Make it Meaningful

Make it Meaningful

The funeral, while serving to help you acknowledge your loss, also serves as an opportunity to recognize and honor that which made your loved one special. Contemporary thought, as it relates to funerals, incorporates not only a person’s religious tradition, if any, but also allows you to remember your loved one’s hobbies, interests, or certain qualities, which made them like no other person.

If you have attended a funeral recently, you may have seen a collage of photographs, a memorial video tribute, personal items of the deceased on display, special mementos, storytelling from close friends or family, special life tribute ceremonies, balloon releases or any other number of unique tributes. All of this is done to help make the funeral more personal, to illustrate that, which was unique about the person’s life, and to help those who have lost someone special begin to heal.

To help you begin the process of planning a unique tribute, think of your answers to the following questions:

  • What could your loved one do better than anyone else?
  • When you think of your loved one, what do you think of?
  • What were your loved one’s hobbies or special interests?
  • What were some of your fondest memories of your loved one?
  • What was your loved one passionate about?
  • What was your loved one's faith or spiritual belief?

The answers to these or similar questions will help you pinpoint those qualities and activities that are most identifiable with your loved one.

The Cournoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center is committed to providing an event as unique as your loved one’s life. We can help guide you in this process and share ideas or make recommendations to help you plan a special and fitting tribute.

It is not uncommon for families to say they prefer a party over a funeral, and wish to have their event unlike any other funeral they have attended in the past. We can help you explore ideas, from simple to more elaborate, as choices for personalization.

Consider just a few of the things that can make a funeral unique and personal:

Meaningful Displays - Was dad a bowler? A display of his bowling gear and trophies will honor his love of the sport.
Distinctive Scents - If mom loved to bake, have some freshly baked cookies at the service. The aroma will bring back fond memories for many in attendance.
Unique Keepsakes - If your loved one was the family photographer, create a keepsake (ornament or other small token) featuring his or her favorite photo.
Transportation - If grandpa was an antique car enthusiast, consider using an antique vehicle as a hearse or to escort the hearse to the cemetery.
Photography - Guests enjoy seeing photos that reflect the individual’s life and the other people who were important to them throughout all stages of life. Photos can be gathered and taped to poster board, which are then displayed on easels, or create a digital display of photos that can be displayed on a monitor throughout the visitation.
Special Participation - Did your sister sing in the church choir? Invite the choir to sing one of her favorite songs at the service.
Food/Beverage - Did your brother love going to the ballpark? Serve ballpark-inspired snacks and refreshments during or after the service.
Live Music - Did grandpa play in a band in his younger years? Honor that with live music after the service.
Customized Menu - Did Uncle Bill love to cook? Ask the caterer to prepare some of his favorite foods for the lunch.
Floral Arrangements - If grandma loved to garden, feature floral arrangements of flowers she loved.
Eulogy Writing - Personal tributes during a service can be exceptionally moving and give attendees insight into the individual’s life.

Memorial Donations

While in the past it was common for people to send flowers to a funeral, increasingly, families are requesting donations be made to an organization that had special meaning to their loved one or the family. For example, if a person died of cancer, the family may request donations be made to a cancer research organization. Or if a loved one volunteered at the local animal shelter, donations may be requested for that organization. We always recommend staying very local with memorial contribution requests, as you will know exactly where each penny of each donation will help the most. Some organizations even have donation envelopes that we can make available during the services.

Woodbound Inn

Family and Friends Reception

Time for socializing after the funeral provides family and other loved ones with a transition from what can be a somewhat surreal experience of a funeral back into the “real world.” Often, a lunch or dinner will be held after the funeral, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy refreshments while continuing to reflect on the life of the deceased and offer support to the family and other loved ones.  Please visit our ‘Local Information’ section for a list of our local reception venues.

Cathedral of the Pines

Unique Locations

In selecting a venue for your loved one’s service, you have a unique opportunity to choose a site that reflects the individual’s spiritual beliefs, favorite hobbies, or interests. Reflect on where your loved one enjoyed spending time and consider having the service at a favorite restaurant, botanical garden, park, or art gallery. If your loved one was a member of a church and sang in the choir, a church, with the choir singing a tribute, would be a wonderful setting. If he or she loved the outdoors, a local park would be a nice option. Always keep in mind that the Cournoyer Funeral Home can help you transform our facility to create an event that beautifully pays tribute to your loved one and showcases his or her interests and hobbies. We have comfortable settings both indoors and outdoors. Ultimately, it is important to choose a site that you feel will offer a comfortable setting in which to welcome guests and help them begin the grieving process.

We can assist you in arranging specific details with any venue you select. You will be asked about details such as an estimate for seating, technology needs, special dietary needs, and menu or catering options. The Cournoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center already partners with our best local venues that can provide memorable life tribute events and receptions, so please discuss your ideas with us prior to contacting a venue directly.

Cournoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center
Phone: (603) 532-6484 | Fax: (603) 532-5725
PO Box 486 | 33 River Street, Jaffrey, NH  03452

Funeral Home Office Hours

Our personnel and facilities are immediately available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
However, our office is only staffed during the following times or by special appointment.

Monday – Friday 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM     |     Saturday, Sunday & Holidays Closed

Please contact us with any questions, comments, or inquiries, and we will reply as soon as possible.

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