A Step-by-Step Guide for Planning a Loved One’s Funeral

A Step-by-Step Guide for Planning a Loved One's Funeral

Planning a funeral is a challenging yet unavoidable part of life. Not only are you dealing with immense grief, but the responsibility of planning a funeral is highly stressful. After taking some time to start processing your loss, you can move ahead and begin the planning process.

Gather Any Pre-Arrangements Made

Sometimes, a person makes arrangements beforehand, especially if they are older or ill. They may also have already paid for parts of the service. These arrangements usually specify the funeral service provider and other details such as a casket, burial place, and service preferences.

Choose the Type of Funeral for Your Loved One

Once you decide on a funeral home, you will begin planning the service’s details. These details include whether you are choosing cremation or burial and the type of casket or urn for your loved one. If you are having a burial, decide on an open or closed casket. If you select cremation, determine if you will scatter the ashes or place them in an urn or a mausoleum.

Decide on a Funeral Home

While there are many funeral homes to choose from, consider visiting a few and meeting with their funeral planners. Remember to bring your funeral timeline with you so they can determine if they have room in their calendar. They can help you decide which options best fit your budget and what accommodations you will need for the service.

Choose a Place of Burial

Once you have made your decisions, you will determine a final resting place. While some people have pre-purchased plots, many may not. This means it’s up to you to decide where the right place will be. You may choose a location based on price or proximity to other family members. Your funeral planner can also help you with this process.

Create an Obituary

A good obituary will have several parts, including a summary of the person’s life story, a list of closest family members, funeral service details, and a photo. It may be as detailed or as simple as you like. To make it more personal, consider including a memorable story about them that tells others who they were and showcases their personality.

Put Together the Funeral Service

You’ll need to make several important decisions when putting together the funeral service. Remember to include religious traditions, if applicable, and other details such as flowers, music, and specific poems or readings. Select the photos you’d like to display, clothing for the deceased (if burial will occur after the service) and who will read eulogies. You may also choose to have a reception afterward.

The death of a loved one is a busy and emotionally charged time. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of family and friends. With thoughtful consideration and thorough planning, you can create the best type of funeral service to honor the memory of your loved one.

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