A Memorial Release can be an incredibly healing part of the grief journey. We are releasing a gift to our loved one, but it can also be a way to release some of the pain of the loss. You can incorporate a memorial release into a funeral or celebration of life, birthday celebration, or angelversary. Here are a few memorial release ideas to help you plan your release ceremony.
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Butterfly Release - This is my favorite type of release, as butterflies have always been considered a sign from heaven in my family. This release is limited by season and weather: the temperature should be above 60 degrees F and it cannot be raining. You could have a mass release where all butterflies are in one box and released at once, or an individual release where all participants are given their own butterfly to let go. Vibrant Wings has great information, FAQs, and pricing for your butterfly release.
Wildflower Release - A wildflower release has the added bonus that the flowers can also attract butterflies after they grow! I love Bulk Wildflowers (https://www.bulkwildflowers.com) because they have a HUGE selection of mixed wildflowers or individual flowers. Be sure to get flowers that thrive in your growing zone so you can enjoy them for years to come. You can then get personalized seed packets to give to your guests or print your own at home. Release your wildflowers in your Memorial Garden to have your loved one’s flowers with you always.
Paper Boat Release - This type of release is wonderful because it can be done anywhere there is water; a pond, river, lake, or the ocean are all perfect. Paper is also very environmentally friendly! Each person can write a message and fold their own boat while focusing their thoughts on the loved one. Here is a great step by step tutorial for folding a paper boat (with pictures!) or this awesome infographic that you could print for each guest. This is the perfect way to include smaller siblings and other children in the event. I think this is my favorite release type as it ticks all the boxes…environmentally friendly, inexpensive, family friendly, and can be done almost anywhere.
These last 2 release ideas are NOT environmentally friendly and I advise choosing one of the previous options but I did want to include them as options.
Lantern Release - A very popular release is the lantern release. We did a lantern release on Liam’s first birthday in heaven (he would have been 2) and it was so cathartic for me. You can get lanterns in many different quanities on Amazon. This is a less desired release type as it is not very environmentally friendly and in many areas can have an increased risk of starting a fire. Please use extreme caution and sense if you choose this type of release.
Balloon Release - Balloon releases are extremely popular, especially for child loss. Like lantern releases, these are not particularly good for the environment, but using latex balloons and cotton twine are the best option if you choose this type of release. My recommendation is for one of the previous releases that are more environmentally conscious.
Any of these releases would be a beautiful addition to your memorial ceremony, celebration of life, birthday, or angelversary. Check out my post 6 Ways to Honor a Lost Loved One on their Birthday or Angelversary for more ideas. I’d love to hear about your memorial release in the comments so please share! Also, be sure to check out my Pinterest Board for more ideas for your Memorial Ceremony or Celebration of Life.