Funeral Blog: Planning my own funeral
Updated: Mar 23
Planning your own funeral can be an intimidating and sad thought, but it doesn't have to be! We have had many of our clients discussing their own wishes and options for when the time comes either while arranging a funeral for a loved one that has died, or because they've simply popped in for a chat with us.
Here are some options to think about before you visit a funeral director:
Visiting - Would you like your family and friends to be able to visit you while in our care? Some individuals find this very distressing while others will visit their loved ones every day leading up to the day of the funeral. If, however you find the idea of family visiting you a negative thought - it is very important that you let us know beforehand so that we can put restrictions in place. In my experience, our clients will often become flustered when we ask what clothing they would like their loved-one to be wearing and spend a lot of time discussing what he or she would have liked. If you have a specific preference, let us know and we'll make a note of it.
Embalming - Often, funeral directors will seek permission from clients to allow embalming of their loved ones, although this has been long debated within the funeral sector due to differences of opinion on the dignity and intrusive nature of the practice. For those that agree, this is usually completed in situations when family and friends will be visiting the person who has died. Embalming is essentially used to slow the rate of decomposition, allowing the families more time with their loved-ones before the date of the funeral.
Funeral celebrant/Religious minister? - This is an obvious one for those of faith who will often know not only what they want, but who they want to take the service. But did you know that there are subtle differences between a humanist and a life celebrant? Our clients often ask for a life celebrant "because they aren't religious" but a life celebrant is defined as "someone who undertakes a funeral service and will incorporate as many or as few religious hymns or bible readings as the client wishes." For those of you who are of an atheistic or agnostic persuasion, a humanist is the way to go.
The location of the service - Regardless of what service type you would like, do let us know if you have a specific location in mind. The prices of cemeteries and crematoria alike can vary hugely depending on what area of the country you want to rested. We can advise you on these at the time of arrangement.
Flowers or donations? - This is usually known before the time of the funeral but again, allows us to be aware of donation boxes or florists arriving at the door before the funeral!
Pall bearers - Are there any specific family members that are keen to help your coffin into the chapel? For some cultures, this is a must and seen as an integral part of the service proceedings. We will ask at time of arrangement while keeping in mind that many people find this to be too much when it comes to the day. Not to worry though, we always have a full roster of staff standing by their side to either step in or simply to guide the family pall bearers during the carrying of the coffin.
Eulogies - Is there a specific person or family member that you know would like to speak at your funeral? Often, the celebrant/minister will speak with our arranging client before the funeral and outlay everything that will be said throughout proceedings, occasionally however, there may be a representative of a club or workplace that will speak about the person who has died and impart stories or anecdotes. The celebrant/minister will guide the person through this depending on the tone of the funeral.
The door is always open and the kettle on for our clients to pop in and have a chat or ask for advice surrounding your funeral wishes.
Or chat to us anytime via our online chat at haynanfuneraldirectors.co.uk