How to Handle Funeral Preparation for a Loved One

Funeral, wake, sitting shiva, celebration of life-these are all terms we use across the world to describe how we mourn the loss of our loved ones. You want their funeral to be a reflection of your loved one’s incredible impact on your life, but how do you get started?

Funeral preparation in the wake of a loss is difficult, but it’s also a healing process. Read on to learn about the steps you’ll take to honor your lost loved one.

Burial or Cremation Services

This is one of the toughest decisions you’ll make about your loved one. Many people have wills or directives that include information about what they would like done with their body following their death. Some may even have a burial plot selected.

If your loved one didn’t give any indication about what they’d like done, make the decision you’re most comfortable with. Other factors to consider include the costs associated with burial versus a casket. Many funeral homes offer affordable combined packages, like a traditional service combined with cremation.

Choose a Location for Your Funeral Service

There are many different location options for funeral services.

People who were active in their church typically have services in their parish. Other popular options include interior funeral home and graveside services. If your loved one was active in the military, they may also qualify for a burial service at a National Cemetery, complete with rifle volleys and a gift of the American flag to the next of kin.

Traditional Service vs. Non-Traditional

Many people want their funeral service to reflect who they were as a person. That might mean a traditional service complete with a pastor and the singing of hymns.

If your loved one was more quirky, then it’s a great idea to celebrate them by incorporating elements of their personality into the service. Include music they loved, tell funny anecdotes, and dress to impress. Your funeral service doesn’t have to be serious, especially if you think your loved one wouldn’t want that.

Notification of Loved Ones

Notifying loved ones is one of the hardest parts of funeral planning. A good rule of thumb is to call or visit with people who were close with your loved one. Once you’ve made contact with everyone on your list, you can distribute wider notifications through e-mail or social media posts.

Finally, you’ll want to spend some time drafting an obituary. Include a summary of their life, talk about their accomplishments, their family members, and give information about their funeral service.

Make Funeral Preparation a Celebration of Life

Losing our loved ones is one of the most difficult parts of life. The knowledge that we don’t have forever with our loved ones makes our relationships that much more valuable. As you go through the steps of funeral preparation for your lost loved one, remember that you get to keep their memory alive and create a service that celebrates their incredible life.

Life throws lots of curveballs at us. Make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge to navigate them all. Check out the rest of our blog for helpful information about all of life’s little surprises.