While a funeral is an event for mourning, it should also be treated as a cause to celebrate. It’s important to give your loved one ‘a good send-off’ and make sure guests remember all the happy memories and treasured times spent together. It may be difficult at this sad time, but you must celebrate the life of the departed with those who are paying their respects.
Traditionally, after a burial or cremation service, the bereaved family hold a wake or some sort of function. This could be at the deceased’s home, a church or community centre, or somewhere they liked to spend time such as the local pub or social club. Try and make it an upbeat affair, with people sharing stories and photographs of the person who has passed away.
Of course, not everybody loves tradition and there is no right or wrong when it comes to planning a funeral. You may not want to plan anything straight after the service, or you might decide to do something completely unconventional. Here are a few ideas for funeral celebrations which allow for a send-off in style.
Plant a tree
If your loved one enjoyed walking in the woods, camping or just being outdoors, then it can be a great idea to plant a tree in their honour. Drive out to their favourite place with your close family and decide where it should be planted. You can come back here year after year to remember the person you have lost, and even scatter some ashes around the tree.
Go somewhere fun
If the late friend or family member was always looking for an adventure, then why not all have a fun day out together after the funeral? If they were an animal lover, visit the zoo. If they loved theme parks, visit the nearest one and ride rollercoasters for them. If the loved the water, hire a sailing boat and reminisce while looking out to sea.
If the person you have lost regularly donated to or volunteered at a charity, then this can be incorporated into their celebration of life day. If they were a military veteran then you could choose relevant organisations like Help for Heroes. Similarly, if they died of a certain disease or health condition such as cancer or dementia, then you may choose to support these charities. Gather the funeral guests and take them somewhere local to volunteer at a soup kitchen, a hospice or run a sponsored marathon.
Planning a funeral is hard when you’re mourning, but just remember that your late loved one would want you to celebrate all the good times you had together