It seems odd to wear anything other than black to a funeral, right? Funerals are supposed to be a place to mourn so you might think it would be disrespectful to wear a bright, happy color like pink or yellow. It seems so customary to do things like wear black or order the most expensive flower arrangement from your local florist for funerals, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore.
Recently, I attended the funeral of one of my classmates who died very unexpectedly. In a smaller town like mine, a death like this one brings the entire community together. Lines poured out of our local church but instead of tear-stained, black-clad visitors, the entire church was covered in a sea of pink. People were wearing pink ties, pink dresses, and pink shoes. The church was decorated with bouquets and balloons that were all different shades of pink, while there was still a somber feeling in the room, the pink made everyone feel a little bit lighter and happier. Pink was my classmate’s favorite color and her family made it a point to ask the visitors to wear pink as opposed to black. It was important for the family to include this aspect at the funeral as a way to focus on her life, not her death.
In every aspect of life, details are important. The same should be said for a funeral service; details can help personalize your funeral or memorial service to tailor it specifically to your life. In this case, just including one color helped the visitors feel my classmate’s presence. There are many ways to get to know your loved ones on a deeper level, Have the Talk of a Lifetime offers lots of resources to help you start the conversation with your loved ones about the important aspects of their life. These conversations can help you and your family members plan a much more personalized service that truly reflects your life. Here are a few ideas that will help make your funeral much more personal…
Candles: While creating a feeling of warmth, candles also symbolize life, love, and celebration. The great thing about including candles is that you can personalize them, too. You can have candles engraved to include the name of the deceased, the date of birth and date of death, or a quote or prayer. Candles can also be given to the attendees of the funeral as a keepsake.
Urns: If you would like to be cremated, there are many different colors, designs, and shapes of urns. Choose a creative one that you feel embodies you or your loved one. Like candles, you can also have these personalized by engraving or putting pictures on them.
Memorial Banner: Looking to really go above and beyond? You can hire an aerial banner, a plane flying a banner, to fly over your town to let people know who has passed away.
Memory Tree: A memory tree is a cardboard tree or vase holding tree branches where guests can write their favorite memories with their loved one on an index card. Attendees hang the card on the tree to share with others. This is a great way for people to share their personal stories and it helps honor the memory of their loved one.
Some ideas for the kids….
Death can be a hard thing for children to understand and funerals can be a very confusing time. However, there are ways to help them understand and express their feelings.
A drawing table: Kids love to color, set up a table with lots of paper and coloring utensils and have the kids draw a picture for their loved one. This can help children express themselves as well as keep them occupied.
Clay Hearts: Similar to coloring, kids can play with model clay and create sculptures for their loved ones, such as a clay heart. You can purchase modeling clay at your local craft store and set up a station where they can model and paint their sculptures.
A person lives on through the memories of their loved ones so it’s very important to share those memories with others. Even something as small as guests wearing your favorite color can make a huge difference for your funeral service. Make sure to Have the Talk of a Lifetime with your friends and family so they know how you want to be remembered.