Rest Outside the Lines: 5 Tips for a Truly Unconventional Funeral

Monday, February 10, 2020

"No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away." -Terry Pratchett

While death is a heavy topic for many, the funeral of your loved one doesn't have to be. For those who lived a full life of joy, humor, and service to others, having a mournful funeral may seem uncharacteristic of the life and legacy they've left.

That's why an unconventional funeral may be the perfect way to memorialize and pay true homage to the extraordinary life of your loved one. Here's how to accomplish this.

1. Create a Memory Book

Often, there is not enough time in the program to have every guest or loved one share a cherished memory of the departed loved one. Still, those precious memories shouldn't be lost.

Have a memory book at the funeral for each guest to sign. Ask them to write a favorite memory of your loved one in the book for the family to read later.

This is a wonderful way to record and cherish good memories of your loved one for years to come.

2. Take-Home Library

Was your loved-one a serious reader? One tender way to spread the joy of their interests is to create a take-home library of their books at the funeral.

Especially if your loved one was an avid reader, you may own more books of theirs than you are able to keep.

Allowing funeral guests to select one of their books to take home with them is a great way to have guests remember the deceased. Each time they pull the book from the shelf or crack it open, your loved one's memory will be kept alive.

3. Celebrate the Life Lived

Choose to make the funeral a celebration of life.

Music, dancing, (especially to the favorite music of the loved one passed), favorite foods of your loved one, all are appropriate ways to turn a somber event into a celebration of a wonderful life lived.

Some have even ended the celebration with a send-off including fireworks. 

4. Brighten Things Up

Depending on the circumstances and desires of the family, you may decide to opt-out of the standard black color scheme for your loved one's funeral.

Consider paying tribute to the deceased by remembering them with their favorite color of flowers.

Some funerals, especially for children, ask attendees to wear the deceased's favorite color. You may also hand out flowers to each guest in that same color.

5. Plant a Seed

Whether you're religious or not, you can symbolize continuing life at a funeral with this symbolic idea.

Plant a new tree to commemorate the life of your loved one. This can also provide a peaceful and beautiful place for family to visit and remember the one they love.

An alternative to this idea is to hand out seed packets to funeral guests. Encourage them to plant the flower seeds in their own garden to help them remember. A popular flower seed for such an idea is the Forget-Me-Not.

Planning an Unconventional Funeral

Finding a way to plan an unconventional funeral that honors the life of your loved one can turn a challenging event into a memorable and touching one.

For guidance and help planning a funeral, review this post on "What to Do When Death Occurs."

View All Recent Posts