When someone we love dies, we often realize too late how much that person meant to us. At the funeral, we express feelings we wish we could have shared, but it’s better to take the time to express our love and concern while the people we love are still alive. This benefits them, but it also benefits us: they feel our love and we don’t feel as though we are left with unfinished business.
There are many ways to show the people you love that you care:
- Write letters and maintain frequent contact. In the modern world, we rely on phones, texts and emails to keep in touch. Although those things can be an important part of communication, it’s also extremely meaningful to have handwritten communication from beloved family members. A thoughtful card or letter can brighten someone’s day and may be something to treasure forever.
- Set aside a day for whatever your loved one wants to do. Giving someone a full day of your attention makes that person feel special and loved. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or elaborate. A day in the park is a great way to spend time in a loved one’s company.
- Make time for them on a regular basis. Even if you don’t have a full day to set aside, a regular coffee date or weekly phone call can make a person’s day. Think of ways to create regular moments that bring you closer to those you love.
- Make a scrapbook or photo album and reminisce . Memories are very powerful, and going through photos is a wonderful way to strengthen the bond with someone you love. It also allows for a deeper understanding of family history through the sharing of stories and family lore. You may discover things you never knew or impart knowledge of your legacy to someone you love.
- Simply listen. Sometimes the most important gift you can give someone you love is just to listen to what that person has to say. Especially as people grow older, it’s meaningful for them to be able to share their stories with those they love.
- There are also ways to reach out to younger members of your family who will someday be missing you . You can give attention to older family members who may be lonely, and you’ll get the benefit of hearing their stories and learning about their lives. When they are gone, you’ll have those memories to keep their presence strong in your life. On the other hand, someday you will be gone as well. Sharing your interests, passions, hobbies and stories with younger family members will allow them the same kind of memories of you.
- Tell your stories. When you share anecdotes from your life, you leave memories of family history that will be cherished for generations. Your stories will become part of the fabric of your family history, retold as years go by.
- Show up for their events . Being there for the dance recitals, soccer games, school plays and band concerts may not seem like a big deal to you, but it can mean the world to a child or to an important young person in your life. Make the time to be there for these events, and you’ll have a positive impact on their self-esteem. You will also create memories that last for years to come.
- Instead of leaving things to them, give them away while you’re still alive . Sure, you could leave that necklace and those figurines to your loved ones in your will. How much better is it, though, to see their faces as you offer them these meaningful gifts?
- Preplan so that your family can focus on grieving their loss instead of guessing at what you would have wanted. One of the best gifts you can give your family is preplanning. Not only does it allow you to plan exactly the funeral service you’d like to have, it also eliminates guesswork for your loved ones.
At Mountain View Funeral Home, we make it easy to give your loved ones the gift of preplanning. Our caring and compassionate staff will help you plan a truly meaningful service that honors your unique life. Call (253) 218-1012 today to learn more.
In the past, you may have been to funerals that were somber and tense, which may have created some resistance to planning one for yourself. In truth, so much has changed. These days, funerals can be customized to suit the people whose lives they commemorate, which is how it should be. Your life is unique, and it should be honored in a ceremony that reflects the life you lived.
Anyone can have an end-of-life ceremony tailored to meet their needs:
- The Veteran : The flag-draped casket, the honor guard at attendance, the three-volley salute and the playing of taps all represent the respect we owe our veterans. A veteran’s funeral is a beautifully moving service, offering an appropriate tribute for a true hero.
- The Music Lover : From strings and choirs to soloists, harps and bagpipes, the music at a funeral can be a meaningful representation of the person being honored. If you preplan for your end-of-life service, you can choose the music you want, incorporating your favorite hymns and other songs.
- The Enthusiast : When people are passionate about a hobby, career or activity, it permeates their entire lives. Their reading material, photographs, décor and memorabilia can all reflect their interests and passions. When preplanning your own service, you can work these things in through displays, a video tribute or the designation of charitable donations.
- The Family Man/Woman : Is your family the central focus of your life? Plan for your family mementos to be displayed, including photos, important religious scriptures, knick-knacks, and other representations of how much your family means to you. You can also decide ahead of time how your beloved family members can take part in the service.
- The Environmentalist : If you’re eco-conscious in life, you may decide to follow through on your convictions, even in death. A green burial allows for the body to be reunited with nature and can be part of a very meaningful service.
- The Free Spirit : A dove release symbolizes the soul soaring free, joining with other loved ones who have gone before. Because the dove has long symbolized love, peace and hope, this can be an extremely moving moment in a ceremony, bringing comfort to those who are mourning.
- The Great Communicator : If you were the person who united people in life, why not plan to bring them together across the miles at your funeral? It’s easier than ever to include far-off friends and family because technology allows for a webcast of the service.
Ultimately, the sky is the limit when it comes to planning an end-of-life ceremony. The readings and music can be chosen ahead of time, you can designate the people you’d like to participate and you can decide how best to represent the story of your life. Preplanning is a wonderful way to be proactive about your final send-off, giving your family a memorable way to say goodbye.
At Mountain View, we make preplanning easy. Our experienced and compassionate staff can help you make choices that represent your life and personality in a truly beautiful service. Call (253) 218-1012 or come by to learn more or to request a preplanning guide.