Losing someone you love is one of the most challenging and heartbreaking tragedies one can go through in their lifetime. Although final arrangements provide a time for family and friends to come together to celebrate life, these events can be overwhelming for those grieving. It can feel so rushed and to start planning a memorial service directly after the passing of a loved one, but it can also be very helpful to start the grieving process.
Memorialization is an extremely important step in the grieving process. Whether you decide to hold a traditional or non-traditional memorial, putting to rest the deceased can help you move forward in your grieving.
While grieving can cause periods of sadness, anger, stress or anxiety, memorialization helps to honor a loved one’s life and center your emotions, resulting in a healthier grieving experience.
What is a memorial service?
A memorial service is a commemorative event without the body present. It provides a designated time and space for loved ones to grieve and support each other. The service can be held weeks or months after the death, allowing loved ones more time to plan and more flexibility with date and location.
Here are seven important reasons to hold a memorial service for your loved one:
A memorial service pays tribute to your deceased loved one.
Holding a memorial allows you to pay tribute to a life well lived. The memorial service is the perfect time to remember all the wonderful memories you shared. It’s a time to pay homage to the special qualities your loved one had. In addition, it also allows family and friends to share special thoughts, memories, and stories about the deceased.
Furthermore, memorials can be tailored to the uniqueness of the one you are celebrating. At Coastal Funeral Center, many of our families have asked us to make special arrangements that reflected the interests/hobbies of the deceased. Read more about creative ways to honor your loved one in our blog, “5 Ways to Honor a Deceased Loved One”.
Furthermore, it is an opportunity to celebrate a one-of-a-kind life. This is your chance to put your loved one’s life in the spotlight and celebrate their distinctive personality. Additionally, to create a truly meaningful memorial service, we encourage families to add special touches that reflect their loved one’s unique personality—from photo and memento displays and special music to favorite foods and video tributes.
A creative memorial service keeps your loved one’s memories alive.
Hosting a non-traditional memorial such as a beach ceremony can create a peaceful environment for your family and friends. Grieving is a difficult emotion to maneuver, but celebrating one’s life with a beautiful, serene backdrop can really allow everyone to start the healing process. Nature has a way of healing the soul.
“I will find comfort in the rhythm of the sea.” – Charlotte Eriksson
Support family members in their healing.
When someone you love passes, family members tend to cling to each other to cover each other during dark times. A memorial service allows families to comfort and support each other during this extremely difficult time. By leaning on loved ones who share your grief, you will not feel as alone during that season. It is helpful to know you have people around you that understand and validate the feelings of your loss.
Allows us to reflect on the meaning of life and death.
In addition, memorials give us a time and place for family members to talk about the life lost. They also provide a social support system for everyone grieving.
Did the person I lost lead a good life? Am I living a fulfilling life? If I left the earth tomorrow, would I be happy with the things I accomplished and the good I left behind? Simply put, memorials raise questions about life and death and allow us to examine how we feel about these momentous questions.
Memorials may cause a stirring in your mind to think about what you truly care about and how you want to spend your precious remaining days. Life is a gift and we want to spend it living it to the fullest, ceasing every moment and opportunity thrown at us. Ultimately, memorials remind you of the preciousness of life, while celebrating the life of your deceased loved one.
Helps us acknowledge that someone has passed.
Sometimes saying goodbye seems impossible. It is difficult to accept the finality of death. However, funerals or memorial services can help us to acknowledge that reality. We must first accept the reality of death and what that means in order to move forward in our grief. Many times people can feel in a state of shock or denial after their loved one has passed. There is no perfect or correct way to grieve. Accepting that a passing has happened and allowing yourself to feel emotions is a healthy coping mechanism. Memorial services give us an opportunity to properly and respectfully say goodbye to our loved ones.
Memorial services provide closure.
Once you are able to say goodbye to a loved one in a controlled space, your healing can truly begin. Memorial or funeral services can offer a sense of closure to you, your family and also the attendees. It can be extremely difficult to accept the death of a loved one. However, a memorial service often provides a clear sense of closure, which will allow you to begin your grieving process. Of course, you will never forget your loved one; they’ll hold a place in your heart forever. The memorial service is your first step on your journey to healing.
When we grieve but don’t truly mourn, our sadness can feel unbearable. Not only sadness, but many other emotions can fester inside of us. Mourning helps us heal, and the memorial service is an essential rite of initiation for mourning.
Helps us remember and share memories with others.
In addition, memorial services help you begin to convert your relationship with the person who has passed from the physical or present to a memory. The realization that you will never physically see your loved one again is one of the most difficult concepts of grief. You have heard it many times before, “if I could just spend five more minutes with them”, but reality knows that is impossible. When we come together to share our memories, we learn things we didn’t know. We see how the person’s life touched others. Hearing the impact your loved one had on others can help this transition.
While the purpose of a memorial service is for the deceased, it often does far more for the living. Memorials offer continuity and hope for the living. No matter how you choose to celebrate the life of your loved one, it is an important step in the grieving process. Do you need time to process? Would you rather hold a memorial service in the deceased’s favorite season? Or when traveling is easy for certain family members? It does not matter! It is entirely up to you and your family to choose to hold a memorial service.
Remember, there is no correct way to grieve, and everyone’s grief will look different from yours. The important thing is healing, and however, you choose to proceed is entirely up to you.
Do you need help planning a special memorial for your loved one? Coastal Funeral Center will personalize your loved one’s memorial services to ensure they are properly 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.
Additional Resources That May Be Helpful
- A List of Flowers and Their Meaning
- What to Wear to a Funeral
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Cremation
- Military Funeral Traditions and Protocol
- 5 Ways to Honor a Deceased Love One
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.