Thursday, October 1, 2020

Aging Family: What You Need to Know About the Funeral Process.

January 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( You don’t know what goes into the funeral process until you begin planning one yourself. Read this guide to learn some of the most important details.

The loss of a loved one can be devastating. As much as the pain exists, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. You want to honor their memory and make the funeral process as smooth as possible. Planning a funeral is an emotional process, whether the death was expected or not. It can be less stressful and exhausting if you know what to expect when you’re planning a funeral.

Read on to learn how to plan a funeral and honor your loved one the way that they deserve.

Understand the Purpose of the Funeral

There are two main parts to a funeral. This is good to understand because people often mistake a reason to have a funeral. They associate a funeral or a wake only happening if a body isn’t cremated. But that’s not quite true.

The funeral has two purposes. The first is to decide what to do with the remains of your loved one. The second purpose is to honor the life of your loved one. This could be a funeral or memorial service. It doesn’t matter what the body’s disposition is or whether you have a memorial service. A funeral in a general sense will do both.

Choose the Body Disposition

If your loved one prepared a will or directed your family as to what the body disposition should be, then you will honor those wishes. If not, then you have a decision on your hands. Here are some of the options at hand.

Cremation: Intense heat is applied to the remains of the body and it’s reduced to ashes. Some people prefer this to either keep the remains nearby or to spread the ashes in a place that meant a lot to your loved one.  You’ll need to choose a cremation urn for the remains and decide who keeps them and where.

Traditional Burial: This is the type of burial we normally associate with a funeral. Your loved one has a plot or a mausoleum at a cemetery. The body is then put in a casket and either lowered into the ground or in a mausoleum.

Environmentally Friendly Burial: More people are trying to do their part to keep their carbon footprint low, even in death. In this case, the body isn’t embalmed and the body is buried in biodegradable material.

This is one of the toughest decisions if you don’t have direction from your loved one before they died. You may want to consult with other family members before making a final decision.

Visualize the Funeral Service

Take a little time to think through what you want the funeral service to look like. You want to have a vision for the event, such as who will be there, and how the service will go. This can help you and the funeral home plan for the service.

Choose a Funeral Home

Once you spend some time thinking about what you want the funeral to look like, then you can pick a funeral home. This may have already been decided by your loved one or not. If you have to decide, you want to work with a funeral home that can best help you fulfill the wishes of your loved one and your vision for the funeral.

Understanding Payments

Funerals are pretty expensive and the final costs depend on the type of service and the chosen body disposition. You want to see what forms of payment the funeral accepts and whether or not you can finance the arrangements. You can pay for the service in a variety of ways, such as personal savings, personal loans, credit cards, or insurance policies.

Write an Obituary

There may be people that your loved one knew that you don’t know how to get in touch with them. Publishing an obituary in the paper will help you get the word out about your loved one. Some funeral homes will assist you in writing the obituary and getting it published.

Plan for an After Service Gathering

At the end of the funeral service, it’s typical for attendees to gather once more to remember your loved one, eat good food, and share memories and laughter. The post-funeral reception is usually at a family member’s home where people can relax, eat and get to know each other in a less formal setting than at a funeral. Most of the time, people will bring food beforehand. If someone asks what they can bring, tell them. Don’t be shy about asking for help.

Send Out Thank You Cards

The first week after the death of a loved one is hectic because you have to plan and attend the funeral and viewings. There’s also planning the reception after the funeral service. Once everything settles, you have a lot of people to thank for attending the service and remembering your loved one.

You should thank the pallbearers, the staff at the funeral home, clergy, and anyone else who made a difference in this difficult time. There are also people who took the time to remember and celebrate your loved one. You don’t have to make the cards length letters. You can keep them simple and use some of the ideas listed here.

Sometimes, there is no greater loss than the loss of a loved one. You can start healing by planning a funeral that truly honors their memory and gives friends and family an opportunity to celebrate the life that was lived. Odds are, they touched the lives of a lot of people, and you want to give them the opportunity to say goodbye. Knowing the funeral process can help you plan the funeral in a way that takes the stress off of you and your immediate family. You know what to expect and can plan the funeral and make sure the process goes well for everybody.

Staff Writer; Steve Jones

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