The loss of a loved one is a difficult thing to be faced with and when you are then tasked with planning a funeral too, it can feel completely overwhelming. We’re here to help by offering advice and guidance in the form of some practical planning tips.
As awful as it is to talk about money when you’re grieving, ensuring you don’t go over budget is essential. No one wants to be left with bills and debt that can add yet more stress to an already challenging time. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make a funeral memorable and fitting. Often it is the little thoughtful touches that make all the difference. Make sure you know what your budget is and track your costs to ensure you stick to it.
It’s really important to make sure you communicate with friends and family members that should be involved in the funeral planning process. As well as wanting to provide input, they can offer valuable support and assistance too. You don’t have to go it alone!
- Take your Time
There’s no need to rush into any big decisions. Take your time and make sure you’re happy with your choices, whether it be funeral providers, florists or caterers – they will understand you’re facing a tough task and should all be patient and understanding.
- Make it Personal
There are so many ways in which you can make a send-off really personal. Whether it’s through music, photographs, poems / readings or opting for a personalised coffin, remembering and honouring the deceased can be done in a number of ways.
- Keep a Checklist
When you’re mourning a loved one and trying to plan a funeral it’s easy to get muddled. By writing everything down and keeping a checklist you can lessen the stress and worry and also show others where they might be able to help. Don’t lay awake worrying about things – write them down and deal with tasks one at a time.
It can be difficult to let people know about your loss. There are many ways in which to communicate this information and notify people about funeral details. Many people opt to include something in a local paper. Asking people to spread the word is also a good way to make friends and colleagues aware. If your loved one was a member of a club or society you could contact them and ask that they make an announcement. Social media is also an effective way of sharing your sad news and notifying people when and where the funeral will be held.
- Breaking Tradition
These days funerals are becoming less traditional and formal and are often more focused on the celebration of life. You should feel able to make arrangements as you see fit or following the wishes of the deceased. Personalised pictorial coffins, modern music choices and a non-black dress code are all becoming more popular.
It is more common now for people to request charitable donations rather than floral tributes. This can be a great way to raise funds for charitable organisations that were supported by the deceased. Often people choose to raise money for a hospital ward or hospice that cared for their loved one, or a charity that supported them in illness. This is a great way to gain something positive from the funeral and allow guests to participate in some way.
- The Wake
As well as the funeral itself it is important that the wake provides a fitting send-off too. You will need to consider the location – can you accommodate mourners in your home or do you need to hire a venue? Then you need to think about food and drink – depending on the time of the funeral service, these requirements can vary. It’s nice to include things like photographs, medals, trophies and any other memorabilia to further celebrate the deceased’s life, loves and achievements.
- Don’t forget to Grieve
Amongst all this planning and organising, you need to find time for yourself to grieve. It is important to take time to reflect and mourn your loved one before their final send-off. Accept support from friends and family – that’s what they’re there for.