Saying Goodbye to a Loved One

A Guide to Planning a Memorial

A memorial is the best way to celebrate the life a deceased loved one. Read the article below to learn the various considerations you should make when planning a memorial.


Memorials are held after the burial. Therefore, you may choose to hold the service a few months after the funeral or as an anniversary. The best time to hold the memorial is during a weekend or holiday when friends and family members are free. Inform them in advance for them to make travel arrangements. 


Memorials can be held at a place of worship, the deceased's home or a rented location. You could also hold the service at a place the departed was sentimentally attached to. For example, if your loved one was a racing enthusiast, you could hold the ceremony at a racing circuit. The location you chose should be accessible. The invite cards should have a small map to guide guests to the venue. The area should have ample parking space and essential facilities, such as toilets.


Below are some tips to help you create a memorial program; 

  • Decide on a theme. It should closely relate to the life and times of the deceased. As such, friends and family can learn lessons from the departed and reflect on their personal lives.
  • Who will speak at the memorial? The speakers should be people that shared a close relationship with the deceased.
  • Set time limits for each of the speakers.
  • Entertainment. The songs or poems played at the memorial should be in line with the event's theme.
  • The master of ceremony should be a cheerful person who can lighten the sombre mood.

Memorial Gifts

A memorial gift could be as simple as a portrait of the deceased presented to the immediate family. However, you could consider something more thoughtful, such as donating to a charity that the departed used to support. You could also plant a tree to remember the deceased.


Friends and family can share a meal after the memorial. It is a perfect opportunity to catch up and check on the immediate family. Preferably, engage a caterer, as it would be challenging to prepare meals and attend the memorial. With adequate funds, you could opt for a full catering service comprising meats, starches, vegetables and fruits. However, if on a tight budget, you could opt for light meals and some drinks.

When planning a memorial, consider the date, location, program, memorial gifts and the event reception.