Losing a loved one is never easy, and each of us grieves in a unique way. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, baby boomers see funerals as a valuable part of the grieving process but are seeking ways to make them more meaningful.
From customized memory boards showcasing special photographs to music and mementos, the popularity of personalization is on the rise. This is important as it gives families a chance to add special touches to the service that remind them of their loved one as they say their final goodbye. Beyond that, personalization helps to celebrate the life lived rather than the life lost.
As your family prepares for a funeral or wake, consider these seven personalization ideas to help tell the story of your loved one’s life.
1. Create a Memorial Folder
When searching for ways to personalize a funeral service, a memorial folder is a great place to start. Folders with pictures, statements, favorite verses and achievements are often distributed to those attending the ceremony. The folder serves as a keepsake for attendees to take home after the funeral, as well as a guide throughout the service.
2. Display Personal Belongings
Another way to personalize a service is to display personal belongings of the departed. Consider hobbies and passions. What did your loved one value? If it’s art, display artwork throughout the funeral home. If he or she had a passion for music, then incorporate a favorite song or band into the service. By displaying personal items, you help those in attendance get a better understanding of what your loved one enjoyed in life and what hobbies they spent their time on.
3. Show a Tribute Video
As you prepare for the funeral, ask friends and family to send you pictures and videos of your loved one. A tribute video or photo slideshow is a beautiful way to share your loved one’s life story with others. It helps to spark memories, stories and conversations amongst attendees. Beyond that, the video can serve as a keepsake well after the service is over. If interested, Busch Funeral Homes will work directly with your family to gather details about your loved one’s life and help you design a meaningful tribute.
4. Involve Friends
Having close friends say a few words and share memories adds a personal touch to any funeral. For example, a special quote or passage could be read in honor of the person who has passed. As you plan for the funeral, keep in mind what the person may have wanted. If at a loss for the right words, consider these 6 Compassionate Conversation Topics for a Funeral or Wake.
5. Choose a Meaningful Flower Arrangement
A meaningful way to personalize the service is through flower arrangements. For example, a yellow tulip represents a common expression for cheerful thoughts and sunshine. Also, think of flowers that remind you of your loved one. Did they always have a certain bouquet on the dining room table? Or, if they enjoyed gardening, what was their go-to flower? Have your family select a flower that symbolizes your loved one. For a definitive guide to funeral flowers, click here.
6. Incorporate Favorite Clothing
A simple way to personalize a service is through clothes. Take time to pick out your grandma’s favorite dress, or your dad’s favorite baseball hat. It’s important that you dress your loved one in clothes that are meaningful to his or her life.
7. Involve a Funeral Celebrant in the Tribute
Certified Celebrants™ can help you design and conduct the tribute, if you wish. If you do not have an officiant in mind, we have trained celebrants who will listen to your stories and turn them into a personalized tribute that celebrates the life of the deceased and honors your beliefs. Our celebrants can incorporate religious or secular items such as music, readings and participants.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to personalize a funeral service. In addition to these ideas, we also offer all grieving families access to our resource library, which features a variety of guides, brochures, and videos on all aspects of loss. Or, we invite you to contact Busch at any time for questions on cremation, burial, preplanning or grief support.