Our Tip of the Month
Holding a memorial service in a natural setting is a perfect way to honor a loved one who enjoyed the outdoors. What’s more, nature is healing. It can soothe the souls of those who are grieving and provide a perfect backdrop for sharing memories of the person who died. Creating a memorial tree decorated with flowers and photos of your loved one will personalize the space and add a touch of warmth.
At any time before the memorial, choose a wooded location for the service where you can create a memorial tree. Next, gather photos of your loved one from various stages of their life. If they’re snapshot size, take them to a photo shop or Walgreen’s and have them enlarged so that they’ll fit 5-by-7 or 8-by-10-inch photo frames. If you don’t have frames on hand, you can find inexpensive ones at a local big box store or online. You may also want to ask friends or relatives if they have some frames you can use. If possible, choose wooden, rustic looking frames, which will look beautiful when attached to the memorial tree. Mount the photos in the frames, and put them aside until the day the service is being held.
Next, gather up a dozen or so mason jars. (Again, if you don’t have them on hand, ask your friends and family if they have some to spare.) You will also need some string or wire to hang the finished decorations from the memorial tree.
The day before the memorial service, visit your local florist and choose a selection of flowers to place in the mason jars. Choose your loved one’s favorite blooms, or mix them up to create a colorful display. Store them in the refrigerator overnight to keep them fresh. Then place them in the mason jars the next day. Tie string or wire cut in varying lengths around the mason jar lids.
When you arrive at your chosen location, ask your guests to help you attach the photos of your loved one to the memorial tree. If you wish, ask each one to share a memory as they do so. Or simply hang the pictures in silence, allowing each person to appreciate their memories alone. After the pictures are in place, ask each guest to choose a flower-filled mason jar and hang it from a tree branch. The finished memorial tree will be a stunning visual reminder of your loved one and their life.