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Whether we want to think about it or not, we are all destined to attend our own funeral, so it is smart to make plans for it now. After all, it is your sendoff party and details matter, which is why you need to make the arrangements in advance to be sure your final wishes are honored.
Planning your funeral means deciding the major and minor details of the event, so your friends and loved ones can feel your spirit as they are honoring your memory.
When you fail to plan for your funeral or memorial service, the responsibility falls on the shoulders of a loved one who may not know all your likes and dislikes. This means that your casket may be surrounded by yellow roses when you hate yellow roses!
Be mindful that planning someone else’s funeral is not the most comfortable position to be in, and the person responsible may make decisions under pressure that you disagree with… if you could. To avoid the pitfalls of having someone else plan your funeral, it is best to handle this yourself. However, just because you are taking the reins by ironing out all the details, mistakes can still happen.
Dodge Common Mistakes When Planning Your Funeral
Even if you do not have one foot in the grave, planning your funeral now is a step in the right direction. Nevertheless, it is important to tackle the planning process in a constructive manner and educate yourself to avoid making mistakes, so your funeral or memorial service is everything you hope it will be.
Keep your sense of humor. Death is a part of life, so do not take yourself and the process of arranging your funeral too seriously. Warm up for the big decisions by beginning with the finer details. Consider the kinds of flowers you want featured, or maybe you do not want any flowers at all. Think about the music you want playing. Do you have a favorite CD or MP3 song mix? Maybe you would prefer to have your sendoff accompanied by a pianist or violinist. Do not be afraid to spice things up. Remember, it is your final good-bye. If you want your funeral to be a happy event by turning it into a dance party, arrange for a DJ and a bartender! Your funeral can be as solemn or boisterous as you like.
Appoint trusted people to manage your plans. This is the most important part of the planning process. Once you have decided on all the details of your funeral, choose three people you believe will honor your wishes. Failing to reserve at least three people is a huge mistake because one or more of them may unfortunately pass on before you.
Be sure to ask them if they want the responsibility of making sure your funeral arrangements go off without a hitch. Should they politely refuse, thank them and approach other family members and friends. If you do not have anyone to handle your plans, reach out to a priest or an attorney.
Choose a location. This decision is largely based on how you plan to be buried, or not. If you want to be laid to rest in a cemetery, plan for a traditional funeral service and decide if you want it to happen in a church or similar location.
If you prefer to be cremated or desire a green burial, arrange a memorial service to happen at a place that is capable of catering to large gatherings. If you want alcohol at your service, make sure the establishment can legally serve beer and wine.
If you want to have your funeral or memorial service outdoors in a cemetery, a garden, or at the beach, keep in mind that you may die during a month with very hot or very cold weather. To avoid giving your guests an unpleasant experience, arrange a backup plan in case inclement weather ruins your original plans.
Gather as much information as possible. What you don’t know can impact your funeral plans and create setbacks in your life. For example, if you fail to research the funeral homes in your area, you may end up making reservations with a subpar funeral parlor that goes out of business. Hopefully, your money is quickly reimbursed, but this is not always the case. Most people facing the end of their life do not have the time, energy, and resources available to wait for refunds because they are busy crossing things off their bucket list.
There are no stupid questions! Planning your own funeral will cause many questions to crop up in your mind, and voicing these concerns is vital. Not getting the answers you need to make informed decisions is a recipe for disaster. Furthermore, if you feel unclear about something or believe there has been a miscommunication, never be afraid to ask for written clarification. Failing to do this may lead to you being planted beside the wrong tree in the green burial garden.
Research as much as you can about funerary details and leave no stone unturned. This is especially true when it comes to the different kinds of burials available, or you may decide to be cremated. Regardless of what you decide, it is important to choose the option that gives you the most comfort.
While books are valuable tools, it is helpful to gather answers and opinions from multiple sources before making any final decisions.
Never allow price to become a deciding factor. While most of us have a set budget and not a whole lot of wiggle room, if a service or item such as an urn seems overpriced, do not allow yourself to be talked into anything until you have shopped around. After all, the last thing you need is buyer’s remorse. On the opposite extreme, if a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Planning Your Funeral in Advance is a Smart Decision
While planning your own funeral is not an easy thing to do, once this task is complete, people report experiencing peace of mind and a quiet reassurance that their wishes will be honored. They also feel satisfied that they have done all they can to alleviate future stress from their loved ones.
In addition to removing a great weight from your shoulders and that of your family members, people who plan their own funerals report saving money on products and services that will become more expensive as time goes on.
If you need assistance planning your funeral, reach out to the resources within your community that can provide guidance such as funeral directors, counselors, and clergy members. Nevertheless, if you are more comfortable completing the process in the privacy of your home, EverArk software has helped many people accomplish this and allows them to plan the details of their funeral without feeling rushed.
EverArk also gives you the ability to create a digital legacy that your loved ones will cherish for a lifetime. You may even choose to display this during your funeral or memorial service, so all your guests can enjoy seeing you in a montage of photos and videos set to your favorite music.
To learn how EverArk can take the stress out of planning your funeral, request a demo today!