Football, the American kind played with a spheroid shaped ball called a pig skin, is the be all end all fall activity for millions of Americans.
Fans purchase large screen televisions just to watch the game. Others set up multiple televisions in their game day viewing rooms. All manner of hats, shirts, blankets, sweaters, jackets, mugs, and glasses in team colors are sold each year. Added to the dollars spent on equipment and tickets to events, it all adds up to $100 billion spent each year by fans. Football fans are mighty in number.
It’s no surprise then when a fan dies and the family is putting together a funeral or memorial service, thoughts turn to how to incorporate the football passion in the service in a tasteful manner.
This is a great idea. One of the most important benefits of a funeral service is having the opportunity to gather with others who knew and loved this person and reflect on the good times had together. Why not include something he or she enjoyed?
So, talk to your funeral director. Ask for ideas. There are caskets and urns that are made for fans. A team blanket can be draped over the casket or the person. Don’t forget the music. Ask about having the team song or alma mater played at some point in the service. Consider printing the words to the song in the program so everyone can remember their friend and sing together.
Think beyond the things you can bring in or wear and ask the eulogist to share some of the stories that make you laugh. You know, the time the car was loaded with the entire family and they drove three hours to the game only to realize when they got there the tickets were left on the table at home. Share the story of the fabulous tailgate or the terrible tailgate, freezing in the cold, or getting soaked in the rain, or losing the car in the parking lot. There are bound to be stories. Talk about how much friends and family enjoyed sharing the football passion with the person who died.
It all pulls people closer to the one they loved. Remembering the life, not just the cause of the loss, is the beginning of learning to live with the loss.