As people, we are unique individuals and we personalize special occasions and moments in life as an extension of ourselves – to reflect on the unique personality and characteristics we have. And just like how people personalize their birthdays and weddings, the final celebration of one’s life should showcase who they are and the impact left behind on family and friends.

Honouring a unique life

By making the effort to create meaningful funeral arrangements, bereaved family members can remember how much their loved one was cherished in life and help strengthen bonds with one another as they heal together. A personalized funeral can meet the emotional needs of mourners and offer comfort throughout their grief journey. It is also able to incorporate the unique combination of attributes that reflect an individual, and leave a much greater impact for mourners to say their final goodbye.

What can you personalize in a funeral

Elements such as eulogy, readings, music, reception and symbolic actions can be incorporated in a funeral according to the deceased’s personality, beliefs and core values. For example, you can share a favourite Scripture reading in a Christian funeral or play special music that is tied to specific memories of the deceased.

It can be healing to share memories and stories about the life of someone who has recently passed on. If you want to personalize a eulogy, this can also help inspire others and let them understand the depth of loss felt by surviving family members. You can properly remember the deceased and honour their life lived – and through communicating the story of your loved one, it can also comfort you in your grief.

Where do you start in personalizing

Think about whether you wish to weave a theme throughout the funeral or simply focus on a few aspects of the deceased’s life – whichever is the best option to truly honour them. Then, start brainstorming on their values and beliefs, likes and dislikes, hobbies, passions and pastimes. These should capture the essence of the person who has passed and reflect who they were, as well as help you on how to personalize the funeral.

Some ideas include putting together a tribute video, special mementos to bring to the funeral service, food catering which serves the deceased’s favourite foods, or a personalized memorial gift to keep the memory of their loved one close to them. The options are limitless and are as unique as the person is. As long as it is something that will honour a life lived, then that is a great way to personalize and add a more meaningful touch to the funeral.