Funerals can be a very emotional and difficult place to be. Everyone there is mourning the passing of a loved one; whether friend or relative. Tears can be heard falling to the ground and sobbing can be seen all around. A lot goes into planning a funeral: there’s the selection of a funeral home, transportation to and from the cemetery and luncheon, selection of a eulogy or funeral speech, deciding who is going to deliver the eulogy, the location for the luncheon and blocking reservations for out of town guests. There’s a lot to think about during this time of darkness and sadness. It can be a good idea to hire an assistant or ask a family member or friend to help you with all of the details. Sometimes having an impartial person playing a vital role in preparations is the wisest.
The announcement is intended to notify people of the death as well as provide information about the funeral or memorial service. The announcement should contain the following information:
• Full name
• Death date
• Brief summary of the person (i.e., she was a ballerina with the Joffrey Ballet for 21 years or he worked at Detroit Edison for 38 years)
• Date, time and location of funeral or memorial service
Please keep in mind that out-of-towners will not read your local paper and will need to be called. This is a good job for the assistant, friend or family member.
How do you write a eulogy? There is a lot to consider when writing the proper eulogy. What was the person like? What did they enjoy? What hobbies did they have? What kind of music did they love? What was their favorite food? What type of career did they have? Who are their family members? Who are their friends? Were they religious? You want to be able to tell a person’s life story as if they themselves had written it. Whether it’s a eulogy for your Father, Mother, other family member or friend, you want to be sure you use all of the resources out there available to you. You can find examples of eulogies online. There are plenty of resources out there, even downloadable programs to help you write that perfect speech. Because giving a speech for a loved one is a difficult thing to do. Not only will you be so filled with grief, but you may have a fear of speaking in public. Just remember to look for help online and review all of the eulogy writing products and resources that you have access to will help you write a successful speech.
Making the Funeral an Enlightening Experience
When you think of a funeral, you tend to think about sad and depressing things. This is not the way it has to be. A funeral is a celebration of one’s life, not a mourning of their passing. Take a look at things from the other side. Once you get the eulogy out of the way, and don’t forget to look at examples of eulogies online, we can focus on the rest of the afternoon.
• Consider having friends and relatives come up to share funny stories with the group. This is such a nice feature, you get to see a side of a person that you may not have ever seen, or you may be reminded once again how funny this person was. It gives friends and relatives an opportunity to share in the grieving process with you, but also to shed light on a sillier side of things.
• Was this person in the military? If so, you might want to consider contacting them to be a part of the funeral process.
• Did this person have a favorite instrument or type of music? If so, consider hiring a soloist or a band for the funeral or luncheon. This adds a nice peaceful touch to a somber setting.
• What this person an artist, crafter, photographer or the like? It would be a great idea to have some of their work on display. Another way to celebrate their achievements in life.
• Perhaps this person’s favorite fair was Mexican or Chinese. Whatever the choice may be, serve it at the luncheon. This service is all about the person’s life. A passion for a particular kind of food is just another way to celebrate their life.
Choosing the flowers can be a heavy task to take if you’re not emotionally up to it. Consider passing it along to a friend or family member if things become too much. It’s a good idea to stick to the person’s favorites. If this person didn’t particularly have a passion for flowers, you could consult the florist and get her advice on choices. The spray should be favorites/florist’s advice and the rest of the flowers can be in the form of plants for a longer shelf life. You can request that flowers other people give to be donated to a hospital or nursing home once the funeral is over. Remember that guests can also donate to a particular fund should they choose not to donate flowers. The preferred fund is generally provided by the family.
One Last Goodbye
The trip to the cemetery can be very difficult to handle. This is where the last opportunity to celebrate one’s life comes into play. You can choose another person to give a memorable send-off and goodbye or you can choose to do it yourself. You can check online or use a downloadable program to get ideas for your speech. You might want to check with the cemetery to see if they allow fireworks or a gun salute. Both admirable and memorable options.
Thank You Greetings
It would be a good idea to get your assistant, family member or friend to help you with these, as they can be time consuming and emotional. You want to thank each person for attending the service and for any gift, donation or flowers they may have given. Make sure that everyone signs the guestbook. That way finding addresses will be quite simple. The final step in the funeral process.
The following points should be featured in your mind:
• Hire an assistant or ask a family member or friend to help you with all of the details.
• Remember the key elements of the announcement: name, age, death date, career or brief summary of person, funeral or memorial service details.
• Eulogy. Put together a CliffsNotes version of highlights detailing the person’s character. Be sure to check out your online resources as well. There are really good downloadable eulogy writing products available. This is the best way to go.
• Who was this person? Let’s celebrate their life and highlight their accomplishments.
• Don’t take on too much. Have your assistant, friend or family member help you with flower choices. Remember gifted flowers can be used as donations for hospitals or nursing homes. And that gifts can be donated to various societies as designated by the family.
• The trip to the cemetery is the very last goodbye. Make it memorable in your own special way.
• You may want to get your assistant, family member or friend to help you with the thank you cards as this is a long process.
• Remember to have someone make sure that each person signs the guestbook.
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