Written by Sama Fazal in Society
Viewed by 33 readers since 01-26-2009
Planning a funeral is never a simple task, but due to its emotive implications, organizing the funeral of a loved family member is a difficult and traumatic event. It is also something you want to get right as you will have no second chances to put things in order later. More than that, if it is the funeral you are arranging for somebody who meant a lot to you in life, you will want the funeral to reflect how you cared for that person in life. A funeral is a chance for the deceased’s family to get together, reflect and reminisce. It is a chance to provide support and to provide comfort to each other. It is quite possible that the deceased person may have made arrangements for their own funeral, or provided some information on how they want it to be done.
Death is such an emotive experience, it is much better if you can make the arrangements in advance, although it is quite understandable that most people prefer not to, rather than admit to their own mortality. One thing to consider is whether to pay in advance, set money aside, or leave information in your will to pay for your funeral out of the proceeds of your estate. In some places you can arrange a special bank account that is payable only on death [POD]. With this kind of account you designate a particular person to look after your affairs and pay your funeral expenses. The advantage of this kind of account is that it is not liable for probate.
If the deceased person has left instructions, either written or verbal, about how they want their funeral conducted and where their last resting place is to be, that will take a lot of pressure off the person arranging the funeral. Naturally, if you know the person well you would have some idea about what kind of funeral they would appreciate, even if they have not expressed particular preferences. If you have specific preferences about how you want your own funeral to be organized make sure your family is aware of your wishes. If you don’t let them know there is really no way for them to find out. Prices vary so, mercenary though it sounds, ring around and compare prices. Funeral homes are able to help smooth out the whole process for the person arranging the funeral, including obtaining the necessary death certificate and making any other arrangements.
Flowers or donations to the deceased’s favorite charity need to be agreed upon. Most people send flowers unless they have been advised otherwise. If you have asked for donations, you need to make sure people know where to send their donation to. Has the deceased expressed a preference for their final journey? Do they want to be buried, cremated, given a woodland burial or have they made other plans? Apart from arranging the last resting place for the deceased, a funeral is a time to express grief. Sensitive and appropriate funeral arrangements will help family and friends to move through the process of grief. A positive funeral can be a celebration of a person’s life, a way to remember them as you knew them when they were alive. This is the last service you can do for somebody and, fraught though it is with emotion, a respectful, dignified service will always be remembered by family and friends.