When it comes to planning a funeral, perhaps one of the most important things is to make it as personal and as true as possible the loved on you’re honouring. And whilst there are certain logistical aspects that you need to consider, the way in which you deal with the personal factors will inevitably determine who happy you are with the final outcome.
So how exactly can you make sure that your loved one’s funeral ceremony or farewell service is as unique as they were?
1) Find out what your loved one wanted
Before you start planning the funeral, try and find out exactly what your loved one wanted.
Although not everyone is afforded the luxury of time in this regard, if your loved one was dealing with a terminal illness or simply getting older, you may have had a few frank conversations about what they would want (and what they didn’t want) at their funeral. Or, if they were taken suddenly, did you happen to have hypothetical conversations in the past about their funeral preferences? They may also have specified this kind of thing in their will or spoken to other friends and family about the matter.
2) Tailor the funeral ceremony structure
Modern day funerals are very different to what they were a few decades ago. These days, some people prefer a less traditional funeral and many choose not to follow a religious structure at all. So when it comes to planning the ceremony, think about what your loved one would want. Would they prefer a traditional funeral? Were they religious, and if so which religion was it? Or would they be more comfortable with a contemporary or even a completely customised funeral?
This is where choosing the right funeral director comes in handy. Try to choose a company like Olsens Funerals who can offer various types of funeral services for different religious and spiritual beliefs. Once you’ve selected a funeral company, they will be able to guide you through the various ceremony structures available as well as help you to personalise or customise wherever possible.
3) Choose your guests wisely
Who gets to attend the funeral is entirely up to you. Would your loved one have preferred a closed funeral with just close friends and family? Or would they prefer an open celebration for anybody who wishes to attend?
4) Be picky with music
Music can have powerful and emotional impact, especially at a farewell service. Unlike more traditional funerals, modern funerals don’t have to include hymns or any form of singing. If you prefer, you can select a few of their favourite songs and play recordings of them throughout the ceremony. Of course, you can also choose not to use any music at all. It depends entirely on your preferences as well as what you think your loved one would want.
A wonderful way to honour a loved one is to let the people who knew them best say a few words about them. Whether it’s reading their favourite poem, delivering a funny and heartfelt eulogy or leading the entire service, having friends and family involved in the ceremony is a great way to personalise things.
6) After the ceremony
What you decide to do after the ceremony is entirely up to you. This is your opportunity to socialise and share stories with others who loved your loved one. So whether you hold an official wake with catering at your home or simply head over to the deceased’s favourite pub, choose something that they would have loved.
A funeral is all about celebrating and honouring a loved one, so it’s important to make sure that the entire event is personalised. With modern funerals, you can customise pretty much any aspect of the day so don’t be afraid to do things a little differently. From guests, location and ceremony structure to music and eulogies, dare to do things in a way that your loved one would enjoy. At the end of the day, that’s the best way to honour their life.