When a close loved one dies suddenly and unexpectedly, you might be the family member who is responsible for planning the funeral. Unexpected deaths can be very tough, yet you will have to take the time to plan the funeral, and you will have to do this quickly. If you are in this situation, here are the steps you should follow to help you plan the funeral in a way that will honor your loved one.
If you do not even have a funeral home picked, you may need to call a couple different ones in your area. Funerals are not events that are typically planned ahead of time. Because of this, the funeral home you would like to use might not be able to accommodate you at the time. This can happen if a funeral home is currently handling too many funerals. Calling around will help you see your options and will allow you to ask questions and learn more about the next steps. You should really only call one or two funeral homes, though, as you will not have time to meet with more than one or two of them.
Visit the Homes
The next step in the process is meeting with the funeral directors at the funeral homes. You can choose to meet with just one of the homes or with more, but each meeting will take some time. You can use the initial meeting to talk to the directors about your questions or concerns or just to gauge the differences with the homes. As you view the homes and meet the directors, you should compare the prices they offer, the settings, and the level of kindness and compassion they offer to you.
Make the Decisions
When you select the home you would like to use, you will need to start making decisions right away. One of the first decisions you should make is how to handle your loved one's body. Did he or she want to be buried, or did your loved one express the desire for cremation? If you have these answers, you should do what your loved one wanted. If you are not sure about this, you should ask other friends and family members so that you can try to accommodate your loved one's wishes.
You will have a lot of other decisions to make, too, including:
- What type of service you should have
- Where the service should be held
- Where to bury the body or spread the ashes
- What type of music you should have
- What your loved one should wear
- What memorial you would like to encourage people to donate to
- How to pay for the funeral costs
- Whether you will have a funeral dinner
A funeral director will talk to you about each of these things and more, and you will need to make decisions as quickly as you can because you will not have a lot of time to do this.
Prepare for and Attend the Funeral
Planning a funeral is not an easy task, especially if you are really saddened by the loss of this person, but it is a part of life most people go through at some point or another. After you have finished the planning, you will need to prepare yourself for the funeral. Keeping close to other family members is a good idea at this time, simply because going through this type of loss is hard to do if you are alone, and choosing a good, compassionate funeral home is also an important step in the process.
If you just received news of a loved one passing away, feel free to contact a funeral home in your area to set up an appointment to meet with a funeral director.