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How to Make a Funeral More Personal

Each person deserves a final ceremony that is as unique as their individual life. These ceremonies should reflect the person’s unique personality and honor the memories they made during their lifetime. Here are a few ways you can create a personalized final farewell celebration.

Memorial DVD

A memorial DVD can be a powerful way to tell a loved one’s life story through video clips and pictures set to music. Also, the video could include families and friends, sharing memories and telling stories about the person who has died. Additionally, memorial DVDs make great keepsake items. They can be copied and watched for years after the service so that family can remain connected to their loved one.


There are many types of symbols that you can incorporate into final farewell celebrations. Symbols help us to activate our emotions and connect our internal grief to an outward action. For example, a balloon, dove, or butterfly release is a powerful symbol of hope and peace. Another option is to include a candlelight ceremony. Symbols like these allow guests to interact during the ceremony and help bring comfort during a time of grieving.

Special Location

Where you hold your service is another way to personalize your service. Location can turn an ordinary service into something extraordinary. Being in a place that was once cherished by a lost loved one can make it easier for guests to cope with their grief.

Clothing & Colors

You can ditch the traditional dress by personalizing the dress code of your ceremony. For example, you can ask guests to wear your favorite color(s) or clothes that reflect your personality. If the person liked a specific sports team, you could ask your guests to wear t-shirts, hats, or jerseys that support that team. Or, if the person was known for a bright, cheerful personality, you could ask friends and family to wear bright, cheerful colors.

Special Music

Music adds a powerful element to a farewell service. Whether live or recorded, a solo or a group activity, music adds a special personal touch to the funeral ceremony. Music and songs have the power to tap into our deeper emotions and uplift those in pain during a time of sorrow.

Share a Meal

Sharing a meal together is a great way for families to share fellowship and comfort after a loss. In honor of your loved one, you may want to enjoy one of their favorite meals or desserts. Also, because losing a loved one is never easy, you may want to consider catering options, so family and friends do not have to cook.

Share Memories

What better way to honor a loved one than by sharing memories? This can be done in various ways. Memory tables are a great way to decorate and encourage guest contribution at a ceremony. Guests can bring pictures, write memories on a note card, or bring a memorabilia item to place on the table. Or, consider setting aside time for loved ones to share memories with the group or to write down their thoughts, condolences, and memories for the family to read later.

These are just some ways to personalize a final tribute. There are countless other options for making a final farewell special. Look at the unique qualities of your loved one and brainstorm ways to incorporate them into your service. The more personal the service, the better your family and friends will be able to cope and work through their grief in a healthy way.

* To view the full article, go to Funeral Basics

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