The death of a loved one can be a difficult time. The pain of loss is never easy to deal with. It leaves a hole in the heart that will only heal with the passage of months or even years, if at all.
When someone close to you dies, planning their funeral can make the grieving process even more challenging. The world can suddenly seem like a strange and unfamiliar place, and yet life must go one.
This article takes a look at how to plan a funeral when you’ve lost a loved one. Keep reading to discover tips that can make a painful experience a little less stressful.
1. Choose a Funeral Director
The first step in the planning process is to call a funeral home and speak to the funeral director.
This is the person you will work with when planning every aspect of the funeral service to the burial.
It’s important to interview several funeral directors before choosing one. Every decision should be yours, but it is their job to help facilitate your choices and to make the entire process run as smoothly as possible.
2. Decide Between Burial or Cremation
Many people give very little thought to whether they want to be buried or cremated when they die.
Perhaps this is because they prefer not to think about death—but the decision must still be made by someone so these arrangements can be carried out.
This decision is obviously a very personal one. Burial and cremation have very different requirements, so be ready to make the necessary decisions so the process can flow as quickly as possible.
3. Select the Service Sheets
The next decision to make is selecting the service sheets to use during the funeral.
These are the sheets containing biographical information about the deceased.
This brief document will typically feature the high points of their life, including dates and locations of birth and death, where they attended school, names of spouse and children, and perhaps a bible verse or poem of choice.
4. Select the Music
You’ll also need to select the music to be played before and after the funeral.
For example, you might choose to hire a piano or organ player to play something soothing and comforting while people are being seated, and then again as people exit the funeral service.
Another option is to use recorded music. This way you can start and stop the music as you wish, without having to worry about the expense of a professional musician.
5. Choose a Minister or Priest
If the deceased had a religious affiliation, you will need to select either a minister or priest to perform the eulogy at the funeral service. Most people use the minister from where the deceased attended church.
If they didn’t attend church services on a regular basis, the funeral director could likely offer the names of ministers who’d be happy to speak at the funeral.
And if the deceased wasn’t a religious person, a member of the family can get up to say a few words in place of a formal eulogy.
6. Plan the Eulogy
Regardless of who speaks at the service, you’ll want to spend some time planning the message that will be delivered.
Keep in mind that most ministers who deliver eulogies on a regular basis have a pre-prepared generic eulogy they can offer.
If you want the message to be more personal, visit with the minister ahead of time to provide insight into the life of the deceased a guide for the minister to follow.
7. Make Arrangements for Flowers
You’re also going to need to order flowers for both the funeral and graveside services.
It’s important to make arrangements for flowers as early in the process as possible so they can be delivered on time.
Funeral flowers are important for adding a touch of beauty and life to the service.
8. Plan the Wake
Following the formal funeral service, you’ll need to plan for a place for those who’ve gathered to come together for a time of socializing.
This is where you can all share memories and emotions, and to remember how special the deceased was to so many people.
9. Inform Family and Friends
Once you’ve made all the preparations for the funeral, it’s crucial to notify everyone of the day and time that the services will take place.
This includes placing an obituary in your local paper as well as social media, and then to personally notify all family and friends if possible.
10. Give Yourself Time to Prepare Emotionally
It’s important to keep in mind that planning a funeral will be an emotional and exhausting experience. Although you will try to be strong, you’ve suffered a tremendous loss, and pushing through the pain to make the necessary arrangements can take a toll.
Be sure to take the time to prepare yourself for the funeral service. Be patient with yourself, and be mindful of the fact that you are grieving. None of this is easy, but you’re doing your best under extremely stressful circumstances.
You might want to do it all yourself, but let people help. This is a way for everyone to grieve the passing of someone all of your loved very much.
Use This Helpful Guide for How to Plan a Funeral
The death of a loved one can be a painful experience.
Fortunately, this guide for how to plan a funeral can help make the pain of loss a little more bearable.
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