held without a body or cremated remains. A memorial service can be held anytime after passing. A celebration of life may be held shortly after death or several months later. Life celebrations highlight the loved one’s life and legacy, usually through pictures, videos, and personal stories.
How to Create a Personalized Memorial
Your one-of-a-kind loved one deserves a funeral that is just as unique. There are unlimited ways to remember and honor them respectfully. Funerals should not be cookie-cutter events. More families are exploring the idea of themed funerals that capture the personal history, passion, beliefs, and legacy of their loved ones.
Here are a few ideas.
If your loved one never missed a game at their alma mater or always wore the logo of their favorite professional athletic team, this could be a winning theme. You don’t have to hold the event inside. Consider an outdoor life celebration or tailgate-themed party on game day.
To complete the theme, encourage guests to wear the team colors or logo. Ask players or coaches to attend. Use tableware, flowers, pennants, and other decorations in the school or team colors.
A life celebration should reflect your loved one’s passion. Honoring their lives may include the things they enjoyed. Display your loved one’s trophies, pictures, and videos. Create a memory board display and invite guests to write and share photos. Complete the theme by using appropriate decorations and memorabilia.
A personal life celebration for veterans should include a patriotic display of their accomplishments and service. A ShareLife provider helps eligible veterans and family members access the benefits they might be eligible to receive. These benefits include a color guard, burial flag, military memorials, headstones, and more.
If your loved one was an artist or supported the arts, include art in their life celebration. An increasingly popular life celebration gives mourners something tangible to remind them of their loved ones. You could set up canvases for people to paint or provide ready-to-paint pottery. You can celebrate your loved one’s artistic flair by inviting local artists to display their work.
Serve the food your loved one enjoyed the most. You can create an interactive event, like a chili cook-off, potluck, or barbeque (supply guests with recipes beforehand). People associate food with memories, so serving your loved one’s favorite dish will create a remarkable celebration. Send guests home with a custom recipe card.
Celebrate the book lover or author by incorporating quotes from their favorite books into an immersive visual experience. Along with displaying books as part of the decor, you can provide notebooks or paper for mourners to write a memory. After the service, combine the pages to create a PDF or printed version to share.
Larger-than-life Celebrations from ShareLife
ShareLife funeral providers understand that a family’s goodbye should be as unique and personal as the person they’re honoring. Ask about our immersive life celebrations that feature floor-to-ceiling videos, picture-in-picture, music, sound effects, and even scents to create a one-of-a-kind event.