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Slideshow / Video Montage:

 

Enlist a service (or a creative person in the family) to create a memorial slide show or video to play during the memorial.  It can be a challenge to narrow down what photos and/or video clips to use, but as a rule of thumb, 3 to 4 minutes is a good length of time.

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Plant a Tree:

 

Everyone invited can bring a handful of soil from their own garden when the tree is being planted all the different soils can be placed in the ground with the tree.

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Tree of Life/Decorate a Memorial Tree:

 

A tree of life can also bring a joyful, positive note to a memorial service.  If holding the service outside, consider hanging photos or other mementoes of your loved one from a tree's branches, or around its trunk. If inside, a single decorative branch or small potted tree works too. The tree personalises the memorial service and gives everyone the opportunity to connect over memories.

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Memorial Stones:

 

Set up a table with river rock and permanent markers, and instruct each person (if they wish) to write a brief note on the rock expressing their love, grief, or cherished memories.

The memorial stones can then be read aloud during the service, or be scattered on a hiking trail, kept by the family, placed around a garden bed, in a vase etc.

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Send Messages To Your Loved One: 

 

Get everyone to write a personal message to their loved one (during or before the ceremony).  You can read them aloud during the ceremony or you can burn them and let the messages travel upwards in a cloud of smoke.  The ashes can be planted in the ground or in a memorial tree.

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Open Mic / Picture Pass Around:

 

Having an 'open mic' and letting friends and family come up and share stories can be a great way to reflect and remember the loved one who passed.  Many times, these will include every emotion imaginable – from tears of sadness to roaring laughter.

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