When a loved one dies, it can be hard to differentiate up from down– let alone having to make arrangements for a funeral or memorial service. It can be stressful to have to try to remember all the details you’ll need on top of grieving and sorting through all of the feelings that accompany loss. Especially if your loved one had no specific end-of-life wishes or hadn’t discussed them with you, making these arrangements can seem like an almost insurmountable series of tasks. Having a strategy in place and a list of steps you can follow will ease your stress and maybe even help you cope with the loss of your loved one. Here is a step-by-step guide for you to follow so that you know exactly what to expect when you are planning a funeral:
Locate pre-arrangements (if any) and obtain a legal pronouncement of death from the attending doctor or hospice nurse
Your loved one may have made pre-arrangements for what kind of service they wanted if they were sick or just planning ahead. You can contact the funeral home they used to ensure these plans are carried through. Pre-planning can help alleviate stress for your family after you die.
Choose a funeral home
A referral from a family member or a friend is a great way to find a funeral home that provides the kinds of services you need and will work with you on pricing as well as any other details you need. At Prasser-Kleczka, we set the standard in the greater Milwaukee area for funeral and cremation services and have been a family-owned and operated business for over 140 years.
After choosing the funeral home, you will arrange transportation of the body to the home as well as embalming and any other necessary preparations. You may want to select the clothing that the deceased will wear and send or bring it to the funeral home.
Gather information for the obituary
An obituary is simply an announcement of someone’s death, but it usually includes information about the person’s surviving family, loved ones, and work or other accomplishments. Making the obituary personal and special is a beautiful way to remember your loved one. Here are some tips for writing a good obituary.
Decide on the type of service
If your loved one didn’t pre-arrange the type of ceremony they wanted, you will work with a funeral home director to plan the funeral. You will decide if there will be a casket, if there will be any religious inclusions in the ceremony, and who will officiate the service. They will also discuss pricing with you and help you choose a casket or a cremation container.
Choose a location for the burial or interment
If your loved one will be cremated, a final location for the ashes can be decided later. If not, you will choose a burial plot. You’re not alone in this decision: friends and family can help you choose where the burial makes the most sense.
Arrange the final details of the service
You will decide on music, flowers, and memorabilia to be displayed at the service. Friends and family can help to make these choices, and they can help to decide on who will (or volunteer themselves) be active participants in the ceremony as pallbearers or speakers. You can also choose special passages to be read in honor of your loved one.
Remember that you aren’t alone in making all of these arrangements. Friends, family, neighbors, and other loved ones understand your grief and will do all they can to help you plan as well as process your emotions. At Prasser-Kleczka, we are committed to making the funeral planning process one of as much ease as possible, and our dedicated staff are always there to help. Following these steps and asking for help when you need will make the process of planning a funeral much easier, and you’re sure to create a beautiful and memorable service for your loved one.