Funerals provide a chance for family members, close friends and others who also shared memories with the deceased to gather together to support and comfort each other, and most importantly, to honour and remember their loved one. If you are considering the type of funeral service that will best honour your loved one, bear in mind that you are only limited by your imagination. Even though you’re considering planning a simple tribute or a more detailed event, remember the special memories shared between you and your loved one and know how to highlight that uniqueness in a meaningful way. Here are some ideas to help you give your loved one an unforgettable sendoff.
DECIDE IF YOU WANT THE BODY PRESENT
As you begin plans for your loved one’s funeral service, it’s important to make a decision regarding the physical presence of the deceased. Note that, burial and cremation are merely ways to finally dispose of the corpse and none of them requires the body present during funeral service. For instance, you can decide to plan the funeral service in a traditional way which includes a wakekeep scheduled beforehand and placing the embalmed body in an open casket. Or you can choose to cremate the unembalmed body before holding the funeral service. It all depends on the option that seems best for you.
DISPLAY PHOTOS FOR FUNERAL SERVICE
A great way you can appreciate your loved one and make his/her funeral memorable is by displaying a good looking photo of theirs. It can be a simple framed portrait or a beautiful custom painting. Or you can create a photo collage on the cover of the order of service booklet. This will serve as a unique keepsake for the attendees to take away and an appropriate way to share memories of your loved one with everybody in attendance.
A memory board can also come in handy, you can use it to create a photo collage to display at the funeral service or wakekeep. What’s more, you can provide cards or sticky notes for attendees to write heart warming messages and paste to the memory board.
Finally, you can organise a slideshow of different photos revealing memorable aspects of your loved one’s life. Add captions that clearly indicate the year and location of the photos, this will enable the attendees capture and piece together distinctive life facets of your loved one which they might not have been aware of.
FLOWERS AND DONATIONS
It’s common for people to send sympathy flowers as a way to show support and to offer their condolences. In past years, families have made moves to suggest their preferences for funeral donations and flowers. For instance, you can decide if you want attendees to send flowers, if you’d prefer they donate to a chosen charitable organisation or if both form of expression is appropriate. In addition, funeral flowers come in a variety of colours, styles and designs, so as you make the necessary floral arrangements, use it as an opportunity to get creative and combine each colour,style and design to become part of a general theme.
CHOOSE A PERSONALISED CASKET
People are becoming increasingly creative with coffin and casket choices as a way of celebrating a person’s life and their interests. When it comes to selecting a casket, consider making it more personalised. You can contact coffin makers that specialise in making coffins with different colours and patterns. Some of the designs are made in the form of flowers, butterflies and stars. It could be anything else, maybe a drawing of your loved one’s pet or valuable possession. Another alternative is to select a plain casket and then have close relatives and friends gather around to decorate it with heart-felt messages or drawings for their loved one. Some people come to realise that being fully involved in such a way helps cope better with grief.
FIND OUT ABOUT PRICES AND PLAN IN ADVANCE
Planning a funeral service in advance can help eliminate heavy financial burden. The cost of funeral and cremation varies from location to location and are subject to inflation. Be sure to select a funeral home that has clear and reasonable prices. Or if your loved one had done some prearrangement, it will be of great benefit to not be a victim of future inflationary pressures from today’s prices. The costs of the services they choose may not go lower than it presently. Carrying out prearrangement also provides your loved one the chance to make informed decisions about various costs without pressure. They can keep their financial commitment on a level they will be comfortable with. This form of service helps cover the costs associated with the funeral or cremation service way beforehand, while eliminating the future financial burden on surviving loved ones.
DECIDE ON THE RECEPTION VENUE AND FOOD
Common places where a funeral reception is held include: the parlour of a funeral home, home of a family member or close friend. Some people also decide to use a nearby restaurant (probably a loved one’s favourite). You can choose a private function venue or private party venues that work best for you or is special to your loved one. When making a decision on the funeral reception venue, you will need to consider the number of attendees, parking space, music and food. The type of food and drink to be served will depend largely on a number of factors such as religious requirements, financial budget and cultural factors. Its normal to find friends and family members that may volunteer to provide a dish, you can ask around for any one interested in helping. If you plan to hire a caterer, their representatives can help you make informed decisions on the suitable quantity and type of food for the expected number of attendees.
Planning Funerals doesn’t have to be a burdensome activity for you. See it as an opportunity to do something heartfelt in loving memory of your loved one.