A memorial service is an event that follows the funeral of someone who has passed. It can take place anywhere from days to years after the death. There are many factors to be mindful of when planning a memorial service for your loved one.
When and where?
When a memorial service is held can carry a lot of significance. Many decide to have a memorial service anywhere up to a few weeks after a death. Memorial services are also intended to maintain the memory of who was lost, so some may opt to have a service up to a year after death or even annually.
Memorial services can be held almost anywhere, but you should strive to honor your loved one’s wishes. Is there any location that he or she may have frequented or held closely to his or her heart? Is the location adherent to your loved one’s background and spiritual beliefs?
Organizing the service
After determining when and where to hold the service, it is important to focus on how best to do so. This is a time to honor the wishes of the departed. For example, if your loved one wished to use cremation services and have his or her ashes given to family members, then a memorial service would be the time to do this. Those who were closest to the deceased (such as parents, spouses and friends) might even be aware of more specific interests, such as whether the loved one wanted the memorial to be a big celebration or for everyone to wear a certain color.
It is traditional to hold a memorial service after the funeral because this provides a safe place to laugh, cry and talk without judgment because everyone present could be dealing with the loss differently. Memorials are meant to celebrate a loved one’s memory, so they should be a day to remember. For many, a memorial is one of the few times where they can shed light on an experience such as loss. There are three things that you need to make sure of when you plan a service worth remembering.
- Communication and comfort: make things comfortable by playing light music and having refreshments available. It is a good idea to hold an open discussion among everyone to encourage healthy dialogue and expression.
- Provide memorabilia: give guests a few moments to come together and reminisce about their favorite memories with the deceased and feature photos or video clips, which are great ways to memorialize your loved one.
- Strive for enjoyability: make the memorial an enjoyable experience by including fun activities. After all, it is something of a celebration. After everyone has had time to express their sadness, welcome the positive memories by making more. Take photos or dance, for example.
Memorials are intended to make some of the most difficult times in life a little easier to bear. Celebrating your life and the deceased’s is the best way to honor your loved one’s memory. With knowledge and strength, you can plan an amazing memorial service for yours and others’ loved one.
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