Organising a funeral isn’t something we want to necessarily be prepared for, but it is something most of us will have to face, at some point in our lives. It can be incredibly difficult to get your head around what you need to organise, so here’s an overview of our top tips.
Find out if there’s any guidance already in place
It’s now becoming more commonplace for your loved ones to have already left guidance around their funeral wishes. There are many pre-paid funeral plans that can be purchased in advance and, if your loved one had a will, they may well have also left instructions around their funeral too – so make sure you check prior to organising the funeral.
Get in touch with the funeral director
The funeral director is there to help and support you during this difficult time, so do take the time to get in touch with them. If your loved one didn’t have a preference, choose one that is close to where the funeral will be taking place.
The funeral director will help you go through your requirements for the funeral service (such as location, music, how many cars you’ll need etc). They’ll also discuss the type of preparations you’d like for your loved one, such as what type of coffin you want and how you’d like them to be prepared (makeup and clothes etc), along with what happens once the funeral is over.
Decide on the order of service
This will include the type of hymns you’d like, along with who you want reading the eulogy. It’s usual to have several hymns, along with a couple of readings and an opportunity for family members and friends to stand up and say a few words about your loved one.
Do you want flowers at the service?
It’s traditional to have flowers at a funeral however, for many, it’s seen as an unnecessary expense. If you do decide to have them, you can give people the details of a local florist or they can use one near them and have them delivered. Another option is to do away with flowers and instead, opt for a donation to a charity of your choice. You can then select one that is close to you or that is meaningful to your loved one. Regardless of whether you opt for flowers or not, it’s usual to at least have a floral spray of some kind on the coffin, as it’s carried into the ceremony.
What type of music do you want played?
Not everyone is keen on the sound of an organ or classical music, so it’s worth getting clear on your musical requirements. It’s often helpful to pick music that suited your loved ones tastes. Did they like to always be upbeat and fun? Would they like a gospel singers or bagpipes? How about pop music or a specific film theme tune?
Decide if and where, you’re having the wake
There are many different options for where you hold a wake. Some prefer to keep it private and hold it in a family member’s home, whilst others would rather have a local pub host it. It really is down to your personal preference however, if you hold it at home, you’ll need to remember to source the food – and this is something you may not feel up to doing.
Let people know about the funeral
Finally, make sure you let everyone know when and where the funeral is taking place. This isn’t something you have to do yourself – rope in other family members or friends to help. Many people are unsure of how they can support you during this difficult time, so take the help that’s being offered.
Organising a funeral when your grieving is something we hope you never have to do alone. However, with the above tips we hope to make it that bit easier if you are, as well as offering you some guidance that can be passed over to someone else, if you have help to organise a fitting service for your loved one.