Death is a life event that the majority of people live through, it’s been described as one of the most harrowing experiences a person will experience. According to the Damsons Future Planning report 33% of Brits want their cultural aspects incorporated into their funeral in a bid to make their farewell memorable. A further 27% said they’d rather have a celebratory funeral that honours their lives, over a traditional British funeral.
Baring that in mind I and the Damsons team have teamed up and created a list of seven ways in which to make a funeral extra special for your loved one.
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Having a designated corner filled with images depicting the life of your loved one. From birth to death showcasing their very best memories whether this being of them on holiday, getting married, with their children or simply laughing.
Not only is it a touching feature it is also a thoughtful dedication for others. It gives other friends or work colleagues the chance to see another side or more intrusive memories. Further it enables you to reminisce about previous events, holidays, and family or friendly gatherings.
It gives you the chance to perfectly portray their life in images, to capture the most important moments and share them with others.
A Tattoo of a Lifetime
One of the most lasting dedications to your loved one is a tattoo. It’s a memorial that is embedded into your skin. Of course when it comes to such a decision the tattoo should signify something special between you and your loved one.
There are a multitude of tattoos that any person may choose. Often it is a quote that signifies the sadness of the depth of loss or a quote that represents your loved ones. Certain people do opt for a tattoo of an image of their loved one — undertake that one with caution as photo images can go terribly wrong. However if done to a high standard they look incredible and are a beautiful memorial to your loved one.
An equally personal or unique tattoo to the photo is having a note written in their handwriting. It’s a lasting token of something that directly links the tattoo to your loved one.
The Releasing of Lanterns
In a last fitting gesture having a gathering of people to release lanterns as a final goodbye in a peaceful atmosphere. It’s a touching memorial that gives everyone the chance to say their goodbye to their friend or family member.
In Thailand it’s considered good luck to release a sky lantern with many believing that they are symbolic of problems and worries floating away. Releasing lanterns is a moving, simple and special memorial and dedication to your loved one.
A Funeral of a Lifetime
As ideas, concepts and faiths evolve so does the views and traditions that were woven into British society. Damsons Future Planning found that traditions such as hearses, black attire and church funerals have fallen by 7%, traditions that have been around for centuries.
Over 60% of people want a celebration rather than a sad affair. One way to ensure this is by personalising the funeral to your loved ones interests and passions. Whether that means having a certain style of music, having their pet present or choosing to have a specific type of funeral such as a woodland burial or sea burial.
Take for example Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, when he died he had his ashes blasted into space. It was a fitting goodbye to him and his work.
Of course you may not go that far but you could have an after party or social gathering. You could even request that people wear a certain type of clothing for the funeral. At Arthur Peebles funeral, mourners dressed in superhero costumes as a tribute to his love of comic books.
A personalised funeral is a beautiful way of acknowledging a person’s individuality as well as being comforting to loved ones in mourning.
Preserving their Memory
Simply asking attendees to write a small anecdote or memory of your loved one and place it in a jar can be highly comforting.
It’s something that you can look through and see how many people your loved one has brought comfort or happiness to others lives.
A memory jar is a really simple addition to the funeral that leaves a lasting dedication to your loved one that you can hold onto and find comfort in, long after their passing.
Having something that incorporates your loved one is a special token that can be cherished and kept close to you throughout the day, week, month and years to come.
Whether it’s an inscription of their writing on a bracelet, a picture in a locket or a thumb print etched in a necklace, each are a wonderful dedication to your loved one.
Not only is it memorable, it also keeps you connected to your loved one as you’ve got something intricate and personal to them.
A Dedication with Finesse
There are multiple ways in which to leave a final dedication for many this is the symbolic planting of a tree or having a bench or plaque erected in an area special to their loved one. Whilst still a touching dedication there are other unique options that a person can choose from.
Alongside cultural differences there has been a major advances in science that has spurred on the development of ways in which the human body can be transformed.
A person can choose to be buried in and organic pod that uses the bodies nutrients that enables trees to blossom. Or a person can have their ashes compressed into a diamond or even have their ashes transformed into coral and placed in the sea to provide protection to coral reefs.
Each option gives you the chance to leave a lasting dedication on the Earth and something that you can cherish.
Although death is one of the most distressing and heart-rending life experiences that a person encounters having something that makes a service or the aftermath unique can provide an immense amount of comfort. Not only do they leave lasting memories, they also give your loved one the send-off they deserve, one that celebrates their life.
Originally published at medium.com