One thing that funeral directors are fully aware of when arranging a funeral for a family’s departed loved one is that the need to make that funeral personalised is likely to be high on the list of requests made of them. Whilst funeral directors will happily accommodate such requests, the key point is that the departed’s family and friends are more critical to any personalisation than the funeral director.
We say that for the simple reason that funeral directors, except in rare circumstances, will not have known the deceased; therefore, they will not know any specifics about them and, thus, what would make the funeral personal to them. Below, silkwoodfunerals.com.au has advised ten ways to personalise a loved one’s funeral.
Follow The Deceased’s Wishes: Many people now pre-plan their funeral or at least give their wishes for what type of funeral they want. As such, ensure that those wishes are followed and that the funeral you have for them is as close as possible to what they would have liked.
Speak To As Many People As Possible Who Knew The Deceased: For anyone who has passed, there will be family members, friends, colleagues, and others in their social circle who have stories to tell about them, hopefully positive ones. Speak to as many people as possible to bring those stories together during the funeral or life celebration.
Display Numerous Photos Of Their Life: There will undoubtedly be photographs of the deceased, even more so now that we live in the age of mobile devices with cameras. Ask those who knew the deceased to send you their favourite photos of them. Take these and create a slideshow for the funeral or a digital album available to all in attendance.
Create A Video Montage: Sticking with modern technology, here is where you can use videos of the deceased to create a truly fitting, and we dare say, emotional tribute to them. Whether it is one or more videos, you could set them to appropriate music and play them at the funeral.
Play Their Favourite Music: You can use music to personalise a funeral in several ways. For religious funerals, the deceased’s favourite hymns could be sung. At other funerals, such as celebratory, the dead’s favourite music could be played at various stages, including as their coffin is brought in. You could also use their favourite music to support the videos above.
Include Their Favourite Hobbies, Clubs, Sports: If your loved one had a favourite hobby, belonged to any clubs, played a sport passionately, or had a favourite sports team, you could incorporate any of these into the funeral with the simplest being to invite someone who shared these passions with the deceased to talk about them.
Highlight Any Charities Or Causes They Supported: This is extremely popular and helps show one of the positive aspects of the departed’s life. You could talk about their charitable works or causes they believed in and ultimately ask mourners at the funeral to donate to that charity or cause in tribute to them.
Invite Everyone To Describe The Deceased In Less Than 50 Words. Ask the funeral directors to provide small cards and hand them to attendees as they arrive. Then, ask the attendees to write 50 words or less about the deceased. You should add that it can be serious or humorous and, depending on how many there are, read them out at the funeral or wake.
Create A Memorial Table: This is relatively simple but poignant. At the funeral or wake, have a table where the family display numerous items that are unquestionably personal to the deceased. This includes photos, awards, items of jewellery, their favourite book, or even a hat they usually wore.
Serve Their Favourite Food And Drink At The Wake: Assuming there will be a wake following the funeral, what better way to personalise that wake than serving some of the deceased’s favourite foods to those in attendance? Further, it will be hugely appropriate and personal for everyone to toast the dead with whatever drinks they would have most enjoyed when alive.