Burning candle on table in darkness

A funeral is a highly personal experience; it marks not only a person’s death, but also their life, personality, memories and the effect they had on others. Many families in NSW want to plan a funeral that’s unique to their lost loved one, but they’re concerned that this will run up a bill they might struggle to afford.

In fact, an unforgettable farewell doesn’t have to be about white gloves, top hats, fireworks, marching bands and other extravagences. It’s about the memory of your loved one, and the most meaningful farewells are ones that are symbolic and highly personalised to the recently departed person. To help give you some inspiration, here are some ways you can make a farewell more personal.

Leaving old-school funerals in the past

Just thinking about a funeral can be painful, and this often causes people to leave arrangements to the last minute and settle for a standard or traditional funeral – forgetting about those little touches that make the day personal to your family.

A funeral director should listen to your wishes and ensure you know that the choice is in your hands, so you can feel free to speak about your wishes. Traditionally, a funeral takes place around one week after a death. It includes a ceremony in a church or non-religious location, followed by a cremation or burial and then a wake, and guests wear black clothing.

More recently, funeral personalisation has become popular, and if the standard traditional funeral sounds outdated to you, you can personalise it in a way that feels inclusive for guests, and may even help with the healing process.

Funeral personalisation ideas

What makes a funeral personal is not expensive trims – but photographs, music and memories that honour someone’s life. It should reflect their personality, and there are a few ways you can make the farewell unique to the individual. For example:

  • Play a memorial DVD or slideshow with photos and videos, for a powerful tribute with memories all guests can relate to
  • Think of symbols that mean something to you and the family; write notes and send them off to the sky in balloons, release butterflies as a symbol of peace, or look for other types of symbolism that makes the day unique
  • Hold a candlelight ceremony for a peaceful gathering that provides the chance for everyone to reflect and honour the life of a lost loved one
  • Hold the ceremony or wake at a place that was special to the person that has passed. Perhaps they were a huge fan of a particular sport, they loved the beach or they visited a certain restaurant each week without fail
  • Ditch the old-school, all-black dress code of traditional funerals and instead encourage guests to wear colours or clothes that reflect the personality of your loved one

Planning a funeral

Our sister company, Personal Farewells, offers a simple 5-step process to planning a funeral. Call them on 1300 95 95 33 to talk about their services and how they can help you to personalise a farewell to make it unique and meaningful for your friends and relatives.

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