|A bench plaque at a community park|
in Tucson, Arizona. Author image
For example, when a "viewing" (a funeral home visitation with the body in a casket) does not occur, there may or may not be an appropriate occasion for flowers. Charitable memorial designations are common, but the marriage of a memorial tribute with a lasting presence (beyond a cemetery grave marker) is comforting, practical, and often renders great benefit to others.
I recently met Jeanne when she was in Tucson to scatter her sister's ashes in the mountains. Her sister, Suzanne, had been a long time Tucsonian and member of the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists.
|The plaque honoring supporters. Author image|
If there is a charitable designation made, don't just stuff a check in an envelope. Call the organization and ask about their enduring opportunities. Consider exploring:
- the hospice that assisted the family; they may have a patio of inscribed pavers.
- a service organization that the family supports; they may have benches or furnishings that can be "named."
- a comment of caring once expressed by the deceased; "I love birds" could point to a memorial gift with the Audubon Society, or your local bird and wildlife conservation nonprofit may invite funding for fixtures in a local sancuary. Ask!
The beauty of the gesture is that its legacy is shared by so many, for many years to come.
This may also be a way to mark an anniversary of death.
Don't feel that you have to immediately identify and arrange a plaque or paver. There is so much going on in the weeks and months after a death. Why not consider this for an anniversary year?
Thank you for caring!