There is a misconception that the only options for a memorial or funeral service are traditional. These may be traditional graveside services or chapel services. The truth is, there are several options available. These options are unique and can offer a final send-off and goodbye to your loved one that fits their personality and their lifestyle. Here are a few ideas to consider for you or your loved one.
A lantern release is a memorial option that many people consider. You can do this release in several ways. The traditional method is to use floating paper lanterns. The lanterns raise in the air from the heat of a small tea-light candle. There are other ways you can observe this memorial.
For example, you can use memorial paper lanterns. These may be plain or have the person’s memorial information on them. You may also include the cremation ashes in each of the lanterns. Heaving farewell messages inside of or printed on the lanterns is an option as well.
With this type of memorial release, you will need to check local laws. There may be specific times when lantern releases can happen. There may also be specific types of lanterns that can be used.
A butterfly release memorial is increasing in popularity with many people. This type of release uses live monarch butterflies. The butterflies are released at the end of the memorial ceremony. There are several beliefs regarding this type of memorial release and the symbol of using butterflies. Some believe butterflies signify the transition from this life to the next.
Butterfly release memorials are ideal if you are looking for an eco-friendly option to incorporate into the memorial. The butterflies go into nature and do not harm the land, plant life, or environment as a whole. You can choose other butterflies if monarchs are not ideal.
You can also work with a butterfly breeder or butterfly house to help confine the area of the release and keep the butterflies safe in a sanctuary area.
Floating lantern boats
Toro Nagashi is a Japanese memorial using floating paper boats. The boats, or memorials, are placed on the water. A small candle inside of the boats is lit and the boats are pushed lightly along the water. The water then takes the boats out to a lake, river, or ocean. Lanterns can be personalized or they can be plain. The lanterns are usually made of a biodegradable material that will not harm the environment.
If you would like to memorialize your loved one with this type of ceremony, you may have several options. These options can be the memorial information placed on the lanterns or the cremation ashes on the boat lanterns. You can also choose to have the release on a small lake or pond to confine the lanterns to one area or use a wide-open space that naturally occurs and flows.
A seed release is a way to help say goodbye to your loved one while giving something back to the environment. During this type of memorial, the seeds of a specific plant or wildflower are released into the area. Nature will take its course and the seeds will begin to grow over time. There are several options for seed releases and their accompanying memorial services.
For example, you can choose to have all of the ashes placed in a biodegradable urn containing a tree seed. This tree, along with the ashes, will grow in the area. You can also have individual memorial seed packs for the event. Some people also mix the ashes with seeds and place the mixture into memorial bags for planting.