No one likes to contemplate the unthinkable. However, death comes to all, and those left behind are the ones who mourn. One way to ease the burden on your loved ones following your death is to plan your funeral yourself. This is an opportunity to reveal your personality and your preferences in one final celebration of your life.
Go Big or Go Home
First, decide what kind of memorial you want to have. Will this be a small affair for your closest friends and family? Or will you invite everyone who wishes to pay their respects? The size of your event can determine other portions of your funeral such as location and activities.
Traditional Funeral Services
Of course, a traditional funeral is acceptable, and many funeral homes provide outlines to guide your choices. You will need to choose someone to write and deliver your obituary and eulogy. You can contribute to your eulogy by writing a short personal history touching on highlights from your life. Doing so can help your loved one gather information about your life.
If there are songs that have special meaning to you, you should indicate that you would like them to be sung by the congregation or by a soloist. Similarly, you may have a religious leader give prepared thoughts.
Share Your Flair with a Creative Funeral
On the other hand, you may choose to go out in style by having a more nontraditional funeral.
Location: If there is a certain place that holds special meaning, your funeral could be held there rather than at a funeral home or chapel. For example, if you are a beach bum, you may want to have your loved ones meet at the beach for a sunrise send-off. If you choose to be cremated, you may have your ashes spread at the beach. You could also have a funeral in a more traditional location, but infuse the decor, music, and food with a beach theme.
Activities: Your funeral does not have to be a somber affair. You may choose to have balloons released into the air.
Likewise, you could have a Treasure Hunt Memorial. In this type of funeral, you would have items symbolic of your life placed along a hiking trail. The participants would follow a map along a trail learning about your life as they hiked. For instance, they might come upon a small table with a saxophone and a photo of you in high school. A facilitator would tell the participants about your childhood and school years including the fact that you played saxophone in the high school band. Then, the facilitator could involve the audience by asking if anyone has any stories to tell about that part of your life. At that point, the group would follow the map to the next station to learn about another portion of your life. This type of service is interactive and instructive.
Food: Consider some of your favorite foods. You may want the meal following your funeral services to consist of foods you loved during life. Doing this allows the participants to continue to learn about you.
However you choose to plan your funeral, this is an opportunity to leave your last mark on the world. Speak with a funeral home to make additional arrangements for your burial or cremation, so your loved ones are not burdened with those decisions as well.