Planning your own funeral may sound like a gruesome thing to do, but by giving your relatives some idea of how you would like such a ceremony to be conducted, you can make things easier for loved ones at a difficult time.
By telling your family whether you would prefer to be buried or cremated, where you would like your body or ashes to be interred or disposed of, and whether you want to be remembered in church, you can take some of the pressure off those who are grieving – this is all part of planning your funeral.
You can also choose your funeral director and discuss your plans with him or her. This will help relatives as the funeral director will have met you personally.
You can plan your funeral in as much detail as you like – right down to the decision about which hymns you would like to be sung or music played, and who you would like to conduct the ceremony.
A funeral, however, is a chance for family and friends to pay tribute to someone they love, and it may be helpful to leave room for them to make their own contribution to the ceremony.
Children may like to remember a loved grandparent or parent by reading a special poem, performing a piece of music, or talking about how they remember them.
Partners may want to speak too, but this should be left for them to decide – they may, in reality, feel unable to speak in public so soon after your death.
Planning your funeral can also involve you paying in advance by purchasing a pre-paid funeral plan. This means that loved ones do not have the headache of paying the costs of the funeral, or making decisions based on what they can or cannot afford.
It can also be helpful to tell relatives that you do not wish them to spend money on flowers, but to donate to a cause you support.
You could also plan to have a living funeral, or end of life celebration. This is where you celebrate your life with all the people who are important to you and gives you the opportunity to pay tribute to them before you die. People who are terminally ill and near the end of their life might want to hold a celebration while they are still able.