5 Release Ideas for your Memorial Ceremony or Celebration of Life

A 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. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your release ceremony. 

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. BONUS: Get a free printable Butterfly Coloring page.

Monarch butterflies are considered a sign from heaven

Monarch butterflies are considered a sign from heaven

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 wildflower packets on Etsy with your loved one’s name and ceremony date.

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.

our lantern release for liam’s first birthday in heaven.

our lantern release for liam’s first birthday in heaven.

write a message to your loved one

write a message to your loved one

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.

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 environmental conscious.

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.

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