Funerals are about more than just saying a final goodbye to a loved one. They can provide closure and give family members time and space to grieve. Providing comfort for all those in mourning at your family member's funeral can help create a moment of healing. Here are some thoughtful ways you can create a loving sendoff while providing comfort to everyone in attendance, including yourself.
Specially trained therapy dogs offer a source of love and compassion during a difficult time. You can arrange with your funeral home director to have a therapy dog present at the wake and funeral service to provide extra attention to those having a particularly difficult time with the recent loss. This simple companionship can be a great option for young children who may have a difficult time understanding and processing grief. If the dearly departed was a lover of animals, having therapy dogs present can also be a wonderful way to honor his or her memory. Be sure to let close friends and family know that the dogs will be in attendance in case there are any issues with allergies.
Personalized Photo Tribute
While some families may already have a tradition of creating a photo board or slideshow of the loved one who has passed, there are ways to personalize this tribute to include those in attendance at the funeral. Seek out pictures that show your loved one with people you expect to be in attendance at the funeral and wake. By including these memories, you can demonstrate just how strong the relationships were, and you can also make mourners feel more included in the funeral service. Consider making digital copies of the slideshow to email out after the funeral so everyone can keep a copy of these special moments.
Customized Prayer Cards
For some religions, passing out prayer cards at the funeral is a timeless tradition. Mourners can typically take one from a stack as they add their name to the sign-in book. One way to make this part of the funeral more comforting is to write out customized prayer cards in advance. Have the printing service leave one side of the cards blank, and use this space to write a special message to each mourner you know will be in attendance. This message can be a simple statement of thanks, or it can recall a special memory about the person you have lost. Place these cards in envelopes with the name of the intended recipient. You can leave the envelopes next to the sign-in book, or you can have the funeral home director pass them out at the door. This idea works best for small funerals, but you can also select specific people to receive the customized cards and leave a stack of the more traditional cards for lesser-known acquaintances in attendance.
To learn more, contact a resource like the Shepherd Funeral Home.