The Memorial Service Features Families Really Want and Need

August 06, 2015 Memorial Service, Featured by Alyssa McNab

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The demand for increased personalization in memorial services provides excellent opportunities for funeral directors. In addition to expanding your service offerings to better meet the needs of client families, you can also implement creative solutions that help you grow your skillset.

With so many possibilities available, the challenge isn’t necessarily a lack of ideas – it’s ensuring that the ideas (both yours and the family’s) don’t overshadow what’s really important for the memorial service. The most meaningful services share some common core elements that can provide a foundation for your planning conversations with families.

A personal, meaningful tribute

There’s a reason that FAMIC’s Have the Talk of a Lifetime™ campaign focuses on sharing stories: These stories become central to a memorial service. They make each of us unique and make our lives worth celebrating. Excellent funeral directors are skilled at helping families remember the meaningful moments in their loved ones’ lives. The next step is to ensure that these stories – the ones that truly capture the personality of the loved one – are shared at the service. Working in conjunction with the family’s preferred religious officiant, celebrant or designated speaker, you can ensure that these moments are represented and help provide an impactful experience for everyone who attends.

An opportunity to comfort one another

A vital function of a memorial service is that it provides an opportunity for family members and friends to gather in support of one another. Wanting to simply “be there” for a family that has lost a loved one is a natural response, and, for many, the service is the best opportunity to do so. Selecting a venue with adequate space and amenities will help ensure that the immediate family, extended relatives and friends can make the most of their time together.

Prompts to remember a life well lived

You never know what may trigger happy memories of a loved one. It might be a photo, a song, a printed copy of a meaningful poem or a display of keepsakes. This is another reason why those stories are so important – they can help you and the family identify items to display, songs to play and content for the program. These seemingly small memorial service elements can create lasting memories for family members and friends. (For additional memorial ideas, click here.)

Aftercare and grief support resources

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to grieving, and families need to know about the resources that are available to help them after the service. As an expert on funeral services in your community, you’re uniquely positioned to assist by providing aftercare services and support. These services can take many forms, from ongoing communications and on-site grief workshops to support groups and annual memorial events. The important thing is to keep families (and anyone else who attends the service) informed of the resources that are available to them.

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