Grieving a lost loved one is never easy. One of the best therapies for this grief is to honor their life and give them a memorial service. Most people don’t think beyond the traditional memorial service. There are many alternative, or untraditional, memorial service options. These can range from simple memorial poems to elaborate funeral memorials. When searching for the perfect memorial for a loved one don’t forget some of these other options.
Some people opt for the traditional memorial service at a funeral home or graveside. These can be enhanced by a nice memorial poem. Poems for lost loved ones can range from simple, emotion-filled lines to elaborate, flowing pieces with imagery and structure. These poems may be read at the service, posted online in honor of the lost loved one, shared with family, or simply kept with other mementos. The simple act of writing one’s feelings has a very therapeutic effect and can help the healing process. Others may be having the same feelings and emotions and by reading the poem it may help them work along the grieving track.
The internet offers many other options, as well. Posting the obituary online or online funeral messages may help spread the word. Online memorials set up for a loved one can help to speed the healing. This offers the opportunity of celebrating their life. Posting their accomplishments and pictures will allow all those unable to make it to a service to grieve, also. A collage of photos, favorite quotes, favorite song clips, and even links to their favorite causes can fill this online memorial. This can be an evolving memorial. Allowing others to post their memories and special times with the lost will truly celebrate their life and honor them. Open it up and allow others to post favorite pictures or quotes from the person and watch as the memorial takes new shape and memories blossom.
Some people take this even farther and have an online funeral. This allows everyone to reach out and help each other heal. Those who are limited due to disability, geography, or other hurdles may attend an online funeral and share in the sadness and joy that may accompany a celebration of the loved one’s life. Video feed from the actual funeral service can be placed online or fed live during the service. Others will feel as if they are right there and feel a part of the process. This allows everyone the opportunity to be involved with laying the person’s soul to rest.
When deciding on how to remember a loved one the possibilities are endless. Imagination can go a long way when planning an untraditional memorial. A video showing clips and photos of the person with voice-overs from family and friends is a good option. Planning a celebration of the person’s life centered on things they enjoyed can help everyone remember them as they were in life. A memorial service for an avid scuba diver might take place in a favorite dive spot, or even underwater. The memories, and tears, may flow freely but the cleansing nature will be helpful. Share joys and favorite times and honor them in a place where they found joy.
Another popular form of memorial for a loved one is to give to a charity or favorite cause in their name. Taking this theme a little further, some families have volunteered, as a group, to assist the cause. A trip to the local Red Cross Blood Donor Center in honor of a lost loved one who volunteered with Red Cross would make a great tribute to their accomplishments in life. Whether giving money or blood, this is a true memorial to a loved one.
Whether holding a traditional funeral service or an untraditional online memorial, the most important step after the death of a loved one is to start the healing process. This involves going through the grieving process and finding a way to honor and remember the person. If posting their history and memories to a public website does not feel right, make a special, password-protected site that only family can access. It becomes an intimate memorial but allows those separated by geography to share in the grieving, and healing, process. Remember, a memorial for a lost loved one can be a simple poem or an elaborate memorial service, but the most important factor is the celebration of their life and accomplishments.
~Ben Anton, 2007