Saying our farewell used to have fixed (religious) practices, but more and more people prefer a personal ritual that they create or come up with themselves.
1. Ribbon ritual
The ribbon ritual preserves a connection with the soul of the deceased, although you have to say goodbye to their body. You can decorate or write a message on the ribbons. The ends of the ribbons are then tied together and placed in the hands of the deceased. The ribbons hang over the edge of the coffin. They are cut after the coffin is closed, but the deceased and the bereaved will always stay connected.
2. Life story
Each person journeys through their life. And each journey is filled with joy and sadness, discoveries and meetings, successes and challenges. Sharing the story of this journey when the end draws near can offer support. You can share your story with your family and friends or with a professional, who can turn the memories into a book about your life. Part of this book can be read aloud during the service (if you wish).
3. A burial shroud & pillow
Their wedding shirt, favourite dress, the shirt of their favourite soccerclub: you can give your loved one’s clothing new meaning by using them in a burial shroud or pillow. There are workshops to make your own burial shroud or you can leave it to a professional.
4. Remembrance symbols
Grief and sorrow often hide in small, daily objects. A watch, a pair of shoes, a song or a flower someone used to like. Symbols like these can become a physical reminder of the deceased.
5. A stuffed toy for consolation
Death is often difficult to grasp for children. A stuffed toy can help console them. For example, a monkey with extra-long arms for the child to take comfort in. Some stuffed toys have a zipper compartment to store a drawing. Other toys have a shirt with a photo, name or text on it.
6. Memorial hike
A memorial hike is a great way to recall memories, in the peace and quiet of nature. Your walk could take you along locations that were important during the deceased’s life. Some of these hikes, like the Riet Emans Memorial Hike, have grown into annual events.