For some, the thought of preplanning a funeral or memorial service is utterly morbid. It’s not. There are many reasons to consider doing so.
To begin with, immediately following a loved one’s death, the family is quite emotional. If this was a sudden death, they are likely to be in shock and completely overwhelmed with what has happened. If this was an anticipated death, the process could have been long and arduous; therefore, they are probably feeling drained emotionally and physically.
If a funeral is your preference, waiting to make the funeral arrangements until everyone is feeling strong enough is not usually an option. A funeral is generally held within a few days of the person dying. This is more so if the body is being buried; however, with cremation the timeline is not as crucial. Funerals are generally held in the chapel of the funeral home or a church and followed by a tea or a reception. A graveside service may be held for everyone or closed to family only. Funerals held in church will have a more religious overtone. Music, prayers, biblical readings, and a eulogy are generally part of the ceremony.
A memorial service on the other hand, may be held weeks or months following the death and is held in a hall, hotel, or other public facility that provides an inviting, casual atmosphere. Memorial services will have a more personal flair with picture boards, often a video or slideshow presentation, and could include a symbolic activity such as signing messages or names on small rocks that are put into a vase for the family. Memorial services are more relaxed and invite a higher level of creativity when planning.
One of the most important reasons to consider preplanning your funeral or memorial service is to see that your wishes will be carried out. Things will be done just the way that you want. Your family will not be left to second guess what your wishes would be.
Another important factor is financial. In preplanning your funeral or memorial service, the costs are predetermined and you can even prepay into a plan to ensure the expenses are covered. This relieves your family of tremendous concern and burden ~ it may be the greatest gift you can leave them.