Deciding that a burial at sea is the right choice for your loved one is likely a decision that will bring you and your fellow mourners peace. It can be the most respectful send-off for anyone who loved being in, on, or near the ocean. When you are planning a burial at sea, you may decide to have a memorial ceremony before the interment, but you probably want to be selective in your guest list. Here are tips for handling invitations for a burial at sea.
Spread the Word Privately
In the age of online event pages and group invites, keep the invitations to a burial at sea private. Due to the nature of this sort of ceremony and interment, you likely will want to limit those who attend to only the closest friends and family members of the deceased. If you have an event page that others can see, it may start drama as people compare who was invited and who was not. Instead, send private, one-on-one emails or simply call up each person who is invited to let them know the details of the burial at sea.
Be Specific about Special Requests from the Start
As part of a burial at sea, some people opt to have each guest read something small aloud before gathering on the boat, while others want a certain dress code for the service. If you have any special requests for the send-off of your loved one, be sure to let guests know about them in writing via email. If the person does not have email, you may opt to send a letter through the mail to be sure that the mourners have all the information they need.
Contact Loved Ones Who Aren't Invited
Part of the responsibility of deciding on a small service is contacting people who may not be invited to it for logistical or personal reasons. If you are too upset to deal with it at this time, ask a friend or family member to do so. When contacting people who loved the deceased and may wonder why they are not invited, explain why you chose to have a burial at sea as well as why they cannot personally attend. Then be sure to offer alternative ways that they can express their grief. You may set up a charity donation page in the deceased person's honor, or you may suggest other ways that they can pay homage to the loved one.
Invite a Big Group to a Memorial Reception
Another option for those who are not invited to attend the burial at sea is a larger reception. If you decide to do this, you could invite people to the reception whether or not they are attending the at-sea service. This reception could be held on the same date as the interment or at a later time. This can be a gathering at a country club, banquet hall, or private home. While it should not have the formality of a funeral, you can plan for people to share memories in their honor and play music that the deceased person would have loved.
Finally, keep in mind that a burial at sea is a beautiful way to say your final goodbyes to someone. Unlike somber locales like cemeteries and mausoleums, most people associate being at sea with the enjoyment of life. It can be the perfect way to express your goodbyes to someone who lived life to the fullest, and it can even provide a happier farewell than any alternatives. When you handle the invitations with grace, you will be ready to say a tasteful, loving good-bye.
For more information on a burial at sea, contact a company like Serenity Sea Burials.