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Should You Plan Your Own Funeral?

Posted on 3/04/2020 at 2:52 PM in Blog

You might think it sounds crazy,
You might think its scary,
You might be too crazy and too scared to think about it,

But don’t be – here at Celamony we think its never too early to think about the one certainty in life so why not start thinking about it now.

In two sentences we can tell you why it’s a good idea:

1. You get to say all the things you want people to remember you for and
2. All the stress strain and family turmoil at what inevitably a distressing time will be will have already been taken care of.

There you go its simple not crazy and with the help of Celamony not scary.

Let’s go through it remembering answering the two questions are your main objective.

We will start by dealing with question 2 first – take out the stress and strain for your family.

Planning your own funeral may be an emotionally taxing process, but it will save your relatives a great deal of pain and worry in the long run.

Decide on a type of funeral

You will need to choose between a burial or cremation. With a burial, your body is interred in the ground either with or without embalming. With cremation, your body is cremated to ash and the remains are placed in a container of your choice. You also have the option of a green burial, which is an environmentally conscious way of handling your body- we will discuss these at a later date but for now take a look at this web site if natural burials are something you have in mind. http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk/index.php?page=choosing-a-natural-burial-grounds

Having decided on the type of funeral you want next decide what happens between death and the funeral itself. Your funeral director will look after your body until the service but it is your choice whether to have a gathering before or after your funeral or none at all. You can have a service in the crematorium or a graveyard service at the cemetery. You can have a body viewing or wake before your funeral as well.

• This decision should be based, at least in part, on how comfortable you are with others viewing your body after death. You can always opt for a closed casket service as well.

Next in the planning stage comes choosing your funeral director. If possible speak to as many as you can. At first glance, it can seem like they’re all much alike – or that there are too many to choose between – but there are a few key things that can help you find the best option for your needs. A funeral director’s main duty is to take on most of the burden of planning a funeral, following your wishes as closely as possible. This can give you and your family some space to breathe, without worrying about the details of the funeral.

To do this, they will usually:
• Collect the person who has died and take them to the funeral home, then to the funeral.
• Wash, dress and prepare them for the funeral, or for a viewing if you would like to visit your loved one at the funeral home.
• Support and guide you through the process of planning the funeral.
• Sort out all the paperwork that’s needed for the cremation or burial.
• Provide a coffin or urn.
• Organise the funeral service and burial or cremation and guide you and the guests on the day.
• Co-ordinate third-party services, such as funeral transport, order of service sheets, notices in the paper, music, catering and flowers.

Depending on your wishes, the funeral director may also offer services like embalming, help with DWP applications, repatriation to or from another country and ongoing bereavement support after the funeral. If there’s something specific you need, check with them when you first contact them.

So when choosing a funeral director who has a big responsibility on the day make sure you are happy with them before you make your final choice

You don’t have to settle on a funeral director right away. Take some time to research quotes, prices and reviews before settling on a shortlist of around two to five. Check what each quote includes (and what it doesn’t) If you’re considering a funeral director who hasn’t listed their prices online, be sure to ask if you can see a price breakdown and ask if it includes additional third-party costs.

Recommendations from friends and family members can guide you to the top funeral homes, but funeral directors are often bought out by chains and kept under the same name, with different people in charge.
Recent online reviews, such as those on our funeral director profiles, can help you get make sure the standard of service is the same.

Also consider can the funeral director provide the type of funeral you’re looking for? Some funeral directors specialise in eco-friendly natural burials, traditional funeral services and alternative contemporary options. Embalming and viewings need certain facilities on-site.

When you’re choosing a funeral home, make sure to ask if there are specific things that you want or any personal preferences you’d like them to accommodate.

Finally Choose someone who makes you feel comfortable

This is the most important thing to think about when you’re choosing a funeral director. A good funeral director will be someone you’re happy to have attending the funeral. They will respect your wishes and won’t ‘up-sell’ or push you to make certain choices.

We are well on the way to answering question 2 and things are taking place – Now decide on what you want at your service.

Is there to be any religious content?

Do you want hymns if so chose them and let people know. Similarly, with any specific readings print them off and give them to family members.

Decide if you want any ant religious content and this is where your choice of celebrant really comes into its own and stands out.

By choosing a celebrant you can have whatever religious readings you want – how many – how few – you are not dictated by a standard service set down by any religious order, If you want to chose a Christmas reading at Easter that’s your choice – if you want to mix a piece from the Christian Bible with one from the Jewish Torah or Muslim Qur’an then that’s what you do. A celebrant led ceremony gives you total freedom to express your wishes.

Next comes the choice of music.

Think about the type of atmosphere that you would like during your funeral. Would you prefer violins or flutes? Do you want music at the graveside or just at the crematorium?

Be aware that you can also opt for a combination of live and recorded music as well. Make notes regarding your wishes and discuss them with the funeral director. Its your choice and whist we recognise that there are some all time classics and favourites – be bold and be individual and chose the one that’s just right for you.

When planning also consider where to hold the reception afterwards. Chose the food you want people to have. Pick the reception venue appropriate for the numbers expected to be present but if its somewhere where your always dreamt off tell your family now.

Consider do you want a reception on the day of the funeral or just a small intimate gathering to mark your passing with close family followed by a happier joyful memorial ceremony sometime later when the initial grief and shock at death are easier to deal with. Then a much bigger happier celebration of life can be planned with the need to rush a funereal.

But with all the planning you have dine in answering question 2 first you can turn your mind to question 1- what do you want to say.

The first thing to chose is the right person to deliver the ceremony and your eulogy.

If your heart is set on a family member to lead the service. Consider this no matter how confident a person is in business or work life in public speaking the grief and emotion of a funeral may overcome them.

So chose someone like Celamony to create the unique personal ceremony you want to celebrate and reflect your life. Whilst emotionally involved in ensuring your ceremony is unique and reflective of you the extent to which the emotional attachment is there is reduced a little.

The role of Celamony is to create the perfect ceremony and eulogy you want. Also, by planning in advance Celamony will be able to work with you to get your very specific wishes in place and set within your ceremony.

Writing your own eulogy can be difficult so at Celamony we will work with you and your family to make sure your every last request reminiscence and story are told to truly reflect your character and life.

So there you have it what you thought might be scary and even a little bit crazy at first isn’t so bad and your wishes are now set down giving both you and your family reassurance that at a very difficult time emotionally one massive hurdle has already been overcome.

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