By planning your own funeral, you are giving your friends and family the opportunity to celebrate your life in the way you would like to be remembered. This lifts an enormous burden off your loved ones at a difficult and emotional time. A pre-planned funeral is like a final gift to them, a final act of service to show that you think about their needs and their time. It’s also a powerful guarantee for you that your funeral and memorial service happen in the way that you wish: an important peace of mind that you can have no other way. If you’re still not convinced, take a look at just three reasons to pre-plan your funeral ahead of time.
Make your funeral and memorial services exactly as you wish them to be. You may specify what type of flowers you have, what kind of casket, what music plays, how long the services go. There are so many factors to a funeral, and the only way to really make it feel like you is by making the plans yourself. Your loved ones need the closure and the opportunity to say goodbye, and it will feel most authentic to them if you have a personal touch in the proceedings.
You can say so much after you’re gone by preparing your own funeral plans. You can make payments on parts of the service, you can include notes or videos of yourself, and just the fact that you took time out of your life to consider others after your death speaks volumes of your priorities and your compassion. By taking away some of the burden and headache of funeral arrangements, your loved ones will be able to focus on what is most important: the celebration of your life and their memories of you as they begin grieving.
By pre-planning, you may choose who speaks at your funeral, who delivers poetry or scripture readings or performs a musical number, and who is invited. Your family may not know everyone whom you wish to invite to the service, and by pre-need planning, you can make sure to include everyone who is important to you. It also may be important for you to choose the pallbearers at your funeral—this is a position of honor in the service and should be significant people in your life. Only you know who really fits the bill.
Here is a list of things you can plan in advance:
- Having a viewing, visitation, or wake before your service
- The type of service (funeral service, graveside service, or memorial service)
- The service location
- Who you’d like to officiate your service
- Who you’d like to serve as pallbearers
- People to deliver eulogies and other speeches
- Readings, prayers, or poems for people to read
- Music, hymns, or songs
- The type of flowers or decorations you’d like to have
- Having a post-service reception or gathering, and planning that event
- The guest list for your service
- If you want guests to donate to a charity in your name, and coordinating with the charity or setting up a foundation
List courtesy of Everplans.