They say funerals are for the dead when in fact it is for the living. Funerals are held for friends and relatives to show support and to comfort the grieving family, so they can continue to leave despite their loss. Having a funeral is the beginning of acceptance that the deceased is indeed gone, and a funeral tribute is a way to honor the life of the one who is gone.
Different Types of Funeral Tributes
A funeral tribute is a tribute to the deceased. It is a way for friends and families to retell their relationships with the dead person. A funeral tribute doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive, it just needs to be personalized so it can serve its purpose – to make it positive, comforting and memorable for the surviving family members. Here are the simple things that you can do as a funeral tribute:
- Plan the theme of the funeral – if the deceased loves anime or a certain childhood character, transform the funeral or service place to such
- Make personalized/printed funeral program – hand-out printed funeral programs that mirror the interest and personality of the deceased. Add a funeral poet or a special eulogy on the program
- Give a eulogy – a eulogy is a type of speech given during a funeral service. A eulogy is a written tribute to the deceased. It can be written and presented to the grieving family or you can read it at the funeral if permitted
- Write a funeral resolution – this is a message to and about the deceased and is written in a formal way
- Recite a funeral poem – ask the bereaving family member if you can read or recite a funeral poem
- Flowers arrangement – ask for the deceased’s favorite flowers and have it ready for the funeral
- Song selection –sing his or her favorite song
- Making a slideshow or a video – if a colleague died and you worked for years, chances are you have a lot of pictures together. You can make a funeral tribute by putting your pictures in a slideshow or making a video out of it
- Giving an anecdote – anecdote is like telling a story about you and the deceased in a light way. It is often composed of funny childhood memories or funny office stories involving the deceased
How to Make a Meaningful Funeral Tribute
Making a funeral tribute is not an easy feat. Some people who lost someone dearly says that they don’t even know where to start or how to start. To make a meaningful funeral tribute, start with the following:
- Reflect and remember – how did you meet the deceased? What made him special to you?
- Ask others too – ask a close friend or two about their personal encounter with the deceased, it will help you form a more conclusive idea about him
- Put something special on the casket – is the deceased a coffee lover? Leave a special coffee token on his casket. If it is a child, does she have a favorite doll?
Positive Effects of a Funeral Tribute
Is it a must to have a funeral tribute? According to psychologists, yes! A funeral tribute can help the grieving family in many ways that we cannot understand unless we are in their shoes. Dr. Alan Wolfelt, a grief counselor enumerated the effects of funeral and funeral tributes.
- Reality – it helps them accept the reality that their loved one is gone
- Recall - the family starts reminiscing about the life they had with the deceased and a funeral helps them with this transition – from being part of the present to being part of the past
- Support – through funeral and funeral tribute, the grieving family receives and social support from friends and relatives.
- Expression – through funeral and funeral tribute, the grieving family can openly express their emotions, their pain, anger, grief, and sadness due to death. Funerals allow us to mourn the passing of our loved one
- Meaning – through funeral tributes given by the deceased’s close friend or colleague, the grieving family will start to understand how their loved one lived or the meaning of his life
- Transcendence – this the last funeral tribute effect that a person can feel during a funeral. At this point, the grieving family will start to understand and appreciate the wonder of life, that the funeral reminds us that life is a cycle and has an end hence we should do our best in everything
No Goodbyes, Just See You Soon
Funerals of today are focusing more on remembering the life of the deceased, thanking the Lord for his or her life, and celebrating his or her journey’s end. For every family, there is a different way of saying goodbye though most of today’s funeral tribute is by giving eulogies.
Who should give a eulogy? A eulogy means a speech that praises someone and since it is mostly used in a funeral, the eulogy was associated with death and funerals. Family members, close friends or clergy are among the people who should give a eulogy.
If you are tasked to give a eulogy, you don’t have to make it longer. Decide first on the type of eulogy you are going to give. Is it a sad one, a happy one, or a combination of the two? Always remember that you are writing a eulogy for your audience and mostly for the deceased. Chances are you will cry once you start reading or saying your eulogy, it is not something to be embarrassed about. Do not stop your tears yet do your best to keep it together till the end.