How to Arrange a Funeral When You're Grieving
The grief a person feels when a loved one passes away can be extremely overwhelming and can make it very difficult to think about practical matters, such as making funeral arrangements for the deceased. Here are two tips which should make this process easier.
Seek support from your funeral home director
One of the worst things you can do when grieving is to try to handle every element of the funeral arrangements yourself. This will only lead to you feeling even more overwhelmed than you already are. Instead, seek out the help of the director of your local funeral home. Whilst many people mistakenly assume that funeral directors only handle matters such as paperwork and the transfer and preparation of the body, the truth is that they can offer much more than this.
They can guide you through the funeral arrangement process and help you to make decisions if you are struggling to do so. For example, they can offer advice on whether to opt for cremation or burial, on which coffin to choose (if you decide to have the deceased buried) and even help you with the composition of the obituary for the local newspaper and the eulogy for the service. They can also assist you with the selection of hymns or other music. Having an expert on hand to support you in making these choices will make this incredibly challenging experience far easier to cope with.
Personalise the funeral arrangements
Arranging a funeral when you're dealing with an intense emotion like grief can feel like an enormous burden. However, it can be helpful to view it from a different perspective; rather than seeing it as a hardship which adds to your emotional turmoil, try to see it as an opportunity to honour the memory of the deceased and bid them a proper farewell. Personalising the arrangements is a wonderful way to do this, and may even help you to begin to work your way through the grieving process.
If the service is being held at the funeral home, considering bringing along a few items that remind you of the deceased and using these to decorate the room in which the service will be performed. Things like photographs of them, any artwork or crafts that they may have created, objects that relate to their hobbies or achievements (for example, if they ran marathons, you could bring along their medals).
You can also personalise the funeral by choosing music that they loved. It's a common misconception that only traditional songs, such as hymns, can be played at a funeral service. In reality, you can opt for anything that you feel might be appropriate. If for example, your loved one was very fond of folk music, you might want to arrange for a local singer to play a few of the deceased's favourite folk songs on a guitar during the service.