There is no need to go thru the extra expense of having a funeral home coordinate a memorial service for your loved one. Many funeral homes charge several hundred dollars to organize such a services. You knew your loved one better than the funeral director so who better to handle it. More and more people no longer wish to leave the details and decision making of a memorial service to someone else. They prefer to take control and do things their way. How many funeral home services really capture the essence of the person?
A good place to start is with Faith Moore’s book “Celebrating a Life-Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances.” She recommends using symbols of the person’s life; it should be something that evokes vivid memories of the person, maybe a favorite hat, book, or object that was used by the person, as they are powerful reminders of who that person was and how they lived their life.
– Recipe cards and bookmarks “Symbols can include something as simple as a bookmark keepsake with a picture, poem, favorite passage, prayer, quotation, or family recipe. People can print recipe cards with Dad’s famous barbecue sauce or Mom’s brownies, and hand them out as people leave, to thank them for coming. What a great way to be remembered, as people are enjoying trademark recipes in their honor. ”
– Pomegranates “Pomegranates were used by the ancient Greeks to symbolize immortality. Mentioning the reason for the pomegranate martinis or punch served at a reception will add a special dimension to the celebration.”
– Daisies “The daisy is a symbol of loyal love. What a lovely tribute to one’s parents’ happy lifelong marriage.”
– Packets of seeds “This symbolizes spreading the memory of a person who loved gardening, flowers, nature, or ecology.”
– White dove releases “In a standard dove release, at least 12 trained white doves are set free from a white wicker basket. When they are released, they fly around in the sky and once they have their bearings, head straight home. At a memorial service, they are powerful witnesses of the spirit’s passage to heaven.”
– Bubbles “At memorial services that includes children — or children at heart — providing soap liquid and bubble wands is an easy way to add a hint of playfulness. Blowing bubbles gives people a way to participate at the end of the service, plus they are beautiful to watch.”
– Balloons “A balloon release is another expression of reaching out and up. Balloons give participants the opportunity to send messages into the sky. Selecting balloons in a color that is representative of the departed can make the release even more meaningful. Consider giving guests a permanent marker to write a message or a favorite quote, their name, a place, or a song title or verse.”