Planning your own funeral is not a gloomy experience but instead a cathartic one – as long as it’s not happening during a time of crisis. There are a variety of reasons you may find pre-planning your own funeral a rewarding experience, which we outline in this post.
This is one time when it’s OK to be selfish, though planning ahead also benefits your loved ones. But more on that later in the post. First, let’s talk about you. Your funeral doesn’t need to be called “a funeral” and doesn’t need to be a somber affair. It can be a celebration of life where you determine the details: what is seen, heard and said. That can include funny and heartwarming stories about your life. This is your chance to decide how you will be eulogized.
Pre-planning your own funeral gives you carte blanche
In other words, your wishes and choices come true. The details of your service – or lack of a service – are all up to you. Pre-planning your funeral gives you decision-making power over nearly every detail of your farewell event:
- Will there be a viewing or wake prior to the service?
- What type of service (if any)? Traditional funeral? Memorial? Just a graveside service?
- Where will the service take place? A funeral home? The family home?
- Who will speak at the service?
- What will be said? Special readings? Poems? Humorous eulogies?
- Will there be pallbearers and who are they?
- What music should be played before, during and following the service?
- Will there be a video presentation?
- Would you like flowers? Plants? Or is there a charity you prefer to receive donations instead?
- Will there be a post-service gathering? Where? What will be served?
Yes, there are lots of things you can decide today. Make this event reflect who you are, what you are passionate about and what you brought to this world. A funeral planning checklist is a good idea, and can make the entire experience easier on everyone.
Planning your own funeral removes the guesswork and added stress from your family
When asked, the majority of people say it’s important for their final wishes to be known. However, 85% of us still do not make arrangements for end-of-life planning before the time comes. And since most of us do not regularly plan funerals, pre-planning your arrangements is your chance to minimize the pressures on your family. A plan reduces disputes between your loved ones, as they will know exactly what you want.
You’re not required to plan all aspects of your funeral ahead of time, but even simply talking with your family about the type of service you’d prefer takes some of the pressure off of those who would otherwise have to plan the entire event during an emotional time. Providing your loved ones with the information they need to honor and remember you in the ways you want helps bring peace of mind.
Pre-planning your own funeral allows your family to focus on healing
Your choices are known and many arrangements are made, which frees time for your family to handle other important aspects, such as notifying others about your service and writing your eulogy. As many of the primary arrangements are in place, your family members have more time to add personalized details to celebrate your memory.
Planning your own funeral gives you peace of mind
When all the details of your service are set, a huge weight lists off your shoulders, knowing you have created a comprehensive end-of-life plan and everyone who needs to be is in the loop. This peace of mind allows for the entire family to move past what is often a difficult subject or topic of discussion.
Pre-planning your own funeral makes financial sense
When you make arrangements to pay for your funeral service now, you lock in your plans and merchandise at today’s pricing. Your paid plans also go with you if you move or decide to make changes over your lifetime.
Our family funeral home maintains a team of warm, caring professionals who have hundreds of conversations with people like you each year. One other thing to remember is that planning your own funeral should not be a “high pressure” situation. It all begins with a casual conversation.