Planning Your Own Funeral: What Are the Benefits?
Posted on: 29 May 2019 by Shakib Ahmed
No one likes thinking about their own death, any more than they do the passing of a loved one.
But at one time or another, many of us will have had thoughts about how we’d like to be remembered when we’re gone, and how we’d like our funeral to be commemorated.
It might be small things like a certain poem or passage we’d like read out, or a favourite song we’d like played, which we mention in passing to loved ones. But what about going a step further - what about actually planning for our own memorial service?
It is by no means uncommon for people to decide to make their own funeral arrangements while still in rude health and with many happy years before them. Some sit down with close family and go through in detail what they would like to happen, some write it all down, perhaps even including their wishes in their will. Others take the extra step and actually make all the necessary arrangements with a funeral service provider directly.
In each case, you can file this kind of forward thinking under ‘getting your affairs in order.’ But what are the benefits? Here are a couple of the main one’s worth considering.
Ensuring your wishes are followed
There are aspects of funeral planning which might carry a deeper importance to you than having a favourite passage read out or a certain song played. You might, for example, have strong views on whether you wish to be buried or cremated. If you don’t make this very clear to close family and friends, then you cannot guarantee it will happen. If you feel particularly strongly about this, this is something you might specify in your will or even pay for yourself ahead of time.
Similarly, the spiritual and religious aspect of a funeral is very important to some people - or not so at all. If you are very keen to follow the rites of a particular denomination, or equally if you feel strongly that you don’t want any religious elements to your funeral, then making your own plans is the most secure way to see your wishes are followed.
Reducing the burden on your family
Some people plan their own funerals because they take comfort in knowing that everything is taken care of ahead of time. This particularly resonates when people think of the impact their passing will have on their loved ones, and the stress involved in planning a funeral.
There is a strong financial incentive to this. Paying for your own funeral in advance means your family doesn’t have to struggle to foot what could be a sizeable bill. But equally, the passing of a close relative is a difficult enough time as it is. The more you can do to ease the burden by making your own arrangements - whether that be setting out a clear plan for your arrangements or going as far as writing your own order of service - the easier you will make the grieving process for your nearest and dearest.
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