Planning your loved one’s funeral is an incredibly personal thing and very difficult. They played a huge part in your life and had a unique personality that you will want to convey to their family and friends on the day.
Some folk will say ahead of their death that they are banning black, or that they want the ceremony to be a celebration of their life, and people to enjoy themselves. Everyone has a different perspective on what makes a good funeral, but how do you plan one?
Choose Whether To Bury Or Cremate
A funeral is not the same thing as a burial, and many people believe that you cannot have a funeral if you choose to cremate. A funeral is a ceremony, it’s main function is to honour the deceased and remember their life, allowing friends and family to share memories of their loved one with stories and poems. It is what comes after the funeral which you need to decide: will you bury or cremate?
There are actually several options for disposition, and here they are:
- Traditional Burial: A traditional burial can be in an underground plot, or in a mausoleum or sepulchre. Traditional burial involves purchasing a casket, burial vault and headstone or plaque for the deceased
- Eco Burial: The ‘green’ options are to bury the deceased in cardboard which will naturally decompose with time, and even bury the remains with a seed from a tree- meaning that the tree will grow and take nutrients from the decaying body. It will leave a new life in place of your loved one
- Cremation: If you are on a budget and need cheap funerals, cremation is usually cheaper than burial and involves burning the body to reduce it to ashes and bone fragments. Many people choose to keep the ashes in a jar in their home, or may scatter the ashes in their loved one’s favourite place.
- Alkaline Hydrolysis: A new method of disposition, it involves using pressure and low heat to reduce the body to liquid and bone fragments. It is a flameless alternative to cremation.
Decide On Your Service
Many people prefer to plan a service around how the person was when they were alive, and will opt for an open casket so that friends and family can say a final farewell. However, how you conduct the service is entirely up to you, and it largely depends on your relationship with the deceased. Some people live life to the fullest and are always looking on the bright side, you could emanate this by hosting more of a happy celebration and looking back on funny memories.
You could have a ceremony in church, read poems and tell stories- or if the loved one dies at home, you could hold a home funeral and invite guests over to drink and dance in the company of the deceased.
Do You Want The Body Present?
Although most families choose to have the deceased be part of the day, some families prefer not to. You could hold the cremation first and then hold the funeral service afterward with the body not present if you feel uncomfortable.