Our final gift to the ones we love is often given in the form of a memorial service. For many, planning a service worthy of our loved ones can be a challenge in an already chaotic state of mourning.
We want to be sure that the words we say, the photos we choose, and the ambiance we create measure up to the life and accomplishments the deceased built for themselves. The most peaceful memorials we can plan for our newly departed are often those that are the simplest.
Choosing the right provider
For those who choose to go the route of cremation, working with providers like Heritage Cremation servicesto plan a service can ease your stress. Professionals with years of experience can suggest the best method for planning your service, as well as answer any questions you may have during your time of grieving.
If your loved one had requests upon their time of passing, providers can aid you in the execution of their requests, like scattering of ashes in beloved places. They will assist you in choosing the final resting place for your loved one, whether that’s an earth burial or entombment, or an urn that you bring home to keep with you at all times.
Planning a eulogy
Writing a eulogy is a unique process of attempting to sum up the life and love of someone who has left this world, honoring their memory, and saying your final goodbyes.
Ideally, your eulogy will last roughly three to ten minutes, depending on the type of eulogy you choose to share. Some opt for light-hearted, fun memories of the departed, while others are more solemn and reflective. Think deeply about the person, their characteristics, and their personality, and choose a writing style that reflects who they were as a person.
It often helps to first create a timeline of the departed’s life, and share brief memories of each major milestone. Anecdotes can then be thrown in to keep everyone’s attention and remind them of the good memories they’ve shared.
Conclude your speech with the ways in which they’ve affected your life and the lives of the others who have come to share in their memory, and prepare to say goodbye. If you’re looking for inspiration, read a few eulogies written for others to get a sense of what you’d like to say and how it could best be received by those in attendance.
Creating a respectful atmosphere
While many choose to plan a memorial service at a funeral home or a final resting place, some choose to honor their loved ones in a home ceremony. If you choose to memorialize your recently deceased loved one at home, creating a peaceful atmosphere can help put your guests in a reflective state.
Keep the room relatively dark, with soft lighting like white Christmas lights strung along the walls. Dimmed lighting has a calming effect on the mind and can ease emotions so that your guests can focus on expressing their loving memories of the recently departed. Aim to keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and provide various light refreshments so as to set a welcoming tone for the room.
Choosing the right photos
One of the most common aspects of any memorial service is photographs. When choosing the right photos to display at your service, revert back to the timeline you created for the eulogy. Include photos that range from infancy to their final moments.
Reach out to family members and friends and ask them to send you their favorite photographs of the recently departed. Including others in the planning can ease the process and reflect the full span of those who loved them. Everyone handles grief differently, and including others can help ease the pain and mourning.
Once you’ve chosen your photos, create poster-boards that are spread out around the room for guests to enjoy. In doing so, those who are waiting for their turn to express their condolences can relive the memories of their loved one.
If you’re tech-savvy, consider creating a slideshow of photos to play for your guests. Many funeral homes also give you the option of providing them with a DVD of photos that they’ll play during the memorial.
Ultimately, whichever route you choose, the memorial you plan will be the perfect testimony of the life of the one you lost, because it will be planned and celebrated out of love.