Unique Ways to Honor a Loved One

slide photo of couple

Funerals are a time-tested ritual that help people begin to heal after they’ve lost a loved one. But just because we have longstanding traditions doesn’t mean there is one “right” way to celebrate a person’s life. There are countless different things you can do to pay tribute to someone’s memory in a personal and meaningful way. Whether you opt for cremation or burial, a traditional funeral, a wake, a religious service, a celebration of life or some combination of those traditions, Anthony Funerals can help you plan creative touches that will add deep significance to a service and help those who knew and cared about your loved one to grieve and connect.

Personalize the funeral, wake or celebration of life ceremony.

  • Show photos or home movies. You can create a memory board, a digital slideshow or a video montage of photos and home movies, set to their favorite songs, and show it at the funeral home. Copies can be made and given to guests.
  • Personalize the casket or urn. Choose a casket in their favorite color or keep their ashes in an urn that suits their personality.
  • Incorporate your loved one’s favorite pastime. Consider their favorite sports team, pet or hobbies. You can incorporate their personality in their clothing or by including a small item in the casket, in decorations during the funeral or celebration of life, or where you spread your loved one’s ashes.

Get friends and family involved so you can remember together.

  • Collect digital photos for a scrapbook or slideshow at your event. This can bring back special memories for those who contribute and you’ll be able to celebrate the different facets of your loved one’s life.
  • Invite everyone to contribute to a memory board at the event. Have a board where everyone can add hand-written notes, memories or their favorite photos.
  • Have a central place online for everyone to share stories and photos. A virtual guestbook, like the obituary tribute walls on AnthonyChapels.com, or memorial page on social media makes it easier for everyone to revisit these memories in the future and can be a great communal space, especially for those who aren’t able to attend in person.
  • Make music together. Singing is often part of traditional funeral services, but music brings people closer no matter the event. Consider singing your loved one’s favorite songs or hymns. Invite friends and family to bring their instruments to play together.
  • Begin a memorial project. At the memorial service, provide blank scrapbook pages, stones to decorate for a memorial garden, or fabric patches guests can write on that can be turned into a memorial quilt. Any small item that guests can personalize can be turned into a token of remembrance.

 Create a thoughtful keepsake or memorial.

  • Hand out memorial cards. Include a memorable quote from your loved one or from their favorite author, lyrics from a song they loved, or favorite religious verse.
  • Repurpose the flowers. Flowers can be turned into beautiful beads or pendants for jewelry, pressed flower cards or potpourri to share with those closest to your loved one.
  • Share your loved one’s recipes. Share your family’s culinary traditions by giving away a recipe card or booklet. Perhaps they had a favorite dessert, a dish they were known for serving at holidays or a family recipe that’s been passed down through generations.
  • Dedicate a memorial bench, brick or tree in their memory. The Webster Arboretum, Seneca Park Zoo and Brighton Parks Department are just a few examples of local parks, botanical gardens and museums with unique ways to memorialize your loved one.
  • Hand out seed packets at the funeral service. This is a simple way to spread natural beauty in their honor, especially if your loved one had a favorite flower or fruit.
  • Pass on small items to friends and family. Maybe your loved one was an avid knitter, carved little wooden figurines, or had a prized tea set. At the funeral or reception, bring things they created or collected that you’re willing to share and invite guests to take something home in memory of your loved one.
  • Share heirloom or memorial jewelry. Memorial necklaces can be purchased that contain a small amount of cremated remains. Or beaded heirloom jewelry, like necklaces or bracelets, can be divided up into pendants to share among several family members or friends.
  • Choose a memorial that fits you and your loved one’s style. Maybe they loved tattoos and you get one in their memory. Or donate to a cause they were particularly passionate about. Or you have a song written about them in their favorite genre of music. The beauty of honoring an individual is that it can be as unique as they were.

Anthony Funeral and Cremation Chapels is a family-owned mortuary that has helped the Rochester, Brighton and Webster, New York communities navigate loss for over 60 years. Our funeral directors are available at all times to help you plan the services your loved one would have wanted and that meet and the needs of your family. Call us at (585) 244-0770 in Rochester or (585) 872-6380 in Webster.

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