Funerals can be a difficult event to attend no matter how close you were to the person who has passed, but part of what makes funerals so emotional is the grief-filled atmosphere and traditional funeral setting. However, it is always helpful if you can lighten the atmosphere slightly to make the funeral service less of a time of mourning and more of a time of celebrating a life lived. If you are in charge of making funeral plans, there are a few creative ways you can bring some life celebration to the occasion that will not take a great deal of time or effort on your part.
Implement a Memory Jar and Share Memories with the Guests
At a table near the entrance of the funeral home, possibly where a loved one's photo would usually be displayed, arrange a memory jar that will be clearly visible to all of the guests as they arrive. A memory jar is merely a large jar that holds a photo of a loved one and can be filled with handwritten memories by guests of times they shared with the departed loved one. Place a stationery pad and pens at the table with the jar and instructions for guests who may be unfamiliar with the idea. The memories inside can be shared either at the funeral, during a later memorial service, or just sent home with the closest living relatives.
Photographed Memory Balloons
When you contact loved ones to let them know about the funeral and visitation, ask if they could bring a favorite photo of the loved one who has passed away or special picture of an occasion they would like to share. At the funeral service, arrange helium filled balloons in various locations, such as in a seating area or near floral arrangements, and place small clips on the bottom of each one that can be used to hold a photo. The guests at the funeral service can place their pictures at the base of the balloons to share their own memories with the rest of the visitors who are there.
It may be unavoidable for a funeral to involve some sadness and tears, but taking a few minutes to add some creative ideas to share with the guests can help make things a little less sorrowful. Talk to a funeral home for more information and ideas about changes you can make when you are planning a funeral service.