Memorial Services: Telling the Story of a Lifetime
During funeral services, it’s not uncommon for friends and family to speak about what their loved one meant to them, but what happens afterward?
When the departed has reached their resting place, can any following memorial services tell a complete life story? How can you say goodbye to your parent, grandparent, or friend in a delicate, meaningful way?
Here are some memorial service ideas you can discuss with your loved ones:
● Create A Memory Table
A memory table can be a collage of touching photos, a collection of written anecdotes, or an assortment of items that belonged to your loved one. You are not limited to just one table. One memory table could be reserved for grandchildren, another may allow the departed’s lifelong friends to cite their favorite memories of him or her.
Imagine setting up several memorial tables at a dinner party celebrating your loved one’s life. It would certainly be a sight to see.
One of the nice things about a memory table is that they aren’t difficult to put together. It also provides those close to the deceased with creative freedom. If you are looking for inspiration, here are some examples of DIY memory table ideas.
For example, if your loved one was a carpenter, friends and relatives could fashion a special board on which to post pictures, quotes, and other forms of memorabilia.
● A Timeline On the Urn
Have you ever seen a Greek or Roman jar depicting the adventures of gods and gladiators? While the deceased’s story may not be as theatrical as Odysseus, you can still paint his or her life story on an ornate urn. It doesn’t have to be complex.
You could have one of your more artistic friends or relatives paint the departed participating in a favorite childhood activity, and then create another caricature of your loved one at his or her first home.
But how could you make this into an event commemorating your loved one? Make a luncheon out of it. It can actually be pretty engaging to watch an artist do some amazing work. Not to mention, it will give your loved ones an opportunity to congregate.
Your cremation service may be able to offer options for custom cremation urns that can feature an artistic depiction of your loved one.
● Giving Back to the Community
If your loved one had a cause they were passionate about, donating to or creating a charity in their name is a meaningful and powerful way to honor their memory. Some examples of ways that you can memorialize your loved one by giving back to the community include:
- Creating a scholarship in your loved one’s name
- Donating to a medical research organization, animal welfare organization, or children’s hospital
- Adopting a highway in your loved one’s name
- Dedicating a star to your loved one
Volunteering or donating to a cause your loved one cared about is a wonderful way to celebrate their compassion and kindness towards others for generations to come.
● A Memorial Slideshow
It is highly likely your loved one has been filmed at some point. If his or her spouse, child, or grandchild happened to catch some funny or memorable footage of the deceased, a memorial service is a perfect place to share it.
If you ever wanted an opportunity to tell your loved one’s story, this is a modern memorial idea that can tell a story, and inspire your loved one’s friends and family to share memories.
Start digging around your house, going through your social media, and asking family and friends of the departed to contribute whatever videos or photos they have. You’ll find some that chronicle significant moments in your loved one’s life. A skilled editor may be able to compose them into a movie or slideshow.
Remember that a memorial service doesn’t have to be a melancholic event. Life is a beautiful thing, and if there’s an opportunity for you to express joy when remembering your loved one’s life, you shouldn’t be afraid to take advantage of it.
● Plant a Memory Tree
While many people choose to use headstones in addition to other traditional funeral services, an alternative for a headstone is to plant a tree that symbolizes a celebration of life. Paying tribute to a family member or friend by planting a memory tree is an eco-friendly way to honor their life.
One common practice is to bring a sapling to your loved one’s memorial service and have friends and family write their favorite memories, which are then hung from the branches. The tree can then be planted in a designated location, where it can be visited and nurtured.
Memorials Preserve Memories
It can be a daunting task to tell the story of an entire lifetime. But there are creative ways to illustrate the impact that our loved ones made and to honor their legacy.
Organizing a fitting memorial service is just one way that you can aid in healing and closure while paying tribute to someone you loved. National Cremation’s licensed funeral directors can provide guidance on how to organize a cremation memorial that honors your loved ones and tells their stories.
National Cremation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of simple and affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan your cremation services in advance, we’re always available to assist you and your family. Contact us or call (855) 469-9474 today for more information.