Wading Through Grief to Plan Funerals: Tips and Coping Strategies

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A Guide on How to Plan a Funeral

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Planning a funeral is a hectic and daunting task since most family members are usually in mourning. This excerpt provides a few tips that will ensure you have an easy time planning a loved one's funeral.

Deceased wishes. 

Some people have wishes regarding how they would want their funeral planned. It is important to respect these wishes and give your loved one a befitting send-off. Consult with your loved one's lawyer to know if he or she has any last wishes written in his or her will.

Sending invites.

Once the person dies, the immediate family should decide on a funeral date. After that, you should send invites to close friends and family. You can also place an obituary in the local dailies to notify people of your loved one's passing. Some religions dictate that a person should be buried a day after he or she passes away. In such cases, you will not have much time to send invites.

Funeral program. 

The funeral program should state the event venue, when the event will commence, key speakers, and when the ceremony will end. The master of ceremony should be a lively person with the ability to lighten the mood at the venue. Speakers should observe time limits to avoid extending the funeral service. 

Preparing the body. 

Discuss with the mortician on how you would want the body prepared for burial. You may prefer to have the body embalmed. Also, you might need to buy a suit to dress your loved one on the funeral day. For cremation procedures, you may choose to refrigerate the remains before the ceremony. Consult with the undertaker if there are any religious or cultural rites you need to perform on the body. 

Funeral venue. 

You can either choose to bury your loved one at home or a cemetery. Some families may prefer a church service to precede the burial. Prepare the burial venue by having traffic marshals to instruct people where to park. The venue should also have sanitation facilities. If you expect a lot of guests, you should hire portable toilets. Finally, ensure that the venue has adequate sitting facilities. Avoid outdoor events if you anticipate severe weather on the D-day.


Have a caterer to attend to guests after the ceremony. For funerals, you do not require five-star dining since most people are in a sombre mood. Organise an evening party for close friends to comfort the immediate family of the deceased.

When planning a funeral, consider the deceased's wishes, invites, funeral program, preparation of the venue and catering. For more information, contact your local funeral services.