Making Funeral Plans more Personal


Sep 27, 2013
Making Funeral Plans more Personal

I’ve blogged quite a bit recently about the importance of funeral planning mainly from a financial perspective; what with recent reports of ongoing increases in funeral costs and the financial difficulties more and more families are facing but what about the emotional side of things.

Undeniably attending the funeral of a family member or someone you care about is difficult to say the least but it can be a bitter sweet experience. I’m sure we can all recount occasions where we have met with relatives and friends and talked fondly about past times shared with the person who has died; one minute crying, the next laughing. A funeral really does tug on all the emotions.

Having been to a few funerals over the last couple of years, I have to say the ones that have been more memorable for all the right reasons have been more personal affairs that included funeral music chosen by the deceased or readings read by their son or daughter. So much better than the usual impersonal eulogy read by someone who has never even met the person they are talking so fondly about.

But how do you make a funeral more personal and why should you; after all who wants to invest time thinking about a party they won’t even attend?

Quite simply making a funeral reflect the person you are and the life you lived makes it an easier experience for the people you leave behind. A fitting tribute that prompts memories and allows people to think about the good times helps with the grieving process and at the end of the day don’t we all want things to be a little bit easier for those we leave behind?

Those personal touches can be as big or as small as you want; from choosing to use a motorbike and sidecar as a hearse to having flowers chosen in the colour of a favourite football team; from playing all your favourite Status Quo songs to requesting that everyone wear Hawaiian shirts; it really is up to you to create your final swan song.

Still not convinced that it’s worth putting plans in place? Think about this before you decide.

When the time comes, are you happy to think of your husband or wife, son or daughter having to decide what type of coffin you would prefer, what funeral music you would have wanted, what should be done with your ashes or if you would have preferred to have flowers or donations to charity? Don’t forget they are already having to come to terms with you not being around anymore so the never ending barrage of questions and decisions about funeral arrangements certainly won’t make life any easier for them. 

Are you happy for them to face those difficult questions or would you prefer to ease the burden and make some of those decisions yourself in advance? I certainly know what I prefer.


Ashley Shepherd is an Over 50s Personal Finance Expert

ashley shepherd

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