A large part of pre planning a funeral is knowing that in essence it is also saying goodbye. Funerals can be planned in a couple different ways.
One way is that you plan your own funeral when it is well off in the future. You are of sound mind and body and can make decisions based on your personal desires. Another way a funeral is planned is that you or a loved one knows that health is declining and death is near. In this scenario wishes can still be followed but to what extent is dependent on the ability of the terminal person to participate. A third common option is after someone has passed the responsibility is then transferred on to a family member or friend.
The most ideal option of the three above is the first, pre planning with a sound mind and body. The second is also a common place where people find themselves and definitely is better than no plan.
The reality of somebodies impending death brings your consciousness to a whole new level of thinking and feeling about their legacy. If you are in a scenario where these are a possibility there are a few things to think about along the way.
The list below is an excerpt from a book written by Margie Jenkins called, You Only Die Once: Preparing for the End of Life with Grace and Gusto. It is a great resource for making end of life decisions.
A Few Things to Consider when Pre Planning a Funeral :
Resist resistance to change
Change is hard but often necessary. Sometimes we tend to get stuck thinking things can only be one way. We must be willing to do things in new and different ways. This applies to planning for ourselves as well as assisting others.
When planning it is important to accept reality. The person who the pre planning is for is going to die. They will not be there anymore and the sooner you stop tip toeing around that reality the better you can make the most effective plan.
Acknowledge that dependency will happen
It’s important to acknowledge that dependency will happen. This statement applies in many situations whether it is old age where someone else needs to help with hospice care or decision making. It could even apply in unexpected death where someone else must make the decision of removing a loved one from life support.
Understand the burden on caretakers
Unless a death happens tragically in the midst of youth and health there will likely be a burden placed on a caretaker. During the process of saying goodbye someone will be caring for the person who can not care for themselves anymore. While pre planning it is important to consider the need as well as the burden placed on a caretaker.
Look at options
Consider all your options when planning. There are so many ways to follow through with burials, memorials and even the process of saying goodbye. Check out more information here for planning and grief support services.
Appreciate that reminiscing is a special gift
Reminiscing can be hard during the grief process. It reminds us of all we have lost or will lose in the future. Some people do not like to reminisce and avoid it all together. As you plan for your own or others funeral, allow the space to think back about all the memories that created the relationships you have and put those memories at the forefront.
Hopefully these will give you a guide to simply the process as you pre plan and say goodbye.