Planning a funeral ceremony or farewell service can be stressful and emotional. At a time when you are consumed by grief, the last thing you want to be worrying about is logistics. So to help you to get through this difficult time, we’ve put together a check-list of things you need to do for a hassle free funeral.
This first step doesn’t apply to everybody, but if you have the means to, try and plan certain elements of the funeral ahead of time. Whether it’s having hypothetical discussions with your loved ones or detailed planning with an elderly or terminally ill relative, the more you can plan ahead of time, the easier it will be.
Choose your funeral company carefully
Selecting your funeral director is probably the most crucial choice you will make. The funeral director will be your guide through this entire experience. They coordinate funerals and all the surrounding logistics on a regular basis, so once you’ve got a funeral company on board, everything else will fall into place.
When it comes to selecting a funeral director, choose someone who shares your values and spiritual beliefs. Choose someone with plenty of experience and a number of templates you can choose from. Choosing an existing template from a company like Olsens Funerals means that most decisions regarding logistics are already made and then you can just focus on changing the important and personal details that matter to you and the deceased.
Select the date & inform guests
Once you’ve chosen a funeral director, you need to decide on a date for the farewell service. This may depend on a number of factors such as post-mortems or the availability of important friends and family. As soon as you’ve selected a date however, you need to let guests know so that they can plan accordingly. There are many ways you can do this of course such as putting an announcement in the local paper, calling individuals on the phone or putting something on social media. Whichever method you choose to contact people is entirely up to you.
Choose speakers for the ceremony
One wonderful way to really personalise a farewell service is to have friends and family say a few words. Whether it’s reading the deceased’s favourite poem, singing their favourite son or delivering a eulogy, having loved ones take part in the ceremony is a wonderful way to honour someone.
Print the order of service
Once you’ve confirmed the order of service as well as who will be taking part in the ceremony, it is time to get it printed in a booklet. Your funeral director will most likely have a preferred supplier who can sort this out for you or if you’d like to shop around you can select your own.
Whether you’re having a formal wake at home or simply heading to the pub, you need to have a plan in place for after the ceremony. This depends entirely on your preferences. But if you do choose to throw a wake at home or at another location, you will need to organise some catering of sorts. The last thing you want to be doing is cooking and baking for dozens of people the night before the funeral.
When it comes to planning a funeral, there are plenty of logistical things to consider. But perhaps there is one thing that is more important than any of the items above, and that is delegating.
Although this isn’t technically a to-do list item, delegating tasks to others will make the entire experience a lot easier for you to handle. Whether it’s asking friends to inform guests on your behalf or just having someone on stand-by in case it all gets too overwhelming, you need somebody in your corner to help you through this. You can of course delegate different tasks to different people, or just have one person on hand to help. The point is to have someone who is a little more emotionally removed from the deceased to lean on for support.
Planning a funeral is emotional and difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone.