The Wishing Well: mourners’ memories

There are lots of things that can be done to personalise a funeral. Peter told me about a really helpful and lovely activity he did at his beloved daughter’s funeral. He has graciously allowed me to share the idea in the hope it helps other families the way it helped his.

The memento pen and wishing well

As people arrived at Amanda’s “Celebration of Life service”, they were given an inscribed pen and a coloured piece of paper. (The pens were sourced online from a Queensland company and arrived in just a couple of days.)

People at the service were asked to write a couple of words to describe Amanda. The pieces of paper were then put into a ‘Wishing Well’. In this case, Peter was able to source a perspex box online, “but a ceramic or decorative bowl or any other keepsake that a loved one may own”.

He said it was a “resounding success”.

Amanda’s Wishing Well offered her children an insight into just how wonderful she was, as seen by the eyes of the people who knew her.

“It’s a simple, unique and memorable way to remember someone who has passed away. Different people have different words to describe people and the collection of so many wonderful, thoughtful, carefully chosen words, make many memories that can bring a smile, even a tear to the driest eye,” Peter said.

Inscribed pens became a memento of Amanda for mourners to take home

Sadly Amanda died of metastatic breast cancer at just 50 years old. She bought The Bottom Drawer Book: the after death action plan, and that’s how I ‘met’ her lovely dad via email.

“Prior to her passing she was busy completing all the pages of the book for us to follow on her death. She was a professional, everything had to be right,” her dad told me.

Peter used some of Amanda’s words in her eulogy.

“She had written some wonderful words about her children and her friends. Your Book helped the family to plan her funeral – not what WE like, but what she WANTED.

‘A marked effect on the children’

Peter said the Wishing Well worked a treat and all those amazing and personal descriptions were passed on to Amanda’s children.

“Every word received was so positive that we believe it will have a marked effect on how the children see and remember their Mother.”

A big thank you to proud and loving dad for Peter for sharing this great memorial activity. May Amanda continue to rest in peace knowing that her children know what a great human she was.

About the author

Author Lisa Herbert

Lisa Herbert is a death awareness advocate, a cemetery wanderer, journalist and audio producer, and author of The Bottom Drawer Book: the after death action plan – an informative, modern, and quirky workbook and funeral planning guide for those who want to prepare for the inevitable. The third edition is available in Australia for $29.95.  For international buyers, The Bottom Drawer eBook is AU$11.99 on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, Booktopia and Google Books. To purchase, click HERE.

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