Planning a funeral can be just as exhausting as it is emotional.
When you haven’t yet processed your grief, you may be overwhelmed not only by heartbreak but by the sheer number of things you need to do for your loved one’s funeral. It’s easy to lose track of them all in the chaos of other end-of-life concerns and communications from well-wishers.
We’ve put together a simple overview of all the steps to plan a funeral, so read on for a little extra clarity on your path forward.
Decide on the Basics
Before you jump into planning the funeral itself, it’s important to contact the legal representative of the deceased. This person can let you know if your loved one established any kind of prearranged funeral plan, which can help guide you as you make arrangements.
Next, choose a funeral home and reach out to the funeral director. This person will be a helpful point of contact in the next few steps.
Prepare the Deceased
You’ll also need to decide whether you want your loved one buried or cremated. Many people will know this in advance, especially if all or part of the funeral has been prearranged, but you may also be making the decision yourself. Check out providers like Lavistamemorialpark.com if you’ve decided cremation is right for you.
There are a few additional steps you’ll need to take as well:
- Select personal accessories for the deceased
- Discuss cosmetics with the funeral director
- Select a casket or cremation container
- Arrange a cemetery plot and grave marker
- Make arrangements for the opening and closing of the grave
Making decisions about the body of the deceased can be difficult, but it may be helpful to take care of these before you move forward to prepare the funeral service.
Begin Planning a Funeral
First, you’ll need to decide what type of service you have in mind.
Many funerals take place at a house of worship for people of faith, for example. Alternately, if the deceased was a member of the military, you may want to have a military funeral service with an honor guard. You may choose to have the funeral take place at the funeral home you’ve worked with for the sake of comfort and convenience, or you may choose to have it at a place that meant a great deal to the deceased.
Once you have this basic information, you’ll want to start checking the following items off your list:
- Find an officiant to speak at the funeral
- Select any other speakers
- Decide what scriptures, readings, songs, or poems you’d like to include
- Prepare the obituary for the newspaper and for funeral invitations
- Write and send out funeral invitations
- Gather photos and personal belongings for a memorial board
- Find instrumentalists and vocalists for the day of the event
- Select pallbearers to help carry the coffin
- Select flower arrangements
- Arrange transportation for close family and friends from the funeral to the cemetery
- Arrange transportation for the body of the deceased from the funeral to the cemetery
- Find a location for a post-funeral reception
- Make potluck, catering, or other dining arrangements for the reception
Be sure to find support from family and close friends as needed, as their input and assistance can be invaluable as you prepare to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Make the Most of This Celebration of Life
There’s no easy way to bury a loved one. From the first calls to notify surviving loved ones about the death to the final administrative matters, planning a funeral is tough. But with these funeral planning steps in hand, you’ll at least be able to gain clarity on your steps forward to make the most of your loved one’s life celebration.
Looking for more of the critical life tips you should know? We’ve got you covered. Check out our other posts for more simple guides and insights.