The passing of a friend, family member or loved one is inarguably one of the most traumatic experiences one can have in life. Not only is there the emotional strife and sadness to deal with, but handling formal preparations – which involve money, time, and planning – compound the problem.
For those who left behind no will or formal requests on how to handle affairs, it can be absolutely hellish to be tasked with making all of the right decisions. Even for those who did leave behind instructions, the stress of actually executing these plans isn’t necessarily much easier.
Whether you’re handling things all by yourself, planning with family or having to guess what your loved one would have wanted, it is crucial that the process be handled with dignity and in the spirit of what the person would have wanted. Today, we will examine some of the factors you’ll want to consider when planning a funeral for somebody you love.
Respect the Wishes of the Deceased
The first and most important part of planning a funeral is to follow the wishes of the person who has passed. While everybody may have differing views on how a funeral or memorial service should be handled, it is crucial to remember that this is about the loved one – and not about you or anyone else.
If they have left behind a will or final wishes in the form of a document or list, then this part of the process will be simple enough. In many cases, a rough outline of what the person prefers may have been given to you or another person orally. This may involve you inquiring with others about what exactly is the best pathway forward for preparations.
If no specifics can be found or confirmed, then the process turns to planning a funeral that is both respectful and reflective of the person’s life, wishes and character.
Involve Family and Friends
The stress from losing a loved one is bad enough: handling the preparation process for any funeral only makes the ordeal more difficult. Thankfully, it is both morally right and more efficient to bring others in to help with the process.
By consulting with family members and close friends, you can be sure to plan a dignified memorial or funeral service. In addition, the act of asking others to be involved can help take some of the burden off of you in making sure every little detail is handled properly.
You might want to ask for recommendations from those who knew your loved one in a different light than yourself. Likewise, if the deceased was not financially stable or did not take care of their final arrangements beforehand, you may feel required to ask for small contributions from family and friends to cover these expenses (here’s some info on what to do when you can’t afford a funeral).
Selecting the Right Services
While some people handle every little detail in planning their final arrangements, many do not fill in the blanks on what should happen with their remains, how the service should be handled and what they’d like the service to include. In this case, the stress can skyrocket as you have to make many different decisions while dealing with the loss of a loved one; from what to do with cremation ashes to whether you should hire professional videographers and musicians, these decisions can be difficult.
Ultimately, cost may be the biggest individual factor in determining what services to pursue. Other factors include time (can the ideal funeral be planned from scratch in the amount of time available prior to burial?) and the number of relationships and friendships the person maintained prior to death.
Whether opting for a small, intimate service or a large affair in celebration of the person’s life, intent is important. A dignified and memorable service can be handled for just about any price and with any number of attendees: learn more about how to save and plan the best funeral by clicking here.
Assist with “Post-Funeral” Preparations
While the funeral planning process may be time-consuming and intensive, there are other matters that must be handled as well. For instance, dealing with financial matters or estate dealings, reporting the death to the proper authorities, creating a memorial website with an online web design service, closing accounts and dealing with any debts are just a few of the many tasks that’ll have to be handled in the days and weeks following any death.
Even though this might not relate directly to the funeral itself, it is a part of the overall process and must be dealt with to ensure your loved one’s passing is handled with dignity. As always, it is perfectly fine to ask for help when handling these tasks.
Every funeral is different, but the stress associated with handling the process is universal. You can ensure that the process is simplified by following the wishes of the deceased and asking for assistance where needed. As long as you follow the wishes of the deceased (and ask for assistance where it is unclear), you’ll be able to plan a dignified funeral or memorial service that everybody will remember positively.
Updated: January 26, 2018