Funeral Arrangement - How to Plan

Now what? What do you need to know? Where do you begin?

According to Peggy Post, Director of the The Emily Post® Institute, it's always best to discuss your wishes well before you are on your deathbed. Try to have an open line of communication about your wishes and find out what your family members want - this is a great gift for the people left behind.

If you are planning a funeral, memorial, celebration of life or end-of-life celebration and haven't had these discussions, you will need to make some decisions before you start. This section is designed to help you think about them.

Try to categorize your plans into the four separate areas of consideration:

  • The disposition of the physical body
  • The rituals and end-of-life celebration associated with death
  • Legal and administrative matters
  • Feelings of grief

Before you get started, here are a few tips.

Breathe. Take time to think about how you want to honor the life of the person who has died. What would they want and what can you afford? Keep in mind, while you want to respect the wishes of the person who has died, you should also consider how the end-of-life celebration will help you and your family with their grief.

Make each decision and move to the next one. Try not to look back or second-guess your decisions. Unless it's all been planned out ahead of time, you have a lot to do and, in most cases, not very much time to do it.

Recruit the help of people who offer. There are people who will offer to help (friends, family, community members, religious leaders). You may feel like you're burdening them, but accepting their help is helping them, too - it's their way of showing they care. If you are looking for professional help, you can reach out to a funeral director, a funeral planner or an event planner.

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