There’s no getting around it: planning a funeral service for a friend or loved one is not an easy task. Not only are you dealing with your own grief in that moment, but you also will be making choices about how to balance the last wishes of the deceased with the needs and desires of those left behind. Fortunately, you don’t have to handle it alone—your local funeral services director is experienced in funeral planning and will be able to guide you through the process with support and advice. Here are a few important things to think about when planning a funeral service.
Honoring the wishes of the deceased
Of course, the first priority in honoring the passing of a loved one is to take their last wishes into account. Did your loved one have any preferences about how he/she wants to be remembered? Did the deceased want to be cremated or buried? Be aware of these considerations beforehand, and plan the funeral service around them.
Funerals are for the living as well as the dead
A funeral doesn’t just honor the deceased—it also to gives those left behind a chance to say good-bye. Along with respecting any last wishes of the loved one, take into account any wishes of the family. Should the casket be open or closed? Who should do the eulogy? Should there be a point in the service where people can come to a microphone and share? Was your loved one a veteran who needs military honors at the funeral? Making these decisions can be difficult, especially if there are conflicting desires between family members, but do your best to accommodate.
Size of the funeral
How many people do you expect to attend the funeral? If many guests are expected, a funeral home might not be large enough, and you may need to hold the service in a church or meeting hall. If the service is to be small and private, you might want to plan a simple graveside remembrance.
If the family of the deceased practices a particular faith, that faith will likely inform the planning of the funeral. If multiple faiths are represented within the family, this can be a tricky proposition. It’s important to respect beliefs and desires of the deceased first and foremost, but beyond that, you may need to discuss the issue among family members in order to find common ground.
No one wants to think about money at a time like this, but finances will ultimately play into the planning of the funeral. In planning the services, part of your job is to be aware of the family’s budget and make decisions about what is most important to spend the money on. It helps to work with a funeral home that is sensitive to budget requirements, because they can offer budget packages or special offers to help keep costs down.
For understanding, compassionate and affordable funeral services in northwest Washington, Funeral Alternatives of Snohomish County is available 24-hours a day to help with funeral planning and to answer your questions; they can be reached at 1-888-381-6993.
Funeral Alternatives Blog
Written & Published By MORBiZ