Considerations for Planning a Memorial for a Spouse
If your spouse has recently passed, you are likely dealing with some challenging tasks and emotions. Grief is difficult to deal with, and the added stress of planning a memorial can be hard to manage. You likely want to honor your spouse and give loved ones an opportunity to grieve together and reflect on memories, so some planning must go into the process. Read on for some considerations for planning a memorial for a spouse.
Take Your Time
Grief is not linear, nor does it present itself the exact same way from person to person. The loss of a spouse is significant and incredibly painful, and it is important that you take all the time you need before planning the memorial. Reach out to friends and family. Ask for the help you need. Make sure you are taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally. That way, you can plan a memorial for your spouse that fully expresses their legacy and the love you and your family have for them.
Consider Your Budget
Before making any decisions, consider your budget for the memorial service, burial options, and a monument. You will want to explore options that fit within that budget. For the burial, options include:
- Cemetery plot
- Burial vault
- Grave bench
An experienced monument company can help you evaluate your options and make the best choice for your specific needs.
Review the Last Will and Testament
If your spouse has passed, you are the most likely person to know where their will is located. You probably already know of any burial instructions they might have left behind. Even so, make sure the will is reviewed and your spouse’s intentions are honored. You may want to work with a wills and trusts attorney to make sure every legal step is taken. This will be very important if your spouse has a will and assets that need to be distributed.
Plan the Service
Planning a memorial service might seem like a daunting task. You may want to opt for a more traditional funeral service, or a celebration of life that focuses more on the happy memories loved ones shared with your spouse. Consider what your spouse would truly want. You are in a unique position as the person who likely knows best how they would want to be remembered.
Some elements of a service you might want to incorporate include:
If you and your spouse were religious, you might want to hold your memorial at your house of worship. Otherwise, you can choose an alternative public location. Your funeral home can help you make these arrangements.
Did your spouse have any special bible verses, quotes, or poems that they particularly loved? If not, consider choosing a passage or reading that encapsulates your spouse and gives the attendants the opportunity to reflect.
For religious people, a priest or clergy member might be the right choice for the leader of the service. Otherwise, a celebrant or even funeral director could be a good choice.
Some families choose to include photographs, posters, slideshows, guestbooks, and other personal touches for memorial services. This can help guests reflect on happy memories and remember your spouse throughout their life.
As their spouse, you might want to deliver the eulogy. However, it is completely alright to ask another family member or friend to write and deliver it.
You will want to choose some music for the memorial service that is coordinated with other elements. For example, if you are having a traditional Catholic ceremony, you might want to choose some hymns for the funeral.
Pallbearers are the people who will carry the casket if you have chosen a casket and want to have it present at the ceremony. Usually, these people are close friends and family. If you have chosen an option such as cremation, you will want to consider who will care for the urn.
Some people choose to record and/or stream memorial services. Talk to friends and family about arranging this.
Permanent Memorialization Options
Choosing a monument for your spouse is an important decision. Their gravesite is where you and other loved ones will come to remember and feel close to them in the future. You will want to carefully select a cemetery based on a number of factors, such as proximity to family and burial options. Work with your monument company to examine your options.
When it comes to a headstone or tombstone, you can choose from a variety of colors and materials, as well as styles. You can also choose something more unique, like a memorial bench or statue. It’s easy to customize your spouse’s monument with images, etchings, quotations, religious symbols, and much more.
If your loved on has passed recently, take your time and prioritize your emotional wellbeing. Reach out to those around you for help before beginning your memorial planning. Work with professionals to choose the best memorialization options for your spouse, your family, and yourself. Remember that a memorial is an opportunity for friends and family to come together and reflect on a beloved person, and the most important thing is remembering your spouse in a positive and loving environment.