Planning Your Own Funeral
Grieving and Grief Resources - Life and Inspiration

Planning Your Own Funeral

Many of us neglect to think about our own mortality and the inevitable eventuality of our death. As morbid as that sounds, planning your own funeral is of great benefit. It can save our loved ones much grief and anxiety when they are aware of our preferences and can put our own mind at ease if we ever face a terminal illness. Making funeral plans in advance need not be a huge chore, here are some tips you could use as a guide.

Planning Your Own Funeral

Start with Brainstorming your Ideas

The first step would be to make a note of your ideas. These may change over time and you can adjust your preferred plans as needed. You may have been to funerals in the past and felt you would like a certain element of the service to be repeated at yours. Note as many things you can think of and remember to consider the potential financial expense that may be incurred, talk to others for inspiration, also think about what kind of atmosphere you would like to create for those attending, would it be emotional or more celebratory?

What type of funeral and reception?

There are two options before you – Burial or Cremation? With a burial, you will need to choose what kind of casket you would prefer and if you wish to be embalmed. Cremation leaves your remains to be carried in a container which can then be kept by a chosen person or scattered in a desired location.

It’s entirely up to you if you have a reception before or after your funeral service, your reception will depend on the location of your funeral and whether you are being buried or cremated. Some would like to have a wake where others can view your body and say their last goodbyes, others feel more comfortable with a closed casket throughout the ceremony.

Your Final Resting Place

Making a choice regarding the funeral home and memorial site can take time so be sure to consult with others and make inquiries at several funeral directors and providers, search for venues online and read the reviews. Most venues will offer a package which will pay for the reception and the funeral so you will need to decide if you would like the two separated. For instance, do you wish to have your reception at a religious venue where a burial is not possible or do you want your service at a place of worship and the funeral elsewhere.

Eulogist and Audio/Visual

Select one of your nearest and dearest, someone who knows you well and can best hold it together emotionally on the day so they can say a few well-chosen words about you. Check with the person in advance before including them in your plans and then you can ensure they will feel comfortable giving the eulogy when the time comes. You could ask them to include a favourite poem, song lyrics, verses from a holy book, a few words from yourself, and so on.

Choose what music you would like to be played, either live or recorded. The music will create a certain atmosphere so again keep this in mind when thinking of the mood and emotion you wish to encompass in the service.

You can be creative when it comes to visuals, try saving pictures and images you would like to be used in the service perhaps you could store them on a pen drive or file that can be accessed by all those involved.

Counting the Cost

Regardless of the choices you make, your funeral is going to set you back a fair bit financially. Try to bear this in mind when selecting venues and ceremonies and decide how much you and those responsible for your assets can realistically afford. Try considering prepayment options and policies as these are usually paid monthly and are easily affordable. Chose a company that you can trust it is important you feel secure in knowing that your funeral expenses will be well taken care of.

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An inspirational writer, a creativity and writing trainer/coach, I write about life, gratitude, healing, wellness, relationships at Everyday Gyaan. I offer training/coaching to anyone looking to explore their creativity and heal through writing via The Frangipani Creative, located in Secunderabad, India. You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for my weekly newsletter, Bytes of Gyaan, on Substack.

5 Comments on “Planning Your Own Funeral

  1. You have covered everything that’s needed to plan own funeral. I haven’t thought about mine in detail, but I know that I want to be cremated. Also, I want at least to leave a sum behind to take care of the funeral, if not arrange the entire thing by myself. Planning one’s own funeral will definitely help the grieving family.

  2. There are companies that offer services right from casket to priest services and venue which saves lot of energy for family members. I like the post that speaks of novel ideas such as choosing the kind of music or eulogy. I think that with time we need to be practical and it’s a smart investment. My mother, for instance, is already paying for such a plan.

  3. Oh, I thought I’m the only one who does this. I have mine planned but not finished with it yet. This post reminded me to do it. 🙂

  4. Oh dear! Very practical tips. I think I will have to leave behind a step by step guide if I want a traditional Hindu funeral but I’m not too sure I want one. I think I will leave it to my family to think of something…. It will give them something to do! Besides, I’ll be dead so it hardly matters what I think isn’t it?

  5. Great tips. Many people don’t like to think about their death but it happens! I am a big believer in preplanning. I suggest also writing your obituary yourself and paying for your funeral or cremation costs a head of time.

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