When a loved one dies it is a stressful and upsetting time, yet you have the daunting job of planning their funeral ahead of you. This may seem a very large task to deal with, one that can almost seem too much to bear. In order to help you through, we have compiled a list of some things you will need to remember.
• Take advice
Funeral directors organise funerals for a living and know exactly what is involved in the planning of a funeral. They will be able to advise you on what you need to do and when. This is really helpful, and particularly important with regards to the legal side of death and funerals such as death certificates, inheritance and insurance.
• Booking a date and time
You will need to book a date and time for the funeral. This will often be dependent upon the availability of the person who will conduct the service and the funeral directors. However, take into consideration the distance people will be travelling to attend the funeral. If you have relatives who live miles away, it is better not to book a funeral that starts first thing in the morning. If you are not sure who to call to make these arrangements, speak to the funeral directors as they will be able to advise you.
• Who to invite
Ringing round to invite people to the funeral can take time. This might be something you can partially delegate to other people to help you out and they may be able to suggest people you hadn't thought of. For example, you may not know everyone the deceased person worked with, but by ringing their workplace someone there can let everyone else know about the funeral on your behalf. Ring everyone in their address book and consider putting a death notification in the local newspaper.
To many people, music is an important part of a funeral service. Although some people aren't particular about what music is played, others like to choose music that is either a favourite of the deceased or has some sentimental value. You need to make sure that either you have the music to be played or the person leading the funeral service has the music in advance of the funeral. If you are opting for music played by a musician, then you will need to check their availability. If you opt for music on a CD, then you may need to take a CD player with you as not everywhere has one. Check this out in advance.
• Service cards
Usually, there is a funeral order of service so that people can follow the events of the funeral and join in with things like prayers and hymns. You can keep these simple by only including the details of the service, or you can personalise them so that people who attend can keep the order of service as a memento of the person who has died. If you want to do the latter, then consider having a photograph of the deceased on the front and a message of thanks from the family on the back. Make sure you order plenty of these from the printers so that there is enough for everyone who will attend.
To make a service more personal, many people opt for friends and family to either do a reading, pay tribute to the deceased in a speech or read out a poem. This is not compulsory, but it is a nice way of commemorating someone's life. Choose who will do this well before the funeral to give them time to prepare what they will say or do.
• Get help
Grieving for a loved one is a stressful time already without having a big event to organise. If friends and family are rallying around trying to offer you support and practical help, then accept all the offers you get. This will take some of the strain off of you.
Although the task of planning a funeral during your grief may seem an almost impossible task, with the support of friends and family everything will run smoothly. Remember, if you don't know what to do or you have any questions, the funeral directors have the expertise to help you with all aspects of organising a funeral.