When a friend or loved one dies, it’s devastating, but life must go on and you need to plan the funeral service. Funeral planning isn’t something you want to do while in the midst of grieving, but your loved one deserves to be remembered.
There are many difficult decisions that go into planning a funeral. It’s overwhelming, but the funeral home, your friends and relatives, and this guide helps you make the funeral ceremony planning a little easier.
The goal is a ceremony that honors and celebrates the life of your loved one. It’s something they would be proud of and happy with if they were there to see it.
Set Your Funeral Service Budget
If you’re lucky, then you have life insurance money to pay for services, but many die without it. You’re responsible to pay for everything and funerals cost thousands of dollars. Your first step is choosing a budget and sticking to it.
Your loved one doesn’t want you going bankrupt or becoming financially unstable because of their funeral service. You also have to think of your own future and how much debt you can handle.
Funeral homes try to get you to purchase high priced options, but think of what your loved one would want and how you can best honor them. You don’t need an expensive funeral service, so understand how much you have to commit before talking to the funeral home.
Talk About It Ahead of Time
You are distraught and reeling from the loss of your loved one. You don’t want to spend your precious time planning a funeral service if you don’t have to. Death is an uncomfortable subject, but it’s important to know their wishes before they die.
Discuss with them if they want buried or cremated. Ask them about what kind of service they want and where they want to be buried.
Many funeral homes understand it’s a difficult time and provide pre-planning packages, so everything is in order before the person dies. This takes a tremendous load off friends and family members who can focus on grieving while the funeral home executes their wishes. There will still be some decisions, but pre-planning creates the funeral service the deceased wants.
Create a Planning Checklist
There are a million little decisions that must be made for funeral services, and it is overwhelming. Manage these decisions with a funeral planning checklist to help everything organized.
You start with the type of service, choose dates, etc. Every decision is plotted and checked off as they’re decided. You keep track of what’s been done and what still needs to be done. When the day comes for services, you know everything is taken care of because your list is checked off.
Choose Cremation of Burial
One of the most important decisions in funeral planning is to bury the deceased or have them cremated. Cremation removes the need to purchase the plot and have a service right away. Instead, you plan a memorial service weeks after the cremation if you want.
Cremation is also less expensive than burial and you can keep the person’s ashes with you. You choose a special urn to contain their ashes or a scattering urn, so you can scatter their ashes at a special location. There are many cremation facts you should consider.
Burial is more traditional than cremation. You must purchase a plot at a cemetery and many times a headstone. Since the deceased needs to be buried right away, service must be close to the time of death.
Burials usually involve a visitation prior to the burial and then a cemetery service.
Choose the Right Funeral Home
The funeral home is with you from the beginning of the planning process until the end of the service. They help you plan everything and provide you with options. The right funeral home can make funeral planning easier and more efficient.
The wrong funeral home turns it into a nightmare. Take time to research funeral homes in the area and see what they have to offer. Different funeral homes have different funeral service ideas and costs.
Check out the reviews online and how other people feel about the funeral home. Are they communicative? Are they considerate of your feelings? Are they pushy?
Pick a Venue
Services can be anywhere and not just a church or a funeral home. This is especially true if the person is cremated. Traditional services involve people speaking, so there needs to be an area for that.
If the deceased has a favorite park, fishing spot or place that was special to them, consider having the services there. You can have it in your home. It’s important to think about the deceased and what they would want.
Cater or Not Cater
Funerals are famous for the after-burial luncheons where people talk about the deceased and share stories and memories. It’s a time of celebration, but it’s also a lot of work. You need to have plenty of food on hand.
Friends and family often help and people bring dishes to pass, so it’s not all on you. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of cooking food and cleaning up, then have the luncheon catered.
They set everything up and take it down. You can focus on grieving and enjoying the company of friends and family while the caterers do all the work.
Make the Services Personal
While services are somber events, they’re also to celebrate the life of the deceased. Make the services personal by including their favorite flowers or displaying pictures. Have people tell stories about the deceased, so everyone knows about the life they led.
Ask yourself what the deceased would want to be remembered for and make sure it ends up in the ceremony.
Plan The Funeral
A funeral service is a celebration of life and fondly remembering the deceased. Tears will far, but there is also laughter. The funeral ceremony isn’t easy to plan, but these tips should make it a little less complex.
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