The type of memorial service you create to remember your loved one may not be as important as the effort to avoid regrets afterward. The following are some thoughts about attempting to reduce the “should‘a, would’a, could‘a”, feelings of regret or guilt in the wake of saying goodbye to a loved one:
“Would’a” issues begin with “I wish we had waited, it was too fast.” This is by far the most common regret I hear from my clients.
Not having a service at all, and avoiding the issue completely. This is another common occurrence that can result in later regret.
The realization that more is not necessarily better. Plan a service that is your style, honoring your loved one by respecting and upholding their wishes, within your means.
Try replacing any of the “should’a” questions with “what needs to be done?”.
“Could‘a” issues can be overwhelming with all the possible options, so just do what makes the most sense for all involved.
There can be various social and family norms that many may expect. If it is time for a new tradition, or doing something differently because it honors your loved one’s wishes, Do it.
And lastly, I was recently in the car with other members of my family leaving the service of my mother. The service had concluded, and we had gotten back into the car to go to cemetery. I was thinking about how disappointed I was with the minister’s officiating. He had been a long-time friend of my mother’s, and all he did was talk about himself, and his relationship with my mother, never even mentioning her name. I was about to voice my opinion, when her husband spoke up in appreciation of the minister’s words. It was as if we had just attended different funerals. Which leads me to this final thought...
Regrets are personal, the experience of these services is also personal.
Let us acknowledge, that there is no such thing as a perfect service, and you cannot please everyone, do what is best for you and your loved one.
(We will discuss what makes for a great service in another post)
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