Death is a sensitive subject that most of us would rather tiptoe around for the rest of our lives if we could- losing a loved one has to be the hardest blow anyone could ever face. Despite its inevitability, no one is ever fully prepared for the responsibility that follows. Grief on its own is an emotional ride. In contrast, planning a send-off for your loved one could be gravely devastating. The following tips will lessen the strain of planning a funeral service.
Make first phone calls
So, you just got the devastating news and didn’t know where to start- quite frankly, no one ever does. We don’t always have contacts set on speed dial for such emergencies. However, there are the first people who come to mind immediately after receiving that confirmation of death. Close friends and family are among the first people we turn to for support- these will naturally be the first calls you make.
Some important parties may slip your mind, but don’t beat yourself up; the weight of the loss is already too much to bear. Ask some family members and friends of the deceased to inform any other parties that may have otherwise passed you. Depending on the circumstance surrounding the passing, you might want to contact the police, an attorney, and, most importantly, transportation services to move the deceased.
Now that all the concerned people are aware of the death, you will want to get the funeral service in motion. The first thing to work out is whether or not the deceased had a pre-arranged funeral plan; it is not uncommon for people to sort out their funeral arrangements while they are alive.
Some people would rather not burden their families with the responsibility of planning their departure service on top of their grief. Ask if the deceased has a pre-arranged plan; this way, you get to check some things off your to-do list or at least understand what the departed wanted for their send-off.
Make a list
To successfully plan a funeral service, you’ll need to understand what it entails. The simplest breakdown is: preparing the body, holding the ceremony, and managing the interment. Get yourself a funeral planning checklist, and if you have no idea where to start, you can always visit the closest funeral director or look it up online.
Having a list that clearly states what needs to be done makes the whole process a lot easier. Tasks like buying the casket, flowers, music, cemetery booking, an officiant, and transportation are some of the things you want to be enlisted on your checklist.
Don’t just settle. It’s normal to want to get over with the whole exercise so you can get on with your grieving just like everyone else; however, impulsively going through the funeral arrangements will cost you a great deal. You already lost a big part of yourself, don’t set yourself up for more loss.
Putting down a deposit in the first shop you walk into isn’t always a smart financial move. Look around for the options available to you and constantly compare the prices. If you can pay ten thousand less for that casket with a few hour’s drive, then take the trip. So, before you put that overpriced chrysanthemums urn on your credit card, look up the history and traditions of funeral flowers because tulips might be the better choice.
Finalizing the arrangements
The last thing on your to-do list should be confirmation of all the details. Check in with all your vendors and cross-check if they will deliver their services on time. Contact the chapel or officiant and see if they still have you fitted in their schedule. Confirm how many people will attend the funeral.
You will also want to do a last-minute call with any family or friends assigned any responsibility off your checklist- if they offered to bring any baked goods for the service, ask that they are still up for it. Tie up any loose ends and make adjustments where necessary.
Grieving the loss of a loved one is an occasion none of us is ever ready to rise to fully. Going through the myriad of emotions that comes with death and still having to step up and organize a send-off will take every shred of strength, patience, and a lot of smart decisions. Even with everything planned down to the detail, things can always go wrong but don’t sweat it out. Most people in attendance are there to celebrate a life well-lived and cherish the memories they had with the deceased; at the end of the day, the details are not as important.
All these losses around us during the pandemic have really made me realize that funeral services are not easy to organize. As I read here, there are many things to confirm such as the number of people attending, the schedule of a chapel or an officiant, and even the food. For this kind of situation, I really understand why getting good company is crucial in sending off a loved one without disturbances.