Losing someone is never easy and finding ways to honor a deceased loved one may seem stressful. With so much that goes into planning and making funeral arrangements, your focus can get turned in so many different directions. It is normal to mourn and have deep emotions about the person you lost. Give yourself the space and time to grieve. Grieving is a time of healing and celebrating the life of the person you lost.
However, think about the memories you have with your loved one. Special vacations, the personalized inside jokes only the two of you understood. Most of your memories involve laughter, fun, and joy–all memories you can incorporate into memorializing someone after they’ve passed. They may not be here physically, but those memories will stay with you forever.
It is time to celebrate their life in a meaningful way! Here are five ways to honor a deceased loved one while maintaining their memory in a place of gratitude for their presence in your life
Ways to Honor a Deceased Loved One
- Personalize your loved one’s funeral
- Create art to share at the funeral
- Create a memory capsule
- Brighten the service with color
- Personalize the order of service
1. Personalize your loved one’s funeral
What made your loved one special? Did they have a unique hobby? Loved a particular flower? Maybe they had a favorite outfit that made them feel confident! These are great ways to honor a deceased loved one: celebrate their favorite things and passions.
When planning a memorial service, think about the interests of the deceased. Make their memorial a reflection of them! For example, one of the families we serve wanted to showcase their loved one’s interest in cars. They made sure every detail honored his love for cars.
The family had a boutonniere created with beautiful, bright colors and a shiny orange vehicle that looked like his Dodge Challenger. They even parked the vehicle outside the entrance of the funeral home for visiting guests to honor a staple in the deceased’s life.
Little matchbox collectibles were scattered around different areas of the venue and all the guests gathered around to think about the wonderful man that owned them collectively.
You can honor a deceased loved one at their funeral by creating a theme that represents them in some way. Our family chose to do a car theme, maybe your loved one had a garden or was a music lover! You can hang old records or movie posters, and display collectibles or special trinkets. Celebrate your loved one in the most personal and memorable way by ensuring their interests are represented.
2. Create art to share at the funeral
Are you creative? Using art to express your feelings and emotions is therapeutic for the soul. Often at a funeral, a eulogy is given to pay respects to the deceased and their family. But there are many different and nontraditional ways you can do so.
Making art out of your grief can not only help you cope but help others as well. Write a letter to your loved one about a core memory you have with them or thank them for the impact they had on your life.
After you read the letter, you can frame it, keep the letter in a journal, or put it in a keepsake box for reflection. If you’d like to put your words in another format, try writing a poem inspired by a characteristic of their personality or memory. Are you musically inclined? Sing! Turn your thoughts into a song and sing it during the service or record it and play it.
At one of the services performed at Coastal Funeral Center, the deceased’s grandson drew cat pictures for her. The family wanted the directors to display the pictures to honor their lost one.
Maybe you don’t want to share your words or art at all and that is fine! Regardless of whether you share what you’ve created, writing in the memory of your dear one is a sign of recognition of their purpose in your life.
3. Create a memory capsule
There are so many unique ways to honor a deceased loved one. You may have heard of a time capsule but what about a memory capsule? Like a time capsule, a memory capsule is a container that holds precious mementos, photos, notes, and other memorabilia associated with a loved one. What better way to celebrate someone’s life than to bring everyone’s memories together? You can create an open dialogue at your loved one’s funeral and listen to the different beautiful memories of your guests.
Ask your guests to bring an item that represents a specific memory of the deceased. Maybe a ticket to a baseball game or a picture of them at a Christmas party.
Prepare a box or capsule to place the items in and have everyone share what memory it represents. Once the capsule is complete and ready to close, you can bury it or hide it away until there is a special time you want to open it again. Make it special! Hold a yearly memorial celebration at the burial site. Invite those who placed their memories away to open them together on the anniversary of your loved ones’ passing.
4. Brighten the service with color
Often when we think of a funeral, the color black comes to mind. But it doesn’t have to be that way! It is becoming more common for people to request ‘anything but black’ for the funeral service. Keep the atmosphere positive, with a range of beautiful colors or represent your loved one by asking mourners to wear the deceased’s favorite color.
Alternatively, hand out flowers of their favorite colors at the entrance to the funeral service. Then have guests place the flowers onto the coffin before burial or take them home as a keepsake.
When celebrating your loved one’s life, you do not have to adhere to protocol. Your loved one was special, so make the ways you honor a deceased loved one unique!
5. Personalize the order of service
The order of service booklet is often handed out at funerals for guests to read. They can be as plain or as decadent as you choose! Create a collage of many different photographs from different eras of their life with captions to explain where and when it was taken.
Not only will this be beautiful, but it will also serve as a unique keepsake for the guests to take with them. People who are not close friends or family may not have access to photographs of the deceased, so this is a great way to share memories of them.
You can also personalize them by adding a scripture, poem, phrase, quote or line from their favorite song. These are meaningful, personal ways to honor a deceased loved one.
As you can see, there are lots of unique memorial service ideas for our loved one. No matter how our celebration of life pans out, there are many options to make it a personal, unique, and intimate experience that all will cherish for years to come.
Coastal Funeral Center will personalize your loved one’s funeral services to ensure they are represented. If you have any other questions about ways to honor a deceased loved one, our advisors are here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (310) 326-6343.
About Coastal Funeral Center
At Coastal Funeral Center, we are committed to being dedicated guardians of family and community, while holding on to the legacy we established as a family-owned funeral home. Originally A.M Gamby Funeral Home, Coastal Funeral Center joined Green Hills Memorial Park in 2018 to better serve the community of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula. During this transition, we expanded our services as an all-inclusive facility and built on the successes of Green Hills Memorial Park. We’re proud of our legacy of personal service and our deep roots in the community, which we’ve been part of for more than 80 years. We provide customized funeral service options that meet your financial needs and honor your loved one like the beautiful individual they were. To learn more, visit https://coastalfuneralcenter.com/about/.