Planning a funeral is a big job. And if you were close to the deceased it can be an emotionally devastating, and draining experience. If you’ve never planned a funeral before, or would just like to learn some more about the process here’s a step-by-step guide.
Choose a funeral director
Often a doctor will pass you the details of a funeral director, and from there you can meet with them and decide if you like them. The first meeting will probably take a long time, as you make a lot of decisions such as where and when the service will be, how many cars, if you’d like a cremation or burial, the type of music etc.
Decide on the order of service
This can be one of those things that takes a lot of time, as extended family will often want to have some input, and people are often feeling tired and emotional as well. You’ll also need to decide on how formal you want the service to be, and this will depend on the personality of the deceased-if they were a joker, they probably wouldn’t want a long, serious, drawn-out ceremony.
Write a Eulogy
The eulogy can be the hardest part of planning a funeral, and should be performed by someone who was close to the deceased, and who is good at public speaking, especially while emotional and under pressure. Eulogies are usually around 5 minutes, but could be split between several members of the family or friends to make it easier. It can also be a good idea to ask if anyone would like to come up and tell a story about their loved one.
Choose a memorial stone
Memorial stones come in a large variety of designs, and one of the best ways to show someones personality is to choose one of the many unique memorial stones on the market.
Memorial stones can be a wide range of colours, and can be designed ahead of time if the deceased wants something special.
Plan the catering
After the service it’s customary for friends and family to gather and pay their respects in a less formal way. Often well-meaning friends will be asking you how they can help with the funeral, so it can be a good idea to ask them to simply bring a plate of food so it’s one less thing to deal with. This allows them to feel like they’re contributing, and it’s less pressure for the close family of the deceased.
Spend some time alone
One of the hardest parts of planning a funeral is the constant barrage of people who are feeling emotional and needing support. Generally if you’re planning a funeral you were probably close to the decease and will need to take some time to relax and remember them. Go for a walk, or take a nap, and be sure to tell family and friends that you’d like to spend some time alone so you can catch up on sleep or take a breather.