When someone is cremated, the surviving family members have the choice of holding a funeral soon after the death or a memorial service in the weeks or months that follow. Many families opt for the latter choice, given that a memorial service is often a more uplifting occasion and the less-rushed date makes travel arrangements easier for out-of-town guests. A key focal point of many memorial services is the memorial table, in which the story of the deceased person's life is told. If you're helping prepare the table, keep these three strategies in mind.
A Photo Slideshow Can Tell A Story
Some people make the mistake of placing one framed photo on the memorial table, but taking the time to dig up a series of photos can really make the table something that people appreciate. Go through family photo albums to assemble a wide range of formal and candid photos that show the person from various stages of life. You can also consult other family members and close friends of the deceased person to gather additional photos. Instead of loading the photos into an album that only a few people can enjoy at a time, use an electronic photo frame. This accessory can easily handle hundreds of photos and the clear display will make the photos visible for large groups around the table.
Incorporate Some Personal Possessions
Adding a few personal possessions to the table can help to not only tell the story of the deceased person's life, but also take the memorial service guests down memory lane, which can help the healing process. Find personal possessions that sum up the person -- for an avid fisherman, you could place the person's favorite fishing hat or some lures around the table. For someone who enjoyed craft projects, some homemade items and any certificates from contests can be ideal. Adding these items will speak to the person's life.
Pick Appropriate Accessories
Flowers and candles are a common addition to many memorial tables, but you shouldn't make the mistake of adorning the table with a standard candle or a generic bouquet. When selecting these valuable accessories, keep the person you're honoring in mind. If the person was an avid outdoors lover, a hand-picked bouquet of wildflowers has more value than a store-bought bunch of flowers. A pillar candle in the person's favorite color is another way to subtly honor the person's life and personality.
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4 November 2015
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