Memorial Service Instead?

Twelve Reasons to Consider a Memorial Service Instead of a Funeral

A funeral is a ceremonial gathering with the body present. It will generally be held within 3-4 days after death. In contrast, a memorial service is held some time after cremation or interment, and focuses on memories rather than on the body. A memorial service can be held several days after death, but there are good reasons for taking several weeks or more to do it instead:

  1. More time to recover from shock.
  2. More time to sleep and recover physical strength.
  3. More time for quiet reflection and visiting with family/close friends.
  4. More time for notifying friends of the deceased.
  5. More time for out of town visitors to make travel plans.
  6. More time for gathering memories, photos, letters – by mail in many cases.
  7. Minimize expenses until after you have made necessary financial arrangements.
  8. Compatible with interment – graveside service for family and close friends (let someone else arrange it), followed by memorial service later.
  9. Family and friends play a larger role in planning and putting on the memorial.
  10. Videotaping (not appropriate at funeral) lets out-of-towners see the memorial.
  11. People are more relaxed at a memorial, and will say more. There is more humor and more spontaneity.
  12. Process of planning and preparing the memorial prolongs grieving in a constructive way and contributes to healing.
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