Is it Possible to Make Funeral Planning Fun?
It is difficult to think of planning a funeral for a loved one as a pleasant activity, but that does not mean the entire process the has to be a sad, heavy affair. Although there will always be an undercurrent of grief in these situations, there can also be moments to treasure and value.
Here are a few ideas how to make the most out of your funeral planning experience.
One of the biggest reasons (apart from bereavement) why funeral planning is such a strain on a family is the worry about finances. It is difficult for anyone to feel excited about spending thousands of dollars for such a sad day—and if your finances are in any way restricted, the difficulties can be distressing.
By setting aside money ahead of time for a funeral (whether through a funeral insurance policy, an advance funeral plan, or simply by saving up), you can reduce much of your worry. While this won’t make planning the funeral fun, you will be able to focus on making the event memorable—rather than endlessly worrying about your finances.
Planning a funeral is about 75 percent making decisions. Burial or cremation? Memorial service at a church or the funeral home? Open casket or closet? Do you want the deceased embalmed? What kind of clothes should he or she be buried in? What color funeral flowers?
These questions can quickly become overpowering—especially since you have a limited time frame in which to answer them. If you take the time to talk to your loved ones before they pass (or even make a list of funeral wishes before death) you might be able to get most of these answered for you.
Focus on Celebration
A funeral is a goodbye and a loss, but it is also a celebration. This is your opportunity to not only reflect on the life of the deceased, but also to focus on the family and friends he or she leaves behind.
Put in as much family time as you can—whether in the days leading up to the funeral or in the time immediately following. Tell stories, share memories, do activities the deceased might have been fond of. Not every minute of every day has to be spent in mourning.
Hands-On Funeral Planning
If you’re the type of person who takes comfort from being proactive, now is a good time to step up and take the reins. Funerals necessarily come with a lot of required planning, whether that means coordinating hotels for out-of-town visitors, finding ways to feed everyone, or using your own two hands to make centerpieces for the reception afterward.
Find what you enjoy doing and focus on that. Keeping busy might be a good way to not only cope with your loss, but also to find some pleasure in the act of saying goodbye.
Funeral Planning Your Way
No one will ever look forward to funeral planning, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an unbearable burden. By doing the hard work ahead of time and giving yourself space to grieve, you can considerably reduce the strain and even find joy in saying your goodbyes.