Attending the service of a loved one is never a simple feat. These are some of the most difficult days. However, there is a glimmer of hope in the fact that you can find unique ways to honor your loved one. The fact that you can initiate a gesture that is unlike the practices of regular funerals may give you comfort during this difficult time. It also serves as a reminder of what made your loved one so special. Here’s what you can do!
1. Play Their Favorite Song
During the service, find a moment to play your loved one’s favorite song. This makes the service feel more like a celebration of life and reminds attendees of cherished memories that they may have with the song. It is an excellent way to bring a bit of life into the service and makes for an upbeat turn. This music can also be played as attendees enter or exit and put them in positive spirits.
2. Conduct a Craft
If your loved one was passionate about the arts or creating things with their hands, then conducting a craft is an excellent choice. At a separate location before or after the service, consider administering a craft that your loved one would enjoy. A painting, sculpture, installation, piece of pottery, or jewelry are all beautiful and artistic ways to honor an artistic person. If done before the service, there may be a moment during which you can present these crafts with a few words about why they would be appreciated by your loved one.
3. A Slideshow
Presenting a slideshow of memories with your loved one is a nostalgic way to honor them and celebrate their life. It reminds attendees of the good times with that person and gives them something positive to associate with the day of the service. Consider asking people attendees to submit photos before the service.
4. A Scrapbook
If a slideshow isn’t an option, a scrapbook is another great choice. Here, you can include significant photos into the service in a tangible way. Scrapbooks feel more personal to many. Another idea is for attendees to bring photos and add them to the scrapbook, creating a beautiful collection of memories.
5. Eat Their Favorite Foods
After a funeral service, there is typically a visitation at the home of someone very close to the deceased. If this is the case, a great way to honor your loved one is by preparing their favorite foods. For example, if they loved cupcakes from a particular bakery in town, then place a special order! Or, if they especially loved pepperoni pizza, make one together. Eating these foods can bring back fond memories of sharing them with the person you love.
6. Speech About Their Life
It’s standard practice for those close to the deceased to give a heartfelt speech about their life during their service. However, this can be enhanced in multiple ways to make the speech more unique to your loved one. For example, you can talk about your top three memories with them or elaborate on a time when they gave you life-changing advice.
7. Sending off Lanterns or Balloons
After the service, honor your loved one by sending off paper lanterns or balloons with a message attached. This can offer a sense of peace and comfort to conduct such a beautiful and meaningful activity in their name as a community of people who loved them.
8. Lead a Prayer or Moment of Silence
A unique moment to add to the service of your loved one is a led prayer (if they were religious) or a moment of silence to think about them. This may help ground the attendees, give them a moment for emotions, or pay tribute to their religious affiliation. Whether the service is held at a church or not, this practice could still be included.
9. Play a Clip of Their Favorite Movie
If your loved one was interested in film and theater, consider playing a meaningful clip of their favorite film or show. This gesture can highlight a little bit about who your loved one was as a person and show their interests. If there is one particular clip that they referenced often and contributed to their personality, this could be what you include! This idea is best for a visitation or more casual-style service.
10. Highlighting Their Passions
If your loved one was creative or artistic, passionate about something in particular, or revolved most of their life around something, then highlight this during the service! Take the time to show off their work, things they were proud of during their lifetime, and their deepest passions. This can be done with photos, stories, or even displays.