Personalizing Funerals with Sentimental Releases

by M-Gillies
hundreds of paper lanterns with tiny lights are released into the night sky

In some Eastern cultures sky lanterns are released to help guide the spirits of their ancestors back to the grave.

Personalized funerals are continuously growing to become an occasion of life celebrations, and what better way to memorialize the life lived than by customizing the sendoff celebration to reflect the passions and joys that the dearly departed had in life.

With that, some people have been using balloon releases to mark a remembrance to their loved. This can be done by going to a party store and having a number of balloons filled, handed to attendees and released during or after the memorial ceremony.

When it comes to spiritual significance, a balloon release is similar to the Eastern tradition of releasing sky lanterns (as known as Kongming lanterns), in which a paper lantern is lit and released into the sky. The belief is that these lanterns will help guide the spirits of their ancestors back to the grave.

When it comes to balloon releases, one additional customization can be having personalized messages written and placed within the balloon to travel with the balloon, a metaphor for sending a message to a loved one who is no longer with us.

Dove releases have occurred for many years and have long been associated with symbol of peace and freedom, but as part of a funeral, their symbolic meaning represents letting go and promoting the healing process. In some cases, doves have also been seen as the representation of a loved one’s spirit, flying away to heaven and freedom.

Butterflies have, for many cultures represented transformation. They mark a change from one existence to another. Because of this, a butterfly release becomes and fitting and meaningful tribute to a loved one’s transformation from this life to the next.

Famed Gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson is probably best remembered for his funeral sendoff in which Johnny Depp financed a rocket, in which his late friend would be blown out of. For many years, Thompson spoke of how he wanted to go out with a blast and even designed the rocket in which his ashes would be fired from. While this may seem like an exuberant expense fit for a celebrity, there are companies out there that do specialize in mixing cremated remains within the gunpowder of fireworks so that even the dearly departed can go out with a vibrant light show that will leave everyone in awe.

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