There is nothing harder in life than saying goodbye to a loved one. Once you say goodbye to someone close to you in your family, it can feel like your whole world has come crashing in. For many of us, the immediate thing to do once a loved one has passed is to start planning a funeral- and this can be a costly and complex affair.
Today we want to go through all of the important things you should consider when planning a funeral for a loved one.
Cremation or burial?
The first thing you will want to consider when saying goodbye to a loved one is whether to cremate them or bury them in a cemetery. The most traditional way to say goodbye is through burial, however for many of us this can be more costly and sometimes looking for funeral urns is much easier and more suited to your needs. When choosing to bury or cremate you may have the answer already there for you in your loved one’s wishes – but if not, look at your options and consider what works best for you.
If you go down the burial route the next thing you need to plan is the gravesite of your loved one. When someone dies they don’t get magically reserved a gravesite – and it is up to you to choose the gravesite your loved one will be buried in. The location and the views in any given cemetery will define the price you have to pay for a gravesite, and you will need to weigh up your options and make sure you choose a place that best respects your loved one.
Now that you have a gravesite picked out it is time for you to look at gravestones. Gravestones can be a little costly and the size and structure of a gravestone will be different based on your budget. You can buy a gravestone in many different shapes and materials such as stone, marble, metal, wood, and ceramic. You’ll likely get given a portfolio with different options in it that you can flick through and look at. Once you have picked the gravestone you want, you’ll need to decide on a message on the stone. The name, date, and relationships of the person will be standard in most cases – but you can also add a final message or quote that is synonymous with your loved one.
The coffin is one of the most important things you can buy for your loved one and it can be a surreal experience to purchase one this year. Take the time to look through brochures of coffins and take a look at the different materials and linings you can get. Once you have chosen the coffin that works for you, you can get this sent to the undertakers where the mortician will place your loved one inside before the ceremony. It is also important to note here that there are new types of coffins coming out that are biodegradable and that contain the seeds of a tree or plants. Your loved one could literally be giving back to the land and creating new life through their passing.
Once you have decided on the grave and coffin for your loved one it is time to look at how they will be transported to the funeral. This is a pretty standard practice and most of the time a hearse will be used due to its long trunk space. Once you have hired a hearse for the coffin you will want to hire a couple of cars for the closest members of the family so you can drive up to the venue alongside your loved one.
The flowers at any funeral service should bring a little bit of light and vibrancy to an otherwise dull and sad day. Flowers can not only convey respect and love for a lost loved one, but they will also make the funeral feel more like a celebration of life and a respectful goodbye to your family member. Tulips are a common flower to use at a funeral, and as well as these you might want to consider roses that convey love as well as a wreath in the shape of a word for your dad, brother, mother, or gran.
The ceremony you choose as a loved one will depend on the type of person they were. Traditionally this will be done in a church to bless the lost loved one and ensure that they go to heaven. You can also sing hymns, say speeches, and make the ceremony feel personal to the person. Many people in recent years have actually gone for a party vibe at the ceremony and have worn a specific colour to honour the deceased in a more personal way. This will depend on your loved one and what they would have wanted.
Now that the ceremony is planned it is time to plan the wake. Usually this will be hosted at a house with a small gathering of the closest family and friends however it can also be hosted at a small community centre or a local venue. This will depend how many people will be attending.
The food you serve at the wake can be anything from little nibbles to a full buffet and this really will be dependant on the time of day the wake is held. If it will be in the afternoon or early evening then serving some good and drink for people is important and it will also allow people to stay for longer and talk about their best memories of the lost love.
Your guests will make or break a funeral and it is important to invite those who will be respectful on the day and who miss them the most. Quantity is not more important than quality, but you can invite those who knew the deceased to pay their respects during the day.