There are a number of ways of remembering the person who has died after the funeral.
- A gathering immediately after the funeral
- A memorial ceremony
- Scattering or interring the ashes
- A memorial stone or plaque for the grave
- A memorial web site
We live on in the hearts and memories of those we love and whose lives we have touched. What the heart has once known it will never forget.
A gathering after the funeral
This can include food, drink and, of course, talking. We find that if the funeral has put the person who has died centre stage, with a good eulogy, a personal ceremony, and there are boards of pictures and memorabilia for everyone to look at, then the focus of discussion remains on the person, stories and anecdotes are shared. This part of the funeral process is about reintegrating with the world within a period of deep mourning, and may be the first time that those present feel their new position in the family, as a widow, the new elder, a person without parents.
A memorial ceremony
Some families wish to have a private ceremony with a memorial for everyone to attend, sometimes soon after, sometimes after a longer time has elapsed.
The memorial can be held anywhere that feels appropriate, and without a coffin present the choice is broad. In many ways the ceremony will have similarities to the funeral, and will focus on the life of the person who has died.
It is still a good idea to have something present to represent the person, perhaps a table of photographs and objects, and also to have a time when, as with the Committal at a funeral, everyone has a chance to say their final farewell and gain some sense of closure.
Disposing of the ashes
Ashes are usually either interred (buried or placed in a vault) or scattered on land or on water. Many families keep this as a private and informal ceremony. It can be a very important part of the whole funeral process, and another opportunity to say your last farewell and create an association with a special final resting place.
Helpsheet: guidelines for disposing of ashes