Honoring Your Loved One’s Life Story
When you're planning your loved one's visitation, we can help you incorporate unique elements in your celebration that capture the personality and uniqueness of their life.
It's important for the remembrance ceremony to reflect your loved one.
Friends and family will travel and gather round to pay their respects and say their final goodbyes, so it’s important that the service reflects the life that’s bringing everyone together.
Funerals today can be as unique as you'd like. You can incorporate many different personal items into your loved one’s service. Maybe there are some cherished photographs, some crafts, or some professional achievements that you’d like to include. Think of the things that filled your loved one with pride. What personal items represent that?
Regardless of whether or not your loved one will be buried, or if you're planning permanent possession of their cremated remains, you can create a remembrance ceremony that honors the qualities that made your loved one unique.
Making a Memorable Service
You know your loved one best.
What comes to mind when you think of them?
Make a list that answers some of the following questions:
What did your loved one enjoy?
How would you describe their personality?
Was their occupation or career important to them?
Were they known for any hobbies?
Was religion or spirituality important to them?
By answering these questions, you can think of some ways to incorporate elements of each into a remembrance ceremony.
Different Types of Tributes
We've included some ideas to help you start planning your loved one's visitation.
If there’s anything you’d like to include, but aren’t sure of, just ask! We can help you make it personal.
For those who’ve dedicated their lives to serving their community, incorporating elements of their uniform, headdress, or service patches are a great way to honor their career. Families can include photographs, newspaper clippings, and professional awards as part of the Visitation and/or Memorial Service.
For firefighters, police officers, and EMTs, pieces of the uniform can be arranged to make a dignified display. Name placards, badges, boots, and helmets (or hats) can be laid out alongside a photo.
Many times, families can reach out to the organization their loved one belonged to and ask colleagues or supervisors for items to include.
If your loved one enjoyed playing or watching sports, there’s no doubt that they collected some memorabilia that can be shown during their Visitation.
You could incorporate their favorite jersey, photos, or equipment. If your loved one played baseball, for example, you could include their glove and bat. If fishing was their passion, then you can include their net, rod, and hip-waders.
If they were a sports collector, maybe there are some autographs that brought your loved one joy. Memorabilia can make a wonderful addition to your loved one’s ceremony.
In addition to the military honors afforded to those who’ve served honorably, family members can include different items from their loved one’s time spent serving.
Oftentimes, there are photographs from training or deployment, sentimental items from time spent abroad, or professional awards that can be put on display. Medals, unit patches, and uniform pieces can also be arranged to make a dignified tribute.
If your loved one was passionate about their hobbies, they may have created items that can be included as part of the Visitation.
For knitters and quilters, some of your loved one’s favorite creations can adorn the table with the guestbook.
f they were a musician, maybe there is a video or an audio recording of them singing or playing their instrument. You can even include the instrument itself, if you’d like. If they played in a band, perhaps some of their friends would like to put on a musical tribute.
Depending on the hobby, your loved one may have left behind some really unique creations. We encourage you to think about what brought them the most joy and to include those things as part of their celebration.
Occupation or Career
Depending on your loved one’s career, they may have physically created items that can be displayed. If they were a craftsperson, perhaps they’ve created something beautiful or memorable that can be included.
For other professionals, you could include some of the awards or credentials that brought your loved one pride in life. Think of their proudest professional achievement. How can that be included?
Many people consider their family to be their greatest achievement. If your loved one felt this way, then there’s no doubt they’ve collected some meaningful items over the years.
Your loved one may have kept art, birthday cards, and letters from their children and grandchildren. These personal treasures can be included as part of the remembrance ceremony and make great conversation pieces during calling hours.
Other items to incorporate include things like family crests, tartans, or heirlooms. There are limitless options, but these are a few ideas to help you visualize how you’d like things to look.