Honoring a Loved One through Funeral Personalization

Honoring a Loved One through Funeral Personalization

In this episode of the Good Grief podcast, Amber Miller sits with host Pete Waggoner to discuss the topic of funeral personalization and how it can help people grieve. They explore why personalizing a funeral—from the flowers and decorations to the food after church service—can help the bereaved be reminded of their connection to their loved one, and how it can memorialize the legacies of those who have passed away. They discuss the different personalization options for funerals, and how to determine which elements are most meaningful. The episode also shares some tips on how to plan a personalized service that can provide a sense of comfort and closure.


  1. It’s in the meanings behind the elements of a funeral where personalization comes into play.
  2. Grieving can be a creative and meaningful process.

In this episode:

[0:40] Pete brings up the question of using “are” versus “were” when referring to the deceased. Amber explains how using the present or past tense depends on what the loved ones are comfortable with but that the passing of someone does not take away who they have always been as a person.

[2:33] Amber and Pete go into the topic of funeral personalization and how it can help provide comfort to the bereaved. Amber shares how the unique parts of a funeral can bring healing and hope to the grieving family.

[7:44] The two talk about how flowers and decorations can be a major part of the personalization process and set the scene for the visitors during the service.

[13:51] Pete and Amber discuss how food can also be incorporated into the funeral and how it can be used to create a meaningful experience for the community. From having food trucks at the service to having a traditional dinner afterward, they explore how the food can be used to honor the life of their loved ones.

[19:01] Pete shares a story about how his sister’s friends and family contributed to the personalization of her funeral. The two talk about how creativity and resources can be used to make a special service that reflects the personality of the deceased and engages the grieving loved ones.


  1. O’Connell Funeral Homes
  2. Amber Miller
  3. Patriot Guard
  4. Read Show Transcript


  1. “That’s how they are. They’ll always be that way for us.”Amber Miller on referring to a deceased loved one
  2. “Oftentimes, if a funeral doesn’t feel meaningful or personalized, it sometimes doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel like it’s something that I can move forward from.”Amber Miller

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