Person Planting Tree to Honor Loved OneLosing someone you love is never easy, but by keeping their unique life alive in the form of great memories, you can help to ease the pain some. Use some of these unique ideas at the funeral or memorial service to help friends and family feel close to the person they lost.

Hand Out Something Customized

Did your loved one have a favorite scent, taste or collectible that he or she loved up until the day of passing? You can keep the memory of the deceased's favorite thing alive by passing out something to remind friends and family of it in the future. There are plenty of ideas, like:

  • Favorite candy bars
  • Coupons to his or her favorite restaurant
  • Customized memorial candles
  • Customized shot or pint glasses
  • A downloadable playlist of his or her favorite songs

Fill a Guestbook With Memories

Many funerals have a guestbook for simple signatures, but why not take it a step further by creating one of memories? Provide index cards for attendees to fill out with their name and favorite memory of the deceased. Once you've collected the cards, fill a photo album with them or paste them into a traditional guestbook to look back on over the years.

Include Photographs of Specific Moments

The majority of memorial services include a professional photograph of the deceased, but that moment of professionalism isn't always the way people actually remember their lost loved one. Instead of going for traditional, consider enlarging candid shots or pictures of the person throughout important times in their life, such as graduation, a wedding or the birth of a child. If you would like to add even more creativity, you can create a slideshow or short video set to music.

Have a Tree-Planting Ceremony

Planting trees is important for the environment. Whether your loved one was passionate about saving the environment or simply loved nature, planting a tree that will grow for many years to come is the perfect way to keep someone's memory alive. Invite guests to the place where you'll plant the tree and say a few words before or after the planting is complete.

Donate in Lieu of Flowers

It is traditional to send flowers when someone has passed, but as beautiful as they are, they can be difficult to transport and keep, especially if the person was well-loved. Instead of having people purchase flowers that may not even make it out of the funeral home, ask guests to donate to a cause your loved one believed in. By keeping the charities local, you can ensure you're helping the community the deceased lived in. Consider animal shelters, homeless shelters, local veterans' organizations, schools, colleges or churches.

Have a Party

For some, this may feel disrespectful, but if your loved one as the fun-loving type, it may be exactly what he or she would have wanted. If you ever heard "throw a party to keep my happy memories alive!" while the deceased was still here, do just that. After the traditional funeral, rent an event space and have a party. Provide food and drinks or ask guests to do something potluck style and dance the night away while sharing memories of the deceased.

Take a Road Trip to Scatter Ashes

If the deceased will not have a traditional burial, consider scattering his or her ashes in his favorite places. Think about childhood hometowns, local favorite places, the ocean, beloved vacation spots and anywhere else your loved one enjoyed spending his or her time during life.

None of these things will take away all the pain of losing your family member or friend, of course, but by doing something that truly memorializes the deceased like the unique person he or she was, you may feel just a bit better.

Category: Funeral Loss

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