Getting Creative with a Traditional Funeral

Getting Creative with a Traditional Funeral

It’s daunting to realize we have only one chance to plan a funeral that honors our loved one and brings comfort to family members. There is an overwhelming sense of needing to “get it right.” Faced with numerous decisions, it can be hard to decide between a traditional service and a uniquely creative one.

Charles Dannel, fifth generation owner of Dannel Funeral Home in Sherman, says you don’t have to choose between the two, as there are many ways to blend traditional and creative elements.

“A traditional funeral for my grandparents consisted of a service with a casket and flowers and pallbearers in attendance, where clergy provided words of comfort, followed by the burial,” Charles says. “Today there are wonderful ways to recognize your loved one’s life, and you can do so within a traditional framework.”

Below are a few examples:

  • Planning around a theme––the ’50s, education, sports, or the military
  • Selecting a unique casket (choose from many styles and colors) and “decorating” it with photos and loving sentiments
  • Setting out notecards for guests to write their special memories
  • Inviting people to plant a memorial tree, or send flowers to someone they love
  • Displaying personal items such as a childhood scrapbook, a framed degree, a fishing pole
  • Providing guests with a bookmark customized with a cherished poem or quotation
  • Hosting a “Celebration of Life” at a community theater or event center, providing refreshments, and staying a while to talk, laugh, and love.

“There is tremendous value in simply coming together to remember and honor a life well lived,” Charles says. “During the planning conference, we will listen first and then offer options based on what is most meaningful and affordable.

“Every family is unique in how they choose to celebrate their loved one. Every thoughtful decision allows for the journey towards acceptance and peace. Services remind us all of our mortality and of the love we give to the people in our lives, whether it’s the families we are born into or those who have bonded together through friendship and relationship.”

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