Planning the service, ceremony and gathering

Remembering Your Loved One 

Often during the time of planning the service and ceremony for your loved one, you are numb. This is the mind's way of allowing you to make the choices you need to make before you crumble after the events planned.  You may have family and friends with you to support you and give a helping hand.  All you need to do is ask.  It is overwhelming all that needs to happen to honor your loved one, so designate duties. Often, by doing something for you, is how they are able to honor your loved one's death and they want to be of help to you. 

The service, ceremony and gathering you plan is a part of your grief journey, offering moments of comfort and connection with others who are mourning the loss of your loved one. If you have a funeral director and a church leader involved, they can be of great help in this area. Here are some options to consider as you plan a gathering to honor your beloved:

Visitation, Viewing, Wake, or Rosary: 

This allows an option for mourners to pay their respects to your loved one if they are unable to make it to the funeral.  Since Covid, there have been changes regarding this part.  Depending on where you live, it may not be advisable to do a visitation as people may not be participating in this way to honor your loved one as prior to Covid.  You may opt for a private family viewing rather than opening it up to the public.  Logistics often help decide if having this service in your home is even an option rather, and most often, it may be easier to have it at the funeral home.  

Traditional Funeral Service: 

When we think of funerals, this is the type of service we typically think of.  This can be done with an open or closed casket, or the urn of ashes.  This allows mourners to grieve for your lost loved one.  Often you are able to have memories, songs, or favorite hobbies as a part of this service.  For my husband, I asked people to bring a fishing rod without the hook attached to the funeral because Mitch loved fishing.  It was heartwarming to see all the fishing rods sticking up in the air in honor of Mitch. Also, my daughter had written a song for her father that was played at the service. 

Graveside Service or Service at the Crematory: 

Often this happens when the service has ended.  If you live in a cold climate for part of the year, this often has to be delayed until the ground has become unfrozen.  Mourners gather at the gravesite to allow for last blessings and tributes to your loved one. 

Memorial Service: 

This time allows for a shared meal together providing an opportunity to celebrate your loved one's life after the burial or cremation has taken place. It offers a chance for storytelling, laughter, and shared memories, honoring the legacy your loved one left behind.

Home Funeral Service and/or Burial: 

Home funerals are not as common as they were prior mid 1900's.  It allows for a more intimate and personalized way of saying goodbye within the familiar walls of your loved one's home. Even though this kind of service offers a sense of comfort and closeness as family and friends gather to honor your loved one's journey.  Logistics need to be considered for this kind of service.

Green or Eco-friendly Funeral Service: 

This type of service has come to light in the concern for the environment.  If your loved one was one who embrace eco-friendly practices, this may be an option for you. 

Scattering Ceremony: 

Offering a profound connection to nature as you release your loved one's ashes into the wind, water, or earth. This symbolic act allows for a spiritual connection with the elements, fostering a sense of peace and renewal.

Family Gathering: 

Whether formal or informal, a gathering focused on family offers a space for shared stories, comfort, and support as you navigate through grief together.

Reception or Fellowship Meal: 

Often after a service, a meal is provided.  Food is a commonality that brings people together in sad and happy times.  This allows people to linger and offers a chance for storytelling, laughter, and shared memories, honoring your loved one.  It allows everyone to share in the weight of a shared loss.

As you consider these options, remember that the most important point is honoring your loved one's life in a way that feels genuine and meaningful to you and your family.

Take your time, lean on your support system, and trust that whatever choice you make, it will be a beautiful tribute to the cherished memories you hold dear of your loved one.

Holding you in my heart,


Resources & Downloads...

Funeral Preparations Journal Pages

Funeral Preparations Checklist

Have you considered making your own preparations to help your loved ones? Here is a resource to help you plan.

You will find moments when you are not ready to "CONTINUE" and that is okay my friend. All of this will be here when you are ready. Hugs ~Nicole

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