Death is devastating to the friends and family of the deceased. While in the midst of grief, they must plan funeral services and get everything ready. It can be a difficult time, so it’s important that the process go smoothly and compassionately.
Service planning is complex and there are many decisions that must be made. We created this guide to help you understand the process and provide planning tips to make it easier. It doesn’t have to be a difficult and complex process if you take these tips to heart before and after the death of your loved one.
- Planning Tips: Start Before the Death
Death isn’t something people want to talk about, but it’s important to understand what the person wants for their memorial service. Talk about it, so when the time comes, there are less decisions to be made. Discuss their funeral ideas and make them a reality.
You can even pre-purchase plans that include casket, plot, etc., so there is less to do once the person has died. The funeral home takes care of the arrangements and you can focus on dealing with the death of your friend and loved one.
- Choose a Funeral Home You Trust
You likely have several funeral homes to choose from to plan a service. It’s true that not everyone is the same. The cost, service options, etc. can be different. Ask friends and family their opinion on a good funeral home.
You can check online reviews and find out how other people liked the business and if there were any problems. You want a funeral home that is compassionate and professional. They must understand that this is a difficult time for you and be willing to help you with planning.
Funeral homes are usually chain or family-owned. Chain funeral homes may be less expensive, but you don’t get the personal service. Family-owned funeral homes know the people of the area and provide more selective service.
- Pick The Type of Service
There are many different services available depending on what you need. A funeral home can hold a visitation where friends and family come view the deceased and give their condolences to the family.
There could just be a memorial service down the line after the burial. You can skip services altogether and just have a funeral followed by lunch.
Services can be in the funeral home or church. Consider the person who died and what they would want. Also, be considerate of friends and family who have not seen the deceased for a long time.
Talk to the funeral home to see what type of services they offer. You may discover one funeral home has more options than another.
- Have the Wake Catered
Following services, there is often a luncheon where people gather to talk with the family and remember the good times with the deceased. These events help with the healing process and bring people together.
You have the choice to make the food yourself or have it catered. Many times, friends and family help out, but if you get it catered it is one less thing you have to worry about. There is no mess to clean up or food to prepare.
It’s there when you arrive and you can focus on grieving and healing and not keeping the food warm. Wakes are a time to sit down, enjoy some food and remember the deceased. You have enough on your plate with funeral planning, so take some of the pressure off with professional catering.
- Honor The Life of the Deceased
Death is never easy. It takes someone away forever, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate their life. People grieve and cry for the loss, but it’s also a time to celebrate the life of the deceased and their accomplishments.
The services need personal touches that show their accomplishments such as speakers to relay happy stories or pictures of the deceased. Celebrate them at the services and at the wake. It’s a somber time and many tears will fall, but the deceased person wouldn’t want you crying over them, but celebrating the life they lived.
- Make the Services Personal
The person who died was an individual that had hobbies and passions throughout their life. They may have been in the service or volunteered at community organizations. A person’s life is filled with experiences that most people don’t know about. The services are the perfect time to put them on display and share stories.
Take the time to personalize the service with aspects of their life. Cover the casket with their favorite flowers or have a collage of pictures from their volunteering. You can display their stamp collection or have people talk about it. The service is all about the deceased and remembering the life they led.
- Understand The Law
Some funeral homes take advantage of people during this trying time. The Federal Trade Commission has laws and rules that provide rights to people when planning a funeral. One of the biggest ways funeral homes take advantage is with extra fees.
They may state the funeral costs one thing and then the bill comes and it’s much higher. You have the right to an itemized list and estimate before the funeral. You also have the right to choose a third-party casket.
You may decline embalming and other rules. Don’t be charged more just because you’re caught up in grieving. Take advantage of these rules to make sure you get the best deal.
Use These Tips For Funeral Planning
Funerals are not something people want to do. These planning tips are designed to help you make better decisions and know your rights. Funeral services should be a time of both sadness and celebration.
This guide provides you with ways to save a little money and make the service something the deceased would be proud of.