Funerals are never something that someone wants to dive deep into planning; it means a loss, and even if that loss means someone left behind some final years of pain and sickness, it’s still hard for those close to the deceased to handle. If you’re dealing with a death, it can be a difficult time to plan a ceremony especially when you’re experiencing an onset of heavy, intense emotions. However, after some deep breathing and recollecting, planning a funeral can be smooth and in some cases, even healing.
The last thing anyone wants to think about at such a fragile time is monetary issues. However, it’s something that needs to be dealt with, and the first thing that needs to be addressed (after getting the death certificate and having the funeral home hold the body) is coming up with a budget. It’s important to know how much money you’re planning on spending. Talk to a funeral director (who can help with most of the funeral planning), and before you try to take money out of your own pocket, see if the deceased had a life insurance plan. Life insurance is there to help cover costs when unexpected events happen, and funeral costs are often paid for by a payout.
However, if that’s not an option, try pooling money from all the close friends and relatives. Funerals can be costly, but it’s worth it to have a special moment to honour your loved one as well as for friends and family to have a chance to gain some closure. As a last resort, talk to your funeral director about payment plans, and see what instalment options are available.
Working out the Service Details
Decide what kind of service you’d like to have; it helps if you or any other relative knows of any specific requests from the deceased. However, many people don’t talk about death (especially their own), so brainstorm some ideas with close friends and family and see what ideas work the best within your budget. It really helps the grieving process to have more people involved, and the more input that’s given will lead to a more sentimental ceremony.
Cremation is often times a less costly option, and it still allows for an opportunity to have a nice memorial service. A simple graveyard burial is usually on the lower end of the price spectrum as well. If you want a more formal wake with an open casket, then it’s important to talk to your funeral director to help with those arrangements. Also, if your budget allows and you aren’t planning on having a traditionally religious ceremony, then you might want to consider choosing a celebrant. A celebrant will plan out the ceremony exactly as you wish, leaving you time to grieve, mourn, and heal with family and friends.
Planning the Ceremony
After the technical details and arrangements are out of the way, it’s time think about what the actual memorial service will consist of. This is the most important part as it’s a way of bringing closure to all those mourning the deceased. However, it can also be the hardest thing to plan. Arranging locations and working out finances allows your mind to slightly drift from the direct reason you’re planning the ceremony in the first place. Actually arranging the details of the ceremony and trying to pick what special moments to share can bring about the same pain that was felt in the beginning. It’s a good time to commiserate with friends and family and come up with a service that will honour your loved one in a personal way.
Decide on a theme. If you’re loved one was a musician, poet, philanthropist, or a teacher, cater to whatever they loved the most in life. After all, a funeral is a celebration of the life that person lived, and it’s important to recognise the accomplishments they made as well as what personally inspired him/her.
Consider serving the favourite food of the deceased. Sharing food is a big part of any family gathering, and it would really help close in on the last service you’re going to spend dedicated to this person.
Make sure whoever writes/shares the eulogy incorporates a well-rounded picture of your loved one, and share stories that the deceased would want to remember afterwards; successful, romantic, and funny times are a great way to end the ceremony, and it allows everyone to learn something new or even gain new insight on who the deceased was. Avoid sharing anything that might stir up unsettling emotions, and always have tissues handy. Sharing moments that made you laugh can help bring a light-hearted moment to an otherwise sombre occasion.
A Time to Reflect
Losing a loved one is a hard moment to embrace, and planning a funeral is never a preferable experience. However, it’s a good opportunity to find closure, come together with friends and family, and give your loved one a memorable and precious goodbye. After working out the initial details, a loving service can leave those closest to the deceased with a renewed sense of peace.