One of the most challenging experiences we face as human beings is the transition of those we love out of this life. This can be an intense time of reflection and change for families, friends and colleagues of the person who has given meaning to their lives and for whom they want to honor and grieve.
Grief is a journey. And a Memorial that celebrates the life of the loved one is a valuable opportunity to begin true healing for grieving family and friends. The love expressed in a ceremony whether it is a memorial, a funeral or a remembrance ceremony is a beautiful way to say thank you to someone for having shared their life with us. It can be deeply moving and meaningful.
As an Interfaith Minister, I walk with those who are mourning the loss of a loved one and provide support for the bereaved. I support the family in creating a meaningful and sacred service tailored to their desires, that will help them move through their difficult transition and honor the loved one.
A Memorial with dignity and reverence might include life tributes, music, visuals, readings, prayers, a chance to remember the good parts of the life that has passed and to celebrate a life well-lived. Ceremony choices are made by the family as best they can with my help to match their wishes and intentions for the service. They can be among the most important events in a family's history. Decisions made at a time of grief and loss have the ability to bring everyone closer.
We've all attended memorial services and funerals where it was clear the person conducting the service did not know the deceased, nor anything about them. Meeting ahead of time with family and close friends is an important part in my preparation for a memorial remembrance. I take time to prepare each ceremony according to circumstances and wishes of the deceased, their family and friends. Planning a memorial includes many of the following considerations, and I help the family make decisions and choices that otherwise might become an added burden at this very challenging time.
Sharon Lopez Mooney, published poet, Interfaith Minister, spiritual coach