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What To Do When A Loved One Wants No Funeral?

Grief – – a sense of absence, loss, and longing. The unavoidable experience and sensation. If we aim to love and be free in our expression of that love, we are destined to experience grief. Amid this chaotic and overwhelming experience of loss, someone is handed the responsibility to take the pieces of our loved ones’ life and craft a story. In the midst of great pain, we must write. We must record. We must remember. How do we do that if a loved one requests no memorial or funeral service, but those remaining want to acknowledge this loved one and still honor the request for no public display? What can be done? We can have a reunion service so that we may give everyone the opportunity to share their gratitude during their grieving.


How to Express Honor Without a Funeral

Now the question is, how are we to gather together for a reunion service to mourn the loss of the one we loved? Well, just as we would a funeral or memorial, we join together in one place with food and stories to comfort one another during our time of grief with expressing gratitude for that persons’ life. However, the focus settles on what’s happening within our journeys. Let’s start with ideas on what we share when telling those stories.

Share How Your Life Has Been Enriched From This Person’s Presence

We begin with what the person brought into our lives that made the loved one a part of our story or what he contributed to turning our story into what it has become. For each of us, there is usually a moment where the person we mourn played a part in our life that stays even when he leaves. When we remember and share our memorable experiences, we experience joy reflecting on the part that person played in our life. Also, when we listen to stories being told by others who are grieving, we bring a touch of joy in reliving our moments of the one being missed. Personally, when revisiting emails, cards, or even text messages, I am brought comfort in that grieving pain from the encouraging words I’ve shared with the one I’m missing. It was when losing Pops that I experienced the importance of voicemails. I have a total of eight voicemails I’ve saved from him, and it’s those messages that have brought joy to my moments of grieving.


Revisit Cherished Notes, Texts, Voicemails, and Cards

Along with those, it’s when looking back at cards and even a few emails that bring back memories of our conversations. That is when my thoughts of sadness are changed into gratitude for the love I received from the one I am grieving. Pops can live on and comfort my times of grief through the love he gave me. It is always when I share my memories with others who experienced their time with him; I find a heart of gratitude through my grief because I am blessed to have the memories of Pops in my life.


Grieve and Heal Together With Those Who Share the Love

So like me, I believe it’s when others are reminded and share their events recorded with others, everyone can bring the blessing of remembering while grieving together. Yes, some may find it difficult to retell their memories of the one they grieve, which is truly understandable. However, sharing our stories of gratitude during our time of grieving allows us to bring the bond we have with others closer together. During those times when grieving people share their experiences of the one missed, the person continues to live on through their memories and reflections.


Gratitude–A Balm of Healing

What we are blessed to remember is not something that replaces our grief yet keeps the loved ones’ life and crafted stories alive. When we take the time to recap our joyful memories of what’s written, recorded, or remembered, we are blessed to bring gratitude to our grieving with a reunion service instead of a funeral or memorial.


Consider writing a personal tribute expressing how this person’s presence indelibly marked your life in such a meaningful way. If you want help writing the sentiments of your heart, give Your Last Story a call at 800-887-5064.

Live Long and Prosper

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