3 Ways to Honor a Loved One Who Has Passed Away
Traditional memorial services capture the essence of a loved one. Each individual brings something unique to this world, so you’ll want the memorial service to be unique to him or her.
In the midst of wondering how to plan a memorial service, it can be easy to get caught up in what’s been done before – traditional burials, services at funeral homes, and so forth. If you’re one to think outside the box, there are three ways you can personalize your loved one’s memorial service:
1. Choose a Song From Your Loved One’s Collection
“Amazing Graze” is a staple memorial song. It’s sung at many Western funerals. Although it’s a lovely hymn, your loved one may never have listened to it, much less enjoyed its solemn tone. Not to mention, “Amazing Grace” doesn’t reveal any interesting details regarding the deceased.
Although playing “Amazing Grace” is a funeral tradition, that shouldn’t stop you from choosing a more appropriate song that better reflects your loved one’s life. For example, Wreaths Across America memorialized U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Patrick Nixon by playing “Arlington,” written by Dave Turnbull, who passed away in March 2003 in Iraq.
While you don’t have to write your loved one an original song, try going through their music collection. Chances are you’ll find a song you often heard him or her singing.
2. Select the Right Location
There’s more to the phrase “home is where the heart is” than you’d think. There was likely at least one place in your loved one’s life where they felt at home. Maybe it was a summer getaway at which they always associated with peace and enjoyment.
Selecting the ideal place to hold the memorial service can be tricky if you overthink it. Especially if you want the service to be accessible to all of those who want to pay their respects. The location doesn’t have to be extravagant, just meaningful. Keep in mind that if you want to spread your loved one’s ashes somewhere during the service, there are many unique locations to inter cremated remains.
3. Find an Appropriate Reading
Religious scriptures, poems, and other readings are quite common at funerals, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with theocratic text. Has your loved one ever spoken fondly of a book or poem? Take a look at their book shelf. Which one seems to be the most used? There’s a reason why that book appealed to your loved one, so why not give memorial attendees a glimpse into his or her perspective? It’s a unique option that can tell a lot about your loved one.
If your loved one is still alive and well, don’t hesitate to ask them about how they would like to honored. It stands to reason that your loved one should have a say in how he or she is remembered.