Planning the funeral of my husband wasn’t fun- even though those are the first few letters in the word funeral. But I realized I could make it meaningful. When someone asks what they can do to help- let them help you with something special for the funeral. I have taken note of creative things to do at your loved one’s funeral…
1. Create a memory table full of their favorite things.
2. Create a memory box. Have paper available for your guests to write their favorite memory of your loved one and add it to the box. I loved reading these special memories after the funeral, and then again year after year. Many of the memories were ones I didn’t know about, times when my husband had gone out of his way to make someone’s day. It really helps to re-read on bad days!
3. Have guests write their memories on stones you can keep in a jar, scatter on a favorite trail, or put in your yard.
4. Have a metal tree to hang notes on. You can find some cute gift tags for people to write on.
5. Create a theme, something that meant a lot to your loved one. Hobbies, sports, heritage or what gave them passion. My husband oved hiking and hunting. Many of the items we brought to have in the foyer at the viewing and funeral had to do with what he dedicated his time to.
6. Offer a bowl of his favorite treats to give to each of the guests. You could do candy bars, gum or a healthy snack.
7. Have each of the guests press their fingerprint from a stamp pad onto a heart or other shape. The family will feel the love from each of you through the coming hard days.
8. Create a photo collage with some of your favorite photos.
9. Have people write on locks and give them an iron gate full of LOCKS of LOVE or You are LOCKED in our hearts.
10. Give their favorite flower to each of your guests.
11. Give tree seedlings to your guests. Ask them to let you know where they planted a tree in your loved one’s name.9
12. Give away a polished rock, pocket charm, or marble to keep in their pocket. Each day they can remember the simple things in life and make each day count.
13. In lieu of flowers or gifts, create a fund either for your children’s college education or your favorite charity.
14. Give away a card or bookmark with your loved one’s favorite quote. You can create one quickly from a one-hour photo place or have them designed and shipped quickly with some companies.
15. Some people choose to do a dove, butterfly, lanterns or balloon release at the graveside. You could have a moment of silence as you watch them fly away, or read a poem or story that is significant. This can be a very emotional moment because it corresponds to letting go. (Please be aware when releasing balloons that some people consider it littering since they do return to land.)
I know your head is in a million places right now, but you can make the funeral memorable. Ask for others’ help in this- I found so many family members and friends who wanted to do something for our family but didn’t know what. These are great ideas that get you thinking of what mattered most to your loved one and now you can showcase it.