The marvelous Netflix series After Life opens with a woman speaking to the camera from a hospital bed. "If you're watching this, then I'm not around anymore. I couldn't say any of this to your face; it's too embarrassing. For you—not for me, obviously. You're never very good at hearing how lovely you are."
Before she died from cancer, the woman recorded for her husband a guide to life without her. He plays the video again and again. Her gift left from beyond the grave is heartfelt and funny and absolutely priceless. It's impossible to watch this part of the show without choking up.
We've seen something similar in real life. One Dignity Memorial® provider planned a funeral for a woman who left a voice recording to be played at her service. It conveyed to her family and friends how much she loved them and gave them encouragement about some of the life events they would face without her by their sides. It's hard to estimate the impact of hearing her say "I love you" one last time—especially during a funeral—but we can guess that it meant the world to those who were in attendance that day.
A video or voice recording are just a couple of leave-behind gifts. Here are seven more touching ways to let your loved ones know how much you care from beyond the grave.
Setting aside money to pay for a vacation
Maybe the two of you dreamed of traveling to Italy together but then never got to go. Or perhaps you want to be sure that your spouse and children continue your plans for a week at Disney World. If you have the means, setting aside cash to pay for an experience is a fun surprise and the kind of family inheritance that creates lasting memories.
Arranging for flower deliveries on special dates
A husband ordered a dozen roses for delivery on the first Valentine's Day after he passed. A father sent his daughter a birthday bouquet from the grave. A floral delivery on a special occasion—or for no occasion at all—can be prepaid with a local florist for one year or for a decade.
Writing anniversary or birthday cards for years into the future
Handwritten notes and cards are an easy and inexpensive way to surprise a loved one from beyond the grave. Put together a stack, complete with forever stamps, and give them to a close friend or another family member with instructions about when to send. They will become something your loved one looks forward to each year. Likewise, a letter sent to a daughter just before her wedding day or a son who becomes a dad for the first time can be a powerful present after your death. Here are more ways to show your love for someone who is grieving.
After a 9-year-old girl's mother died, her family had Pacific View Funeral Home & Cemetery in Los Angeles make a thumbprint pendant necklace for the girl. She wore it around her neck, and whenever she needed support or to feel her mother's presence, she would clasp the pendant and imagine that she was holding her mother's hand. One day, the girl lost the necklace. The family called the funeral home for help, and thanks to impeccable record-keeping, Pacific View was able to deliver a new thumbprint necklace to the girl. Learn more about ordering memorial jewelry.
A prepaid funeral or cremation
You can't save your children from the emotionally difficult parts of your death, but you can give them the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your wishes are met without worries about money by pre-planning your services. We can help you plan every detail and work with your budget so that when the day comes for your family to say goodbye, they can spend more time remembering and less time trying to figure out what to do. Read more about how prepaid funerals make a great gift.
Be inspired to plan your perfect service
A funeral or cremation memorial that celebrates the details that make you unique in the world takes a little thought and planning. Fill out the form to get your free copy of Imagine: A Memorial Inspiration Guide and start thinking about how you’d like to be remembered.