As the rules surrounding Funerals change, you may be deciding that Direct Cremation is the best option to protect your family. But you may be thinking, if you cannot hug each other and hold hands, how can you grieve together? In these uncertain times, I have been working on a few alternative ways to truly celebrate the life of your loved ones.
Creating a bespoke ceremony
Talking to you and your family about your loved one, I will create a ceremony that is a celebration of their unique life. It will reflect your (and their) wishes, beliefs and values and can include spiritual content and prayer. To listen and create your bespoke ceremony, we can talk by phone, email and online communication tools such as Skype or Zoom.
You then have a choice of a Virtual Ceremony now or, when this pandemic is over and we emerge out the other side, you can then get together to hold a Celebration of Life, Memorial or Scattering of Ashes Ceremony.
Once I have written your ceremony, we arrange a time and date to perform the ceremony virtually, this could even be 9pm so that relatives in Australia can be included! You all then join the Virtual Ceremony using your preferred device; smartphone, tablet or computer, or you can listen to the ceremony through an ordinary landline.
You may like to create a special space around you for the ceremony; put up photographs and light candles. To make it personal, you might want to dress in their favourite colours or play some of their favourite music while you’re waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Although a traditional wake or reception will not be held afterwards, you could make and eat a special meal or cake, or raise a glass in their memory. Even when the formal ceremony ends, you could reconnect virtually and continue to share your memories.
Celebration of Life
If you opt for a Celebration of Life or Memorial Ceremony, I’ll create your ceremony now and we’ll stay connected to agree a date in the future when you can all get together. These ceremonies have no time constraints and can be held anywhere that is important to you. Ideas include sunrise on a beach, an afternoon tea on a river boat or a lavish evening celebration in a favourite hotel.
Nearer the time, I can update the ceremony with more of your memories but for now you could start collecting items to celebrate their life. Why not create a Memory Table to display their achievements and hobbies, in fact, anything they were proud of. You could organise a slide show or video of their life accompanied by their favourite music. If it is “Rocking All Over the World” wouldn’t that be great!
Scattering of Ashes
You may wish to hold a Scattering of Ashes Ceremony together in the future. I will write your ceremony now and you can take your time to select the right spot. Mine would definitely involve a field of bluebells but you choose the perfect place to gather together and remember your loved one.
There are many ideas to make your ceremony more personal, you can send their ashes up in a firework, plant them under their favourite tree or even send their ashes off in a Viking Boat. All these ideas are possible!
Continue to connect
While we are all in lock down, continue to reach out and connect virtually to share memories of your loved one; their stories, their adventures and even their terrible jokes.
There appears to be a growing demand for different types of ceremony which allow family and friends to come together and celebrate the life of a loved one in this challenging times. And the feedback from my families has been excellent, expressing heartfelt thanks for a ceremony that they believe their loved one would have wanted in these extraordinary times.