Article: Personal Portrait & Wishes Profile (by Faith Moore, from Celebrating a Life)

Here is a terrific list to ponder and help organize your thoughts. This is is from the book, Celebrating a Life; Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances). You can also answer these questions on behalf of the loved one who has passed away.

  • What traditions do you wish to have represented in your service?
  • What songs and instruments do you wish to have played, by whom, and why?
  • Quotations, passages, poetry, lyrics, and expressions: What do you wish to have read, printed, or used in some other way?
  • Stories: What stories do you wish to read aloud, have printed, or share in some other way?
  • What achievements would you like to have recognized in the ceremony?
  • Where would you prefer to have your service, ceremony or reception held?
  • What food and drink would you like to have served at your reception? Are there any special wishes around food?
  • What flowers, fruit, or other flora would you like to have as part of the ceremony or reception?  Is there a special way you would like to have them incorporated? Are there pets or other animals you would like to include or have represented in the service?
  • What symbols represent you and/or your loved one? What are your thoughts on how to use or display them?
  • Are there any colors or themes you would like to use to create the ceremony?
  • What clothing theme, uniform, or style of dress would you like guests, ushers, staff, guests, or honor guard to wear?
  • Other gatherings and living legacies: In addition to or in place of a memorial service and reception, what other celebrations would you like to have to remember you or your accomplishments?
  • Should donations be made to a specific charity in your name in lieu of flowers?

Excerpted from Celebrating a Life; Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances, by Faith Moore. Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 2009. ISBN 978-1-58479-765-4