There is a great deal to be said for planning ahead when it comes to memorializing your loved one. While no one likes to be reminded that eventually their loved one's life will come to an end, this is an issue that is much easier to deal with when you are not in the heat of the moment. By taking the time to plan something now, before a crisis hits or you are under an enormous time pressure to make an important decision, you can better weigh all your different options when it comes to finding the right memorial printed cards for your loved one.
Choosing the Right Time
Whether your grandparents are in poor health and their final arrangements are on your mind or your parents are in the midst of downsizing as they ready themselves for retirement, there is not a one size fits all time that is right to bring up this issue. The aforementioned scenarios are common ones that often bring these life changing issues to the forefront. In the case of your grandparents, though it can be difficult for you to acknowledge, they likely have thought a great deal about their final arrangements. They might need some guidance in choosing the right memorial printed card that would best reflect the way they want to be remembered.
Life Changes Are a Natural Fit
In the case of your parents, as they seek to tidy up their employee health care plans and IRAs, discussing their thoughts and plans for their final arrangements is a natural progression of those other activities. Given that your parents are already in a planning mode, sitting down with them to hammer out items such as the type of service they want – if any – as well as the details of the service and whether they want to be cremated or buried gives them the type of control they will likely desire.
When Your Loved One is Seriously Ill
A loved one that is seriously ill puts a great deal of stress on you – mentally and emotionally. One of the things that you often have to face is that the end of their life could be approaching more quickly than you ever imagined it could. While it can be difficult to do, taking the time to decide the type of memorial printed cards would suit them most can provide you with many bittersweet moments. It is a sad occasion that makes it necessary to complete this task but it also gives you the opportunity to bask in those memories that you love best about them.
Memorial printed cards make it easy to personalize the service to meet your loved one's unique personality. Is your father a die-hard sports fan who will always be remembered for his love and faithfulness to his team no matter how badly they did in the playoffs? There are memorial printed cards that can honor his love. There are also cards that can pay homage to your daughter's love of dancing and all things pink.
What To Include In A Memorial Program
Deciding what to include in a memorial program may be one of the harder parts of planning a memorial service. You want to make sure that what you include truly encapsulates the life of your loved one and all they meant to you. It is also good to make sure that your program provides all the necessary information for those who will be receiving it. So what in particular should you include?
One of the first things a memorial printing service will ask you for when collecting the content of a memorial program is the date of birth and the date of death of your loved one. More useful information to provide is the order of the service, or when things will be presented to the attendants of the memorial service, and the date, time, and place of the funeral, so that those who wish to can attend both. If you have a larger memorial program, you may even wish to include part of the deceased’s obituary for information about their family and life, though this is not as necessary as the aforementioned material.
Memorial programs usually include beautifully written words to honor the life of the deceased. It may be a favorite passage of Bible scripture, or part of a poem that they loved, or even a quote that they repeated often. Some families may know exactly what words to put in the memorial, but others may have a harder time, and so many memorial printing services will provide a list of texts to choose from. Whatever you choose should have meaning behind it both to the deceased and their family, in order to properly pay homage to them.
Photographs and Images
The most important piece of the memorial program is an image of the deceased by which to remember them by. It should be a recent and good quality photograph, with a clear view of the deceased from either the shoulders or the waist up. Ideally, they should be smiling and wearing one of their best outfits, though they could also be working at a job they love or doing a favorite activity. Inside the program, you may wish to include additional images, such as the deceased with children or grandchildren, or an image of something they loved, such as a favorite sports team or favorite animal. Additional images, depending on your printing service, may come at additional cost, however.
Should your memorial program have a simple theme, an elegant one, or a fun one? Ultimately, that is your decision, based on the kind of life your loved one lived. Were they elegant and classy, or did your loved one lead a heroic and active life? Were they outspoken, or did they prefer to stay modest? A good memorial printing service will provide dozens of program themes for you to choose from, often with matching products such as memorial cards and prayer cards. A matching theme can bring an entire service together and provide stronger memories for the attendees of the service.
Planning a memorial is one of the last things any person wants to be forced to do for a loved one, but as unwelcome as it is, it is often an inevitable thing to have to do. When preparing for a memorial, it is important to communicate with the memorial director as they can help you make decisions for the memorial based on what is tactful and able to be provided by the funeral home, as well as provide resources for assisting in planning. This article will provide a guide for the best questions to ask your funeral director during the planning stages.
Budget and Pre-Planning
As hard as it is to think about, there are a lot of costs that come with a funeral and memorial service. Useful things to ask about are whether or not your loved one planned for and saved money for their own funeral. Did they prepare funds, or will you be paying for the service yourself? Did they leave preferences for how they wished to be remembered? Did your loved one want a religious or secular ceremony? Did they want to be buried or cremated? All of these are important decisions to make and are useful to know if your loved one answered them ahead of time or not.
It is the funeral director’s job to know how many people the funeral home can hold for a memorial service, and this is integral information to know when deciding whether to hold a public or private service. They can also help decide who should read the eulogy during the memorial service, how many chairs will be needed, and how many invitations should be sent out. The director is in charge of just how many people can attend a single memorial service, so this is one of the more important parts of a memorial to communicate with the director about.
Music and Decorations
What is the best music to play during your loved one’s memorial service? Did they like hymns and soft music, or would they have preferred to go out with a bang and with upbeat music? Should the family provide lilies to decorate the memorial service, or accept flower arrangements from outside friends and family? Are there other elements that were important to your loved one that should be included in the memorial? These are all things to consider when planning for the aesthetic of the memorial, and the director can help you choose what would work best within your space and budget.
Things to Remember
The funeral director is there to assist you in every way during your time of need. Whether you need help in the planning process or need support while you grieve, it is the director’s job to help you make the process as easy as possible under the circumstances given. Never be afraid to ask for help or admit that you just can’t do a certain part of the planning due to emotions.