When a loved one dies, one of the first question asked by family and friends is most likely, “When is the funeral?” This may be the last question you want to answer, as you are grieving from the loss, but it is one that must be addressed fairly quickly. While every family and every situation is different, there are a few basics to planning a funeral. By taking the time to cover as many details as possible, the stress of the situation can become much less of a burden.
In cases of illness or advanced age, have a frank discussion with your loved one regarding their end of life wishes. When the time comes, you will feel comforted knowing you are doing exactly what your loved one wanted. When the death comes suddenly, a will or other legal document may help with funeral preparations. If there is no will, consulting with the deceased’s close friends and other relatives may help with funeral preparations.
Timing the Service(s)
Although many think of funerals in a similar way, there are actually many different ways people choose to say goodbye to their loved ones. Some families have a funeral only, while others have visitation as well as a funeral. Still, others have an intimate service for those closest to the deceased, and a separate memorial service that will accommodate a larger number of people. Sometimes, when the details of why the person has died are unknown, a coroner may hold the deceased, meaning the actual cremation or burial must wait. In those situations, holding a memorial service for the deceased may provide comfort and help loved ones say good-bye.