If you've just had to say goodbye to someone who was not only a beloved family member but well established within the community, you'll want to allow people to pay tribute. You may decide to hold a small, private service for immediate family members only, but you may want to stage a more extensive memorial service in due course. What do you need to consider as you plan this occasion?
It's often difficult to prepare for a funeral. Everything seems to happen so quickly, and it can be challenging to deal with those emotions. It's sometimes hard to get your choice of date at the crematorium or place of worship, and there may be some space restrictions as well.
Time to Plan
A memorial service is an excellent opportunity for you to invite a much broader cross-section of the deceased's friends and give them enough time to plan the trip. You'll be able to tailor the occasion as well so that you can celebrate who your loved one was and what they brought to the community over time.
You do not need to be tied to a particular approach or stick with a traditional order of service. You may decide to make this a relatively upbeat affair in celebration rather than in mourning and choose the musical accompaniment accordingly. You may pick brighter flowers, and that may help attendees to remember the fun times along the way.
Why not add a large table towards the front of the venue and cover it with a suitable cloth? You can place memory items that will remind everyone of your loved one, while attendees can bring their memories and add to the table. Next to this, you can place a guestbook or leave guest cards. Attendees could then write directly into the book, which would become a celebration of life. Alternatively, they could fill in the cards at their leisure and leave them on the way out.
Of course, you need to decide where to hold the memorial service, and you may have a deal of flexibility. You could talk with the funeral director to see what they recommend and ask them to be a master of ceremonies on the day.
As you begin to plan, bring in the funeral director and staff at the earliest stage. They will be able to coordinate your smaller service if you choose to go that way and help you to stage a truly fitting memorial service too.