Do you know a lot about planning a funeral? If you’ve never done it for anyone before, your answer may be no or not much. And even if you’ve already helped in a past service, it’s still easy to feel unsure and overwhelmed because it may have been a while since the last event. Besides, planning funerals are naturally challenging because of the dark emotions associated with death. However, knowing what to do and what to expect from such a big life event can be comforting and empowering.
Remember, having a bit of knowledge on what to do when someone dies can assuage worries and mitigate the anxiety that you may be feeling. Moreover, bereaved family members who are tasked to arrange the funeral services need not panic because they can always seek advice from the funeral director who is an expert when it comes to death care services. If you need guidance, keep reading to find out the top industry tidbits that every funeral director wishes people knew about funeral planning.
It’s Crucial to Plan Ahead
Most funeral directors find it heartbreaking to see family members arguing over funeral details from something as simple as the type of casket to the musical playlist for the memorial services. It’s not uncommon in their profession to see quarreling during the planning stage. That’s why they strongly suggest for you and other adult relatives to make plans ahead. Making preparations now provides huge comfort to your family in a future time of need and despair.
It’s ideal to complete a funeral plan with all the details you want for your future service. You can even pay for the services in advance and lock in the current price. This guarantees that your family won’t feel any financial burden in a very trying time. Having details ironed out also means the ones you leave behind can focus on their grief instead of worrying about the details and getting stressed over making arrangements.
And keep in mind, even if you opt not to pay for any services in advance, you can still write down your wishes and have conversations with your loved one. There is no better time down now to broach this topic. After all, death is an inevitable part of life, and approaching technicalities with a clear mind will always be better than leaving things up to chance.
Personalize the Details to Make the Ceremony More Meaningful
It’s important to note that funeral services aren’t cookie-cutter ceremonies. Many people who have attended past services may think that many ceremonies and services look the same. However, you can make arrangements with the funeral home to make things more personal for the deceased, your family, and your guests.
Don’t be afraid to suggest ideas to staff members assigned to help you, so you can celebrate the life of the deceased and honor it in a way that’s most meaningful for you and your family. You can personalize everything such as:
- Play specific songs
- Choose different kinds of flowers
- Add pictures on the wall
- Display mementos like a quilt made by the deceased or a baseball card collection
- Use balloons and other garlands
Feel free to tell the funeral team about the unique qualities of your departed loved one as they may have some ideas and suggestions. They likely have resources in place to help you make your vision come alive. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because funeral directors feel delighted to hear personalized requests.
Don’t Rush Because It May Take Time to Set Things Up
Figuring out all the details of the funeral and cremation services won’t happen in a flash. You may need several hours for your initial meeting. Since the funeral team wants to make sure they get every detail right, you have to spend time talking about this. Details may include the following:
- Chosen disposition method
- The casket or urn type
- Graveyard or columbarium
- Flower details
- Death certificate
- Preferred readings
- Music at the service
- Guest book
- Thank you cards
- The funeral program
There are many details to think about when you’re planning a funeral for the person you love. Funeral directors wish that people who come for their appointments make time in their busy schedules so they won’t have to rush and can carefully plan everything. Having sufficient time would allow the funeral service crew to attend to everything and ensure the service’s success.
Funeral Planning is Not a Job but a Vocation
Sometimes, funeral directors get disappointed when clients think that they’re in this industry for the money, and all they do is take advantage of grieving hearts. Although it is expensive to plan a funeral, most of the money goes to the suppliers of caskets, urns, flowers, maintenance of the venue, etc. Funeral professionals see their occupation as a vocation, and they’re here to serve others during the darkest moment of their lives.
Helping people plan funerals is not like other 9 to 5 jobs where the workers get a reprieve or downtime. Death can happen at any time, so they also need to be ready at a moment’s notice. In their career, all their senses have encountered textures, sights, sounds, and scents that other people may never even want to imagine. A career in this industry is not for the faint-hearted. Being in this job means taking on the deep sorrow of other people and putting their own selves last.
It can really be tough and draining at times because funeral directors serve as sounding boards that absorb the grieving family’s darkest emotions. Always remember that your funeral director has the best intentions. If you have one working with you to set up a nice service for your deceased loved one, thank them. After all, they offer love, care, and support during the lowest moments of people’s lives.