Tips On Gathering Friends and Family for a Funeral Service

Funeral planning and finding relativesMany funeral homes offer plenty of services to help grieving family members and friends of a deceased loved with funeral planning – but what about when it comes to finding long-lost friends and relatives for the funeral service?  In many cultures, it is a tradition to hold a gathering after a wake or funeral in order to continue the mourning and celebration of a loved one’s life; in fact, several funeral homes even have a large space that’s used specifically for after-service dinners.  However, it can be difficult and time-consuming to gather everyone together for the funeral and after-service, so you’ll need as much help as you can muster from both relatives and the staff members of  funeral homes.

If you are funeral planning for a loved one, then you’ll need to keep in mind that you’ll be expected to announce your loved one’s death to all friends and relatives.  This can often feel like a large task, especially when done in conjunction with planning the actual funeral service.  Utilize the services of the funeral home to help with this large task, since they’ll help you compose an announcement for local papers and contacting friends and family members.  Set up a phone tree with close relatives so you don’t have to do all of the work, since it can be an emotionally draining experience to tell everyone about the death and funeral service.  When choosing relatives for the phone tree, make sure they have all of the pertinent contact info; this will help to clear up any misunderstandings that could occur later down the line.  Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for help in finding relatives and friends of the deceased; you’ll be surprised at the useful contact information that you’ll find if you open yourself up for help.

However, if you don’t have all of the contact information for friends and relatives, you may feel mounting frustration. Oftentimes, much-loved neighbors, friends and distant relatives move away and communication slows to a trickle – how do you go about gathering friends and family members for a service in such a short period of time?

Luckily, there are easy and time-efficient techniques and tips that will help you find long-lost relatives; which means you can spend more time grieving and remembering the life of your loved one:

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Use A Simple Internet Search. In previous decades, it took several hours of searching through a library or phone book in order to find the phone numbers or addresses of distant relatives and friends; however, the internet has changed everything, thanks to the power of the search engine.  Simply type in the name of the person you’re seeking, and several name options should pop up.  This is highly effective for those individuals who have a good idea where a friend or family member may be living; however, if you’re not sure, you’ll need to use something more advanced.

Use A Directory Service. If you can remember a previous address of a friend or relative, then enter that information into what’s known as a “reverse search” (which you can find at www.whitepages.com).  If successful, the search should pull up current contact information for the person.  However, if your search is still unsuccessful, head to your local library, which should have a Lexis Nexis directory subscription.  Simply input the same information, and you should find a more detailed list of contact information for long-lost friends and relatives.

Enlist The Aid Of Friends And Family. You’d be surprised at how many friends and family members can help you with your quest to track down missing relatives and loved ones.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help – after all, a funeral is about a family coming together to support one another and grieve, and this includes assisting in the funeral planning process.  Have other relatives or friends help you track down those who might know where other long-lost friends and family members reside. Once again, try the phone tree method to contact as many individuals in a shorter period of time.

Finding loved ones who’ve dropped out of contact doesn’t have to be an arduous task, even in the midst of funeral preparations – the key is to ask for help, especially if you’re feeling particularly drained or emotional.  Funeral planning itself can be a very emotional task, so make sure you have as much help as possible in order to lighten the burden.

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