Tips for Planning Your Own Funeral
Post by: Ask The Director

Planning your own funeral is an important way for you to ensure the service happens exactly as you'd like. It can significantly reduce the levels of stress endured by your friends and family after your passing. Regardless of whether you are physically fit or not, it is always a wise idea to attend to this sort of planning well in advance.

The viewing
This is when friends and family have time to sit peacefully with the body. It typically happens in a funeral home, but can also happen at a house of worship or home.

The wake
The wake is a time to gather to celebrate the life of a person who passed. This gathering is typically an important part of the mourning process, and allows friends and family members to provide comfort to each other.

The funeral
The funeral is a memorial ceremony that typically occurs in a house of worship or funeral home. The body is usually present, either in an open or closed casket. There are no rules for a funeral; you are free to shape the service as you see fit. If you are religious, you may want to have a service that's full of prayer. If you served in the armed forces, you may opt for a military funeral. Other people prefer to keep the service non-denominational, and use it as a time for family and friends to grieve together.

A memorial ceremony
A memorial ceremony is another alternative if you are not comfortable with the idea of a funeral service. Memorials typically happen a few months after the person has passed, and the body is not present. The memorial service is a place for family members and friends to commemorate the life of the person who passed. People can eulogize the deceased, and explain what they meant to them.

If you wish to plan an after-death service, you'll want to make your wishes are clear to the people who will be tasked with executing these arrangements. Some of the details you will need to consider:

  • The location of the gathering/service
  • The type of service
  • Who should facilitate the ceremonies
  • Whether the body will be present, and whether the casket will be open or closed
  • Any specific jewelry or clothing you would like placed on your body
  • Who will serve as pallbearers (when necessary)
  • Whether you would like a special picture or other items displayed with you
  • Any special readings or music that you would like featured
  • Information about special music, readings, food or drink, and other details

Your surviving family members and friends will take comfort in knowing that they are executing the after-death services exactly as you had wished, and you can relax knowing that the arrangements will be handled in a way that you find suitable.


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