A Survival Guide to Planning a Funeral: Navigating the Tricky Bits

Written by Divine Magazine

Coordinating a funeral can be like taking control of an aircraft while still learning how to fasten your seatbelt. One minute you are facing grief; in an instant you find yourself immersed in caskets, eulogies and funeral flower etiquette.

The Big Picture: Setting the Tone 

When planning a funeral, remember this important fact: this event should not be seen as a party – instead it should serve to remember and grieve, while celebrating life lived. So, how would you like it set its atmosphere? Are we discussing somber and reflective or joyous and celebratory celebration? Selecting a suitable soundtrack for life’s end credits can be like selecting violins versus trumpets; Mozart versus Metallica? Remember, this process should not aim to please everyone; rather it should create an environment which honors and truly represents who the one being celebrated is. Remember, the tone you set will influence all other decisions to come; so choose carefully; this first step on the road towards creating an unforgettable send-off will bring lasting memories of celebration!

Timing Is Everything

Timing is everything when it comes to funerals. You are hosting an extremely specific kind of party and must choose an ideal time and date to throw it. Too soon and the shock remains raw; too long later and people’s lives start taking over again. So, when should you plan a final farewell? Immediately? A week later? Perhaps an themed Halloween funeral? Pro tip: there is no one-size-fits-all timeframe – take some time out, consider your needs, wishes of deceased (if known), practicalities for attendees – then make decisions accordingly. Time won’t stop moving; only you have control in this moment in time!

Money Talks: Budget Considerations

Everyone knows death can be expensive. As you grieve the death of a loved one, the last thing you need is financial strain on top of everything else. But one funeral doesn’t need to lead directly into bankruptcy. Attaining success involves setting expectations, prioritizing, and making informed choices that meet budgetary constraints. From caskets and cremation services, flowers to fond farewells – everything comes at a cost – so sit down, take a deep breath, and let’s talk numbers! Before planning, it is important to set realistic budgetary expectations. Keep in mind that the value of a funeral lies in its ability to offer meaningful, respectful, and heartfelt tributes – not its price tag. Aunt Ethel would want us to remember her with fond memories rather than burden her with debts she left behind.

Burial or Cremation? That is the Question 

Traditional burial offers its symbolic final resting place and memorial site for loved ones to visit; cremation offers flexibility and often affordability. Cremation provides an avenue for Aunt Ethel’s remains to be scattered in her favorite rose garden, stored in an elegantly designed urn on your mantel or even transformed into timeless jewelry pieces. Making this decision won’t be simple, and should take into account all aspects of their life and their wishes, religious or cultural practices, budget considerations and more. Be patient as you consider all options – this decision should reflect what feels right to both parties involved, not what society dictates is best.

Eulogies: Arguably the Hardest Part of Any Funeral

Writing a eulogy can be one of the most intimidating parts of a funeral. No longer just grieving relative but public speaker with the task of summarizing Aunt Ethel’s entire life into just minutes is no simple task! But make no mistake – she was no ordinary woman! How can you capture her spirit, zest for life, and uncanny ability to know when you were sneaking cookies before dinner? First and foremost, remember a eulogy is not a biography. Writing an emotional tribute and collecting memories to Aunt Ethel can be a heartfelt way of sharing her unique qualities that made her who she was. Use humor, be kind and be honest – don’t feel obliged to pretend she was perfect. At her funeral service, it will likely be her unique characteristics – like wearing Halloween clothing to a Christmas party – that you remember most fondly. So share that story and let people see the Aunt Ethel you knew and loved. Just remember a eulogy isn’t about having perfect words; rather it should express love in as genuine way possible and remember there’s no right or wrong way of doing that.

Funeral Programs and Thank You Notes

A funeral program can serve as an emotional Swiss Army knife; serving as both a guide through the service, mementos for grieving loved ones and an unexpected canvas for Aunt Ethel to display her memorable ‘Christmas Halloween’ photo. As you craft the program for a funeral service, keep in mind that it serves more than simply as a schedule of events; mourners will cherish this reminder of a life well lived. Include photos, favorite quotes or even handwritten messages from their dearly departed loved one to further bring life back into focus for all attendees. Personalise it so it will touch hearts deeply; but we’re not done yet – your guests deserve recognition too, for their support and contributions – such as casseroles enough to feed an army. Say thank you in style by adding personalized elements. Be careful of becoming overwhelmed when faced with writing dozens of thank-you notes in the midst of sorrow; take a deep breath – this doesn’t need to be about crafting the ideal, heartfelt message; rather, it should simply express gratitude and acknowledgement of people you appreciate. Simply printing “Thank You” on an image of Aunt Ethel would do just fine, or writing out words would suffice – keep them short and sweet for maximum impact. Keep in mind, though, that its the thought behind what counts more than its length; whether its programs or thank you notes, the goal should always remain the same: to create keepsakes which honor and memorialize their unique life and love of whoever it may be you’re bidding farewell to.

Headstones and Pictures 

Deciding upon headstones for final resting places requires many decisions, from material selection and design considerations, epitaph and placement – each element plays its part in making an appropriate memorial tribute. While granite remains the go-to material due to its durability and variety of color options, marble adds timeless elegance that puts personalization first. As your love for those you’ve lost grows, so to do your options for memorializing them with pictures for headstones – truly making their memorial experience complete. An artful photo can communicate so much, memorializing life lived through pictures alone. From stunning landscapes and animals to portraits of loved ones themselves, selecting an image should be carefully considered; consider what will bring comfort or make them smile when visiting.

Conclusion: The Final Bow

Arranging a funeral can feel like trying to put together a puzzle while riding an unpredictable rollercoaster: chaotic, intimidating and ultimately cathartic all at the same time. Take a deep breath; know you aren’t alone on this journey.

© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Latest News

Top 5 This Week


Health & Wellbeing