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Why a Funeral?

Funerals fill an important role for those mourning the
loss of a loved one. By providing surviving family members
and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share
thoughts and feelings about the death, funerals are the first step in the healing process.

The ritual of attending a funeral service provides many
benefits including:

  • Providing a social support system for the bereaved.
  • Helping the bereaved understand death is final and that
    death is part of life.
  • Integrating the bereaved back into the community.
  • Easing the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one.

It is possible to have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. The importance of the ritual is in providing a social gathering to help the bereaved begin the healing process.

Types of Tributes

A funeral is so much more than a way to say goodbye; itís an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special.

Today, a funeral can be as unique as the individual who is being honored. From simple touches like displaying personal photographs to events created around a favorite pastime, funerals can reflect any aspect of a personís life and personality.

Following are questions you can use to help you decide how to personalize a service:

  • What did the person like to do?
  • What was the person like as an individual?
  • What was the person like as a professional?
  • Was the person spiritual?
  • Was the person proud of their heritage?

What did the person like to do?

Often people have hobbies that become more than just a casual pastime. Their activity could have been as much a part of who they were as their smile. Why not showcase that important part of their life during the funeral?

Incorporating a hobby can be as simple as:

  • Displaying items used for their hobby;
    e.g. sports equipment, gardening tools,
    or collections.

  • Personalizing the casket or urn with a
    symbol of their hobby.

  • Displaying trophies or awards they won.

  • Creating a picture board or presentation featuring
    pictures of them engaged in their hobby.

  • Having someone speak about the personís passion for the hobby.

By adding these or other personal touches to a funeral, the service becomes a reflection of the personís life and personality.

What was the person like as an individual ?

One way to enhance a funeral is by bringing a piece of the personís personality to life. Consider what made that person special, what made them who they were? Then find ways to link their individuality to traditional aspects of a funeral service. 

As an example, an avid cowboy or cowgirl may want to ride of into the sunset one last time.
Tasteful ways to honor their wish include:

  • Having their saddle and riding equipment displayed

  • Playing western music

  • Having a barbecue after the service

Other themes you may want to consider:  Military honors for a member of the armed forces,
a last ride for a motorcycle enthusiast, and so many more.