Have you ever been to a final celebration of life where you felt like you knew the person better after the ceremony? Everything that was said and done helped you gain a deeper understanding of who the person was and what they valued most. Below are a few characteristics of a one-of-a kind healing tribute:

The final celebration reflects the life and personality of the person who died

Special music, readings, memorabilia, videos, color and décor choices, flowers, and even the location of the ceremony, can all help to make a final farewell more personal and meaningful. Imagine a painter’s final celebration being held in a gallery with all her life’s work displayed. A person who loved nature might be remembered with a ceremony in a favorite park, botanical garden, or on the beach; a golfer might be best remembered at the 18th hole of his or her favorite golf course. The options for celebrating a personal and unique time of remembrance are virtually endless.

The ceremony helps the family begin to heal

The pain of loss is very real and fresh for those closest to the one who died, and a funeral marks the beginning of that family’s journey toward healing. The ceremony helps a family begin to come to terms with the reality of the death. Being surrounded by family and friends, talking about the lost loved one, sharing memories, and receiving notes or words of encouragement all help the family begin to find healing and closure. The journey through grief will be long and painful, but at least through a personal and meaningful time of remembrance and celebration, the family knows they are not alone.

The funeral reaffirms the beauty of life

A healing tribute helps those left behind find hope even in the midst of grief and sadness. A special time set apart for remembrance help us to see the person for who they were, what they accomplished, and the legacy they left behind. A celebration of who that person was helps mourners to honor and reaffirm the beauty of life, even as they confront the sorrow of loss.

It is important to remember that a personal and meaningful final tribute finds a balance between the wishes of the person who died and the needs of the family. As long as the options you choose are important, significant, and meaningful to you, they will be meaningful to those you love and will offer your loved ones comfort and hope for the days ahead.