While dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy, some people choose to use a funeral as a way to celebrate life instead of mourning death. If you are looking for interesting ways to celebrate your loved one's life, here are a few options you may want to consider.
Instead of handing out prayer cards, consider putting together small memory bags to share with people who attend the funeral services. These bags might contain some of your loved one's favorite candy or a CD he or she loved. Come up with a few trinkets you can put in the bags, and have note cards printed that explain the significance of each item. These bags let you celebrate the way your relative lived while adding a unique touch to the ceremony.
Freshly Picked Flowers
If your loved one was an avid gardener, the following idea might be perfect for him or her. Invite mourners to bring a few flowers picked from their gardens to place on top of the casket. This personal touch gets people actively involved in the funeral, and it can also cut down on some of the costs associated with arranging a funeral. If you prefer to have a professional spray for the casket, consider placing wicker baskets on either side of the casket where people can place their own flowers. You can also have people wait until the graveside service and place the flowers on top of the casket before it is lowered into the ground.
Wine Tasting/Cocktail Reception
While you might not want to host a wine tasting at the actual funeral or viewing, you may want to consider this option after the viewing for a way to gather close friends and family. This idea is a great option if your loved one was a fan of wine or gourmet food, but it can also be held as a cocktail party of sorts as well.. Have hors d'oeuvres available in addition to several fine vintages, and invite people at the tasting to share their favorite memories of your loved one with each wine you sample. Invite everyone to raise a glass in his or her honor as part of this celebration. Be sure to have non-alcoholic beverages available as well. If you or your family doesn't drink, you can use this same idea with gourmet sodas and snacks.
Your funeral director may have additional ideas for unique options you can use to celebrate the life of the dearly departed. Work together to incorporate some of these ideas into the funeral, and take time to honor the way your loved one lived during his or her time in this world.