Many of us neglect to think about our own mortality and the inevitable eventuality of our death. As morbid as that sounds, planning your own funeral is of great benefit. It can save our loved ones much grief and anxiety when they are aware of our preferences and can put our own mind at ease if we ever face a terminal illness. Making funeral plans in advance need not be a huge chore, here are some tips you could use as a guide.
Planning Your Own Funeral
Start with Brainstorming your Ideas
The first step would be to make a note of your ideas. These may change over time and you can adjust your preferred plans as needed. You may have been to funerals in the past and felt you would like a certain element of the service to be repeated at yours. Note as many things you can think of and remember to consider the potential financial expense that may be incurred, talk to others for inspiration, also think about what kind of atmosphere you would like to create for those attending, would it be emotional or more celebratory?
What type of funeral and reception?
There are two options before you – Burial or Cremation? With a burial, you will need to choose what kind of casket you would prefer and if you wish to be embalmed. Cremation leaves your remains to be carried in a container which can then be kept by a chosen person or scattered in a desired location.
It’s entirely up to you if you have a reception before or after your funeral service, your reception will depend on the location of your funeral and whether you are being buried or cremated. Some would like to have a wake where others can view your body and say their last goodbyes, others feel more comfortable with a closed casket throughout the ceremony.
Your Final Resting Place
Making a choice regarding the funeral home and memorial site can take time so be sure to consult with others and make inquiries at several funeral directors and providers, search for venues online and read the reviews. Most venues will offer a package which will pay for the reception and the funeral so you will need to decide if you would like the two separated. For instance, do you wish to have your reception at a religious venue where a burial is not possible or do you want your service at a place of worship and the funeral elsewhere.
Eulogist and Audio/Visual
Select one of your nearest and dearest, someone who knows you well and can best hold it together emotionally on the day so they can say a few well-chosen words about you. Check with the person in advance before including them in your plans and then you can ensure they will feel comfortable giving the eulogy when the time comes. You could ask them to include a favourite poem, song lyrics, verses from a holy book, a few words from yourself, and so on.
Choose what music you would like to be played, either live or recorded. The music will create a certain atmosphere so again keep this in mind when thinking of the mood and emotion you wish to encompass in the service.
You can be creative when it comes to visuals, try saving pictures and images you would like to be used in the service perhaps you could store them on a pen drive or file that can be accessed by all those involved.
Counting the Cost
Regardless of the choices you make, your funeral is going to set you back a fair bit financially. Try to bear this in mind when selecting venues and ceremonies and decide how much you and those responsible for your assets can realistically afford. Try considering prepayment options and policies as these are usually paid monthly and are easily affordable. Chose a company that you can trust it is important you feel secure in knowing that your funeral expenses will be well taken care of.