Organising a funeral for a loved one can be a highly emotional experience and a big responsibility.
Still, it can be as unique as the person and filled with creative and fun ideas to celebrate the life they lived.
Funerals are important rituals because they don’t just recognise that a life has ended; they recognise that a life was lived and celebrating the character and personality of the person uniquely and joyfully can be the perfect send-off.
As one of the famous lines from the 1993 movie, The Big Chill, amusingly says – “Funerals are a great tradition. They throw a great party for you on the day they know you can’t come.”
Bringing some humour, joy and ways to reflect the individual personality of your loved one to a funeral can be the perfect way to celebrate and preserve their memory.
Here are some inspirations and ideas to get you started on unique ways to celebrate a life well lived.
A lovely and popular tradition is having your guests sign the coffin.
Funeral homes can arrange white coffins, or a pale coloured coffin and family members and friends can write personal messages directly onto the coffin.
They can write, poems, messages of love, draw pictures or even paint something special.
A funeral home can even arrange to have the empty coffin delivered to the home so family members can take their time decorating or painting and writing messages before the funeral day.
You can also choose from an extensive range of personalised themes of coffins that are already pre-painted in ‘theme-of-life’ options.
Music helps us express our emotions and can be soothing and relaxing.
Music can also help celebrate an extraordinary life and represent the personality of your loved one.
If your loved one had music they loved, be it rock, jazz, country or classical, use this through the service and especially songs you know that brought them joy.
Music doesn’t have to be sombre or classic; it can be upbeat and lively and bring joy to the audience.
If your loved one had friends or family who are musically gifted ask them to play or hire a performer or band to play at the ceremony.
There are no rules to what music should be played, so try and reflect your loved one’s personality in what they loved with music.
Scottish bagpipes are also a popular choice as they can create a reflection of service and tradition, especially with people who have served in the military.
If a loved one served in the armed forces, funeral homes are happy to arrange for special military honour funerals and also present a military flag.
You may request to involve the RSL’s participation in a Poppy ceremony whereby The Last Post will be played, and the Ode spoken by a member of the RSL.
A fitting memorial to reflect on the service commitment by an individual helping their legacy live on.
In Australia, the ocean is a very popular way to deliver a send-off as most of us spend a good amount of time at our beautiful beaches and waterways.
It’s a popular and respectful send-off for people who were nature lovers, surfers or beachgoers.
Sea-burials and date back in history as far back as Ancient Egypt, and the Vikings brought the practice to the British Isles when they invaded in 700 A.D.
Scattering your loved one’s ashes in the ocean is a beautiful way to say goodbye as the sea is a constant reminder of the renewal of life.
Options can include scattering the ashes out at sea on surfboards and swim outs, or beside your loved one’s favourite beach or creek.
Another unique way to scatter ashes is by chartered boat. Beautiful and relaxing funerals can be held onboard boats organised by your funeral home.
Ceremonies can include scattering flower petals that float on the surface along with the ashes of your loved one.
Refreshments can be provided, and it can be a joyful way to celebrate someone’s life while enjoying a beautiful cruise.
Newhaven Funerals has been conducting Ocean Funerals for many years and you read more about Ocean Funeral Options here.
One question funeral homes are often asked to make a funeral more unique is what kind of transport can be used other than a traditional hearse.
If your loved one was a car or motorbike enthusiast, it can be a fantastic tribute to incorporate different kinds of transport.
Some options can include:
- Harley Davison motorbike hearse
- 4x4s and SUVs
- Tractor and trailers
- The traditional style of a hearse in a variety of bright colours or designs
- Horse-drawn carriage
- You may also wish to forego the conventional limousine and hire a bus to transport all of the funeral attendees
When it comes to organising a funeral, there are also small ways you can do something which will serve as a lovely memory.
- A personalised stubby cooler makes a great gift and an excellent talking point at the wake and every event after that
- Customised recipe cards of your loved one’s favourite recipe to take home so everyone can cook or bake in memory
- A packet of seeds for a plant or flower to grow, so loved ones can pot and grow a special plant in remembrance.
- A personalised bookmark or photo framed with photos or special quotes
- A special playlist of your loved one’s favourite music
- A gift bag including some of the flowers from the service, a copy of the ceremony.
There are more unique funeral ideas here: Arranging a Funeral – Unique Funeral Ideas
Newhaven funerals are happy to discuss any unique ideas you have to make the funeral arrangements for your loved one as personal and unforgettable as possible.
Book an appointment today to so we can help you arrange a unique and memorable funeral.
Article by Tim Connolly – Funeral Director Newhaven Funerals Brisbane & Gold Coast
Tim Connolly – Funeral Director Newhaven Funerals Brisbane & Gold Coast.