When planning a funeral for a loved one it is easy to feel rushed and vulnerable when it is time to start making decisions. It is suggested that the planning not be done alone but with the consultation of family members or friends. When planning a funeral the first step is to find out if the deceased outlined specific actions or events for their funeral. If there were specifics everything should be done to satisfy them. Unfortunately, most people do not pre-plan their own funeral, which leaves family members with the daunting job of attempting to plan a funeral that is appropriate.
As least two funeral homes should be contacted and price quotes requested. When getting quotes inquire as to whether the funeral homes are associated with one another. Large companies will often purchase smaller funeral homes and retain the original name. Often what appears to be an independent family-run home will instead be part of a large corporation. Simply asking who owns the funeral home can ensure that the different quotes you receive are not all from the same company.
If the deceased did not leave instruction for planning the funeral what type of arrangements to make will have to be determined. Do not allow the people offering the funeral services to put pressure on you to purchase unnecessary services or extras. The only funeral services that should be purchased are those that the deceased would want, or that you feel are appropriate. Often small items like gloves for pallbearers may seem like a small amount to pay, but many funeral homes charge up to $50 for each pair, with 6 pairs of gloves the total amount would be $300. Create a checklist for the all the things that need to be purchased or performed and stick with your list. When you decide the services you would like from the funeral home request package pricing. This is fairly common and many homes offer one price for the funeral services and burial or cremation.
A formal funeral traditionally includes a viewing period for up to 2 days, a service, and then burial. The burial can be in a mausoleum, vault, niche, or the ground. Often a graveside ceremony in also offered. The other items to consider purchasing are a flower car, family limo, and a hearse. The viewing or visitation part of the funeral is a choice either the deceased had already made or that those planning the funeral will have to make. Normally if the deceased had not expressed that they wanted a viewing one is not done. Some families may opt for a private viewing and then pictures of the deceased are displayed at the ceremony.
Planning a loved ones funeral is not an easy task. There are many considerations to take into account. This is especially difficult if the deceased was not clear with their wishes before they passed away. Whatever type of service that is ultimately performed should be one that the deceased would have wanted and that honors and celebrates their life.