Planning the memorial service or funeral of a loved one is never an easy task. It is not easy to be pragmatic in the midst of emotional turmoil and grief. And, while it is a hard task that can be difficult to take in stride alongside pain management, funeral planning must be done.
Even if you want to dilly-dally, procrastination is not an option in this matter. Whether it’s your first time or succeeding time making funeral preparations, it can be a bit tricky to find your way through it all. So, to give you a sense of guidance, here are some funeral mistakes that you should avoid making.
Number 1: Not Exploring Options for Funeral Providers
Most people who work with funeral providers, like casket providers, funeral home services, and even catering and florists, tend to hire those that they have worked with before or those with whom they have connections to thanks for the friendly referral. At times, it’s a matter of convenience so people choose those that are nearby with a good online reputation.
That said, even if you already have a few providers in mind, it is still good to do a cross-comparison between the different funeral providers so you can find the most cost-efficient team who will cater to your needs. The cost of funeral planning does not come cheap and prices may vary with different burial and cremation services. Be on the lookout for good deals. That is not to say you should scrimp on the memorial service of your loved one; but, you must be able to get value for money. In cases where the family loses a breadwinner or financial contributor, it may even be more important to look for economic options.
Number 2: Rushing to Organize an Elaborate Service After the Death
Some funeral decisions like choosing the funeral home or disposition method must be made immediately after the death of a loved one. However, preparing and organizing a funeral service doesn’t have to happen right away if you’re not ready. You have options if you wish to have a memorial service later.
For instance, a direct cremation means you can have the body created immediately and at the cheapest cost possible. At a later date, you can plan for the funeral services with an urn containing the cremation remains. With this option, you have more time to process your grief and plan the services you like. When you’ve given yourself time to rest and heal, you can opt for a celebration of life rather than a solemn service that mourns death. Again, you have many options to explore, so don’t rush into making big decisions.
Number 3: Avoiding Asking Questions and Asking for Help
It is difficult to focus on all the little nitty-gritty things that go into funeral planning when you are trying to navigate through your grief. And, since funeral planning involves making a lot of decisions, which can be even more emotionally and mentally draining, it can be easy to choose things on a whim and without considering all available options. Whether you are planning a funeral service ahead of or are in the thick of planning one after suddenly losing someone, it is important to ask questions.
If you are uncertain of what options are available, do ask your funeral providers. Most will be willing to walk through every step of the planning process. Be sure to also help them help you by expressing the type of service you want and desire so they can help you arrange a meaningful service. You may also seek help from other people you trust who may not be in the funeral industry, such as a trusted friend who also knew the departed one, or maybe another close family member. If you are not up to doing the whole thing alone, it is normal to ask other trusted individuals to help you through it. Plus, when it comes to planning, two heads are better than one.
Number 4: Going Over Budget
Funeral services are known for being costly. The expenses could pile up based on your chosen inclusions like types of caskets, funeral flowers, grave markers, etc. That’s why it is important to have a set budget and stick with it. Ask your funeral director about the costs of each option. Don’t succumb to upselling.
For example, if you prefer a traditional wooden casket over a fancy type of casket like a metal one, then do that. Keep in mind that the right funeral home is always transparent about their fees so they won’t have hidden charges or push for things you don’t want or need. Stay away from unscrupulous vendors that prey on your distress because it can be hard to make sound choices amidst overwhelming grief. Be clear on how much you can afford to spend and look for the best deal and service.
Number 5: Not Telling or Communicating with Anyone
If you are preparing funeral services in advance, you must share what your wishes are. If you have an idea of where you would like it to take place, what music you want to be played, what flowers you would like, if you want a burial or cremation, and who you would want there, it is important to tell trusted people.
Grieving family members may not be sure of how to best honor you if they do not know what you want beforehand. So, do document your plans with the funeral home that you are working alongside. You can also let your family know of such plans beforehand so they are not confused about what to do. This option is often neglected, which is unfortunate because it can help and unburden the ones you leave behind. If you’re an adult, make advance funeral preparations a priority and communicate your wishes with your loved ones. This protects them in case something untoward happens in the future. It’s one of the biggest acts of courage and love you can do for your family.