In our culture, traditional memorial services have tended to focus on death and sadness. However, the recent increased acceptance of cremation has allowed these services to take on a more celebratory aspect, with mourners and attendees gathering to celebrate and appreciate a loved one’s life, rather than to simply mark their passing.
Perhaps this is due to the presence of the body at a traditional service, serving as a constant reminder of death. And strangely, the presence of the body itself seems to intensify the feeling of that person’s absence.
A cremation funeral can, if done well, remind attendees that while the deceased is no longer with us, they had a great life, worthy of more than just commemoration or observance, but of celebration.
Cremation services offer a wider variety of options than traditional services
Because your loved ones’ remains are more easily transported in a memorial decorative urn, location is not necessarily limited to churches, homes, or cemeteries after a cremation.
Many families hold the cremation memorial in a location that was special to the departed loved one. The docks of the local boat harbor, a favorite theatre or park, or even a beloved restaurant or coffee shop can be used for the service. Being surrounded by the places and things the departed loved while they were alive reminds us all of why that person was special and unique.
Memorial ideas to celebrate your loved one’s beautiful life:
Themed surroundings will trigger memories and encourage reminiscing among the attendees.
Was your loved one a Star Wars fan, or did they love Cardinals baseball? Holding the service at a meaningful location—such as their home, or favorite restaurant—and decorating it around a theme of something they loved is a great way to remember how they had fun, what inspired them and ignited their passion.
Creating a custom themed urn for the cremains can lend further tribute at the memorial, and encourage future generations to remember and celebrate the unique life of the deceased.
Offer their favorite foods and drinks:
Food is a powerful key to our personality, and gathering loved ones together for a special meal, specifically inspired by your loved one, will inspire everyone in attendance to share their memories of what was unique, quirky and fun about the deceased.
Was the deceased a foodie? Did they love classic cocktails or espresso? Rather than the usual post-service buffet, make sure that the menu offers mourners a selection of the loved one’s favorite foods or drinks. If they loved Mexican food, a taco or burrito bar and margaritas are easily set up.
A musical and charitable tributes:
A loved one’s favorite music or special readings adds an additional touch of personalization to the proceedings.
Consider requesting that instead of flowers, donations be made to local charities or to medical research.
Create a memorial table:
Start with a photo of your loved one, and include items that were important to them. Were they in the military? Include their boots or medals. Were they athletes? Place their baseball glove on the table. Did they love to garden? A selection of potted plants from their own plot would be appropriate.
Place a card with a short explanation of why each object was important to your loved one. Locate the table near the entrance, where folks are encouraged to enjoy the memories the items inspire, and to honor the specific characteristics and personality traits that made their loved one so unique.
Will there be young children at the service? Keep them occupied with a memorial coloring station. Set up a large, short-legged table with posterboard, colored pencils, crayons and other art supplies, and have the children create memorial drawings in honor of their grandpa or grandma. It’s a great way to allow them to express their feelings, and create moving keepsakes.
Finally, make sure to include a large photo of the deceased. In the absence of a body, having an image of the departed loved one will give everyone something on which to focus, especially during any spoken tributes.
For more unique and personalized memorial service ideas, please reach out to us at 1-877-659-2305 and remember to celebrate your loved one’s beautiful life.