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Funeral and Memorial Symbolic Gestures

Symbolic gestures within funeral and memorial services are sometimes used as a final good-bye to their loved one.  Rituals help to alleviate some of the pain felt towards loosing a loved one, especially if he or she dies suddenly and people do not have the opportunity to say goodbye. Symbolic gestures do not require a great deal of money or time, but the resulting feeling of comfort truly makes the event worthwhile. There are varying types of symbolic gestures so choose one that you feel comfortable with that truly represents your feelings.

Release Doves -- Doves represent love, peace, hope, purity, and innocence. They symbolize the spirit of the deceased flying towards the skies.  Check the internet to find one of the many companies who rent doves to families for this purpose.

Release Butterflies
-- Butterflies symbolize spirit, freedom and beauty as they take flight.  Check the internet to find one of the many companies who provide butterflies to families for this purpose.

Plant a Tree or Garden --This type of symbolic gesture provides an easy way for multiple people to contribute to the memorial service. Everyone can feel like they have played a role in remembering the person's life and celebrating memories. Looking for the perfect location? Contact the local Park and Recreation Department to see about donating a tree to a park.

Make a Wish -- Locate a nearby fountain where everyone can throw a coin in as they make a wish for the person who has passed away.  This type of gesture is easy for even the youngest children to partake.

Fly Kites -- Gather family members and friends together and fly a kite in memory of the person who has passed. Who said memorial services couldn't be fun?

Memory Circle -- Bring everyone together to a place that was of special importance to the person who has died. Have everyone join hands and take turns telling their favorite memory of the person. The circle creates a feeling of connectedness.

Name a Star -- Dedicate and name a star in memory of someone who has died. If you want it to be official, check out or  Hold the memorial service at night and let everyone find the dedicated star. This gesture works well with both adults and children, and every night they can look up at that special spot and recall memories of your loved one.

Written By:  Kim Gibson



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