A Saying For A Lost Loved One Who Loved Animals Examples of Unique and Creative Funeral and Life Celebrations

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Examples of Unique and Creative Funeral and Life Celebrations

Have you noticed that a traditional funeral leaves you feeling sad and empty? Read the following examples of very unique and memorable celebrations of life. These go far beyond what you thought a funeral or memorial service would be. If we hadn’t experienced a funeral and thought that was the norm, we probably would have planned and attended fabulous events like the ones you’re about to read about. Perhaps they will inspire you with some ideas for creating a lasting tribute to your loved ones that friends and family will never forget. I wish you the best in your journey to truly personalize and capture the unique and special life that was lived.

Alicia Johnson, a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur, designed her service to include four separate wine tasting ceremony stations located in her garden at her suburban home. Her family and friends walked through each of the four stations, tasted wine and experienced important areas of her life. In the first, they listened to some of her favorite music while enjoying a special wine she had invested in and talked to each other about Alicia, her wine and her music. At the second station of the ceremony, the funeral director gave each attendee a message card to write words of comfort to the family if they chose while enjoying another wine and listening to their husband talk about their life together. At the third stop of the ceremony under an outdoor tent, they watched a tearful Alicia in a video in which she spoke to them from her bed just weeks before her death. She had heartfelt and loving messages for more than ten members of her family and friends.

Jack Killington, was a fifty-two year old member of the Mohawks Running Club. To conclude his service, as he entered the hearse, he was escorted to the other side by members of the Mohawk club who tearfully ran the two miles to the cemetery.

Dave had a love of animals and had many safari adventures with his wife Margaret. It seemed fitting to make animals the focus of his life celebration.

At Dave’s service:

Funeral attendees were invited to greet the family under an outdoor tent outside the zoo gates where coffee and cocktails were served and an opportunity for informal social exchange between family and friends was provided. They were given a 10 inch square commemorative folder stamped with the ceremony agenda and photos of Dave throughout his life.

At the appointed hour of the service, family and friends boarded one of several waiting zoo trains and began a slow journey to the first “ceremony presentation,” this one in front of the outdoor bear pavilion. At this station, several tripods held enlarged photographs of animals that had been taken by Dave. These were displayed next to a podium with a microphone.

After family and friends got off the trains and gathered around the podium, Dave’s wife Margaret began a discussion about her husband and, in particular, their safari experiences, dedication and love of animals. In concluding her remarks, she invited others to share memories and memories of her husband. The group then boarded the trains again for the short journey to the next “Ceremony Station”.

At the second stop, in the lion pavilion, several more easels displayed blown-up articles about Dave, his work and dedication to animals, and a display table held Dave’s PETA awards and PETA donation envelopes. Dave’s best friend, Don Strattermier, began the presentation, talking about his friendship with Dave and Dave’s love of animals. He then introduced Christine, who shared her “behind the scenes” experience of Dave’s work at PETA, sharing some of the little-known but admiral successes and advances he has made on behalf of animal rights. At the conclusion of her speech, the audience was given another opportunity to make spontaneous remarks.

The companions boarded the trains again and proceeded to the zoo’s arboretum. Chairs in front of a large screen allowed family and friends to sit while watching an eight-minute slideshow of the deceased’s life; photographs taken from the family album depicted Dave from his childhood to the present, including several safari scenes. The last photo was a close-up of Dave’s face. As that picture remained on the screen, the audience heard four phone rings, followed by Dave’s voice on his personal home message machine, a message most of the audience was familiar with: “Hi, this is Dave. I’m on safari, leave me a message and I hope to meet you along the trail somewhere someday.” After the slide presentation, each person was given a card and three out of five pens to write a message to Dave and/or Margaret.

After the presentation of the slides, an opportunity was given to those who attended to pay their last respects to the deceased, whose casket body lay in state among the leaves and flowers of the arboretum. As they passed the casket, each was greeted by Margaret, who received their message cards, hugs and kind words.

At the conclusion of the viewing, the funeral cortege formed in the zoo parking lot for the trip to the cemetery.

The casket was lifted atop Dave’s beloved 75-year-old elephant, Tranzago, which began a slow journey to the “Valley of Teachers”; a well-manicured zoo animal cemetery followed by friends and family on foot. Prior permission was obtained from the local mayor’s office for the burial.

Although the family was not religious, the funeral director felt that Dave had lived a spiritual life and suggested that a local Buddhist monk and friend of Dave and Margaret, who could draw parallels between his devotion to animals and his own spirituality, t is asked to make brief remarks. for this purpose in the devotional service.

The funeral director also suggested that Don Strattermier stay at the grave until the casket was lowered and the grave filled. It should be noted that Tranzago refused to leave the burial site until the burial was over.

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