Funeral Services: Your OptionsFuneral Services: Your Options


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Funeral Services: Your Options

As the saying goes, 'In the midst of life, we are in death.' Losing a loved one or thinking about planning your own funeral is very going to be a very nice or easy process. However, it is an unavoidable fact of life that at some point we all have to face our own mortality. Last year, after losing my mother and father in close succession and making the arrangements for their funerals and burial, I decided to put some plans in place for my own funeral service so that it is easier for those I leave behind. I have learnt a lot about funerals and I would like to share it here.

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Answering Your Concerns About Planning a Funeral

Planning a funeral is not typically an enjoyable prospect, but it does need to be done on occasion. If you've never planned a funeral before and now suddenly need to arrange one for a friend or family member, or are preplanning your own funeral, you may have many questions about how those arrangements are handled. Note a few of those concerns here, and this can help you know what to ask or discuss with a funeral director in order to make those plans.

How much say does a family have in a funeral?

A family usually can plan every detail of a funeral and have their wishes fully accommodated, with only a few obvious exceptions. For example, there may be legal limitations or local restrictions about having a funeral parade for the deceased, about scattering ashes in certain areas, or about releasing doves, butterflies, and the like. Obviously a funeral home will not repaint their own walls the favourite colour of the deceased, and zoning restrictions may not allow you to bring the deceased's pet to the funeral home as well. Otherwise, you can typically plan all the details of a funeral and have those wishes accommodated in one way or another.

Are only men allowed to carry a casket?

It may be somewhat traditional for men to carry a casket into a funeral home or religious building, and to conduct funeral services. However, as with many other traditions, there is no rule or law that says you need to follow them yourself. You can certainly decide on who will be the pallbearers, or the persons carrying the casket, at a funeral, as long as they are physically able to do this. You can also have the person of your choosing conduct the funeral; again, as long as they are emotionally able and willing to do this, there are no laws or rules that you would need to follow in this regard.

How soon should the funeral occur?

Some religions or customs may dictate that a burial happen within a certain timeframe after a death; it's good to note the beliefs of the deceased and what they would prefer about this, if they belonged to a particular religion. Otherwise, you need to determine the amount of time needed to allow for out-of-town guests to arrive, but also need to ensure the remains of the deceased are properly preserved, if you are not planning for a cremation. Your funeral director can usually give you assistance in managing the best timeframe for the funeral.