When someone you love dies, it is often difficult to know what to do or how to deal with your grief. The following are some guidelines to help you through the funeral planning process and beyond.
- Keep family and friends close to you for love and support. You are not alone and people want to help. Let them.
- Resist the urge to rush through everything. Often when someone dies, there is a sense of urgency to have the funeral or memorial service the following day. Give yourself time to grieve, remember, share stories, go through pictures, and plan and prepare for these special services. It is not unusual to have services a few days after death has occurred.
- As you are thinking about what to include in the obituary, think about how you would like your loved one to be remembered. In a sentence or two, try to capture the essence of who he or she was in the obituary in addition to listing accomplishments or organizations. Your funeral director will help write and submit the obituary.
- Be sure that all family members are in agreement with how the services will be handled – before, during, and after the services. This is a highly emotional time for everyone, and it’s important for families to communicate and be in agreement with one another. If the entire family is supposed to arrive to the visitation early for a private family viewing, or if everyone is supposed to meet at a central location and ride together, be sure to communicate these details.
- Communicate with your spouse, family, and children about decisions being made so that they do not feel left out or alone. Often when people become wrapped up in the funeral planning process, those closest to them end up feeling neglected and left alone to deal with their grief.
- Consider having a reception or gathering after the funeral or memorial service. It will provide a special time to share a meal with family and friends while supporting one another after the services.