The death of a close friend or relative is never easy to deal with. When you also take on planning the funeral, it can become even harder. On the one hand, you want to take pride in organising a memorial service befitting of their memory, and naturally take seriously your duty to get as many people as possible who knew the deceased to come together to celebrate their life.
But on the other hand, you have your own grief and emotions to deal with. Organising an event like a funeral can put you under enormous strain as you go through the early stages of the grieving process. It is hardly surprising that things can be easily overlooked, causing more stress and worry.
There’s a lot to think of when planning a funeral. Here are some of the little things that can so often slip your mind, but which you may wish you’d remembered when the time comes.
Buy a Book of Condolence
Everyone who attends a funeral wants to be able to pay their respects to the deceased in some small way, whether it is buying flowers, making a donation to a chosen charity, or contributing to a memorial. People also naturally feel the impulse to pay tribute to their departed friend or relative, to talk about what they meant to them, share stories from their life and so on. A Book of Condolence provides a fitting means to channel this desire amongst mourners, and creates a lasting memorial for those closest to the deceased to keep.
Print out photos and gather other memorabilia to display
Funerals don’t always have to be about sorrow and grief. Family and friends often want to mark a loved one’s passing by focusing on celebrating their life more than mourning their death, and sharing memories is an important part of this. To make the occasion a true celebration, you might want to display photos of the deceased around the venue along with other memorabilia associated with them, to help give memories a nudge and trigger conversations. You might ask everyone attending to contribute photos of their own, and create a giant photo wall with them all combined.
Write an obituary
If a Book of Condolence gives everyone who attends a funeral an opportunity to put down in writing something of their thoughts and memories, an obituary is the chance for those closest to the deceased to write their own tribute. Part a formal notification of someone’s passing, part an opportunity to publicly pay respects and express love and admiration for the person who has gone, many people see an obituary in a similar light to a headstone or other type of memorial – a lasting eulogy in honour of a loved one.
Order thank you cards
A funeral is by its very nature a communal event, a coming together in bereavement to both mark someone’s passing and share and support each other in grief. Often the immediate family of a person who dies, those who organise the funeral, take great comfort from the outpouring of sympathy they receive, and the love and affection expressed for their loved one. There is an understandable urge to say thank you to everyone, for attending the funeral, for their gifts and donations, for their kind words. How to say thank you might not be high on your priority list before the funeral, but having cards printed in advance to send out afterwards can save a lot of time and inconvenience.
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Updated: May 21, 2019