Take Your Time
First of all, take your time. There is no need to rush a funeral, take the time to get it right. If anything , many people regret rushing this part of the grieving process. Take your time to get it right, you only get one chance, and it can make all the difference in your grieving process.
Choose the Right Venue
The venue is important, make it a memorable one. Where your loved one grew up, where you got married, renewed vows, local sports club where they were a long -standing member, favourite holiday spot. If they were an avid fisherman – how about on a launch in the harbour? Holding a funeral at home, is also a good way to keep it personal and intimate.
Dress your loved one, write a eulogy, choose the flowers and music, add some photos. Choose something to do. Many families don’t realise the opportunities available to them to be involved in the funeral process. Talk to your funeral director and Celebrant and get involved. Never feel bad to ask the crazy questions because these often turn out to be the most personalised and fun things associated with a funeral and the things you remember the most in years to come. Funeral directors and celebrants want your experience to be just right for you. If you want to sit up front in the hearse – just ask.
If a number of you are organising the service, make sure you all sit down to agree what will happen. This will save all sorts of issues in the long run. You cannot imagine how many times families have fallen apart over decisions relating to funerals. Remember emotions are running high and people don’t react as they normally would. Which is also why Wills are so important as they outline what your loved one wants for their funeral.
Don’t underestimate the impact of your grief and how you may react to things. It’s OK to take time out for yourself when you need to. We all deal with loss in different ways. Also be aware of others, and how they might be feeling – and don’t compare. Sometimes the best thing to say at a time of grief is ‘nothing’, it’s better just to be there for the person.
Funerals don’t need to be expensive. Let others help – just say YES. It’s good to give them something to do. The organisation your loved one worked for may also wish to contribute (perhaps covering catering costs etc…).
Make sure you personalise the funeral. Even something simple like releasing balloons can lift the entire mood of the day. Personalisation doesn’t have to be expensive. You can request people wear something in your loved ones favourite colour. Get flowers from your loved ones garden to sit on the coffin, or a favourite item. Play your loved one’s favourite songs. Read their favourite poem or quotes.
Be in the Moment
When you are at the funeral be in the moment. Turn your phone off. The worst thing to happen in a funeral is someone’s personalised ring tone going off. Your Celebrant will remind folk to ensure that their phones are off or on silent.
A Funeral is Just the Start
Remember the funeral is just one step in the long journey of saying goodbye to your loved one. It’s a whirlwind of grief and stress in the first week or two, but having to deal with not having a loved one there forever more can take a lot of time to work through.
Get support if you think you might need it. Losing someone that was such an integral part of your life can be difficult to deal with.