Home Business Insights & Advice Funeral plans: not knowing when, but knowing what

Funeral plans: not knowing when, but knowing what

by Sarah Dunsby
24th Jun 24 10:05 am

Memento mori is Latin for ‘remember death.’  Lord Byron’s famous poem Lines Inscribed Upon a Cup Formed from a Skull.

Thinking about death is difficult, emotions can take over, or worse you are numb. We obsess over death. We toss and turn because we do not know when and often do not know how.

But we will one day die, and we cannot avoid the inevitable as much as we want to. Why should we fear when we can plan ahead.  Thinking about funeral plans might not come naturally to you but why would it?

And don’t you want to have choice over the way you are remembered? It might sound morbid but thinking about the future near or far is a gift that we don’t all get.

The earlier the better

You’re a teenager or in your twenties, all you know is you’re young. Too young? You don’t know what the future holds. But you are the right age to start thinking about the future. This is the age for thinking about where you want to be buried or if you want to be buried at all. Your wishes deserve to be honoured. Start researching if you want to invest in a cemetery plot. Plots play a part in funeral planning and can be bought and sold like houses. Once you know whether you want to invest in a plot you can start thinking about what you want. It’s never too early to start.

Maybe you’re older, you watch the news daily and you worry what you are leaving behind and who.

Or are you too busy with your family and career to think about funeral plans when you have so much time? And yet you secretly have started looking at funeral packages and have made several drafts of your will.

You’re in your sixties and thinking about the funeral plans is your reality. You discuss it between friends occasionally. You have realised after losing loved ones how important it is to pre plan and so you have begun to make funeral arrangements.

Themes and types: How you want to be remembered

Do you want to be remembered for your achievements or do you want to keep most of the information private?

Do you want a traditional funeral or a celebration of life?

Who do you want there at your funeral?

Would you want to be the host of your funeral by recording a video?

We are sure that you have lots to think about and whilst you do check out how we think you could be remembered.

  • Celebration of life – Instead of grieving, your family and friends get to celebrate you. Your personality, your life, the joy you brought to everyone is celebrated. Guests will have the opportunity to share their favourite moments and stories of you. You can choose the dress code, for example, have your guests wear something that you would wear. Additionally, you can prepare a playlist of your favourite songs to play. A celebration of life is suitable for those who want the event to be lighthearted rather than formal and serious.
  • Hobbie-themed – Hobbie-themed funerals are rising in popularity in a 2019 survey it was found that 31% had ceremonies around a person’s hobby. Dedicating a funeral service to a hobby might at first seem strange but hobbies make a person and so it is important that they are included in the service. For example, if you are a baker, why not have your friends and family bring their favourite dishes of yours and theirs to the service. Or if you have a passion for fashion, have a strict dress u- dress code. Have your guests dress in ways that express their individuality or dress how you would. Think about your hobbies and interests and start making a list of how you want to be remembered. It might just be a messy brainstorm, but the main thing is that you start.
  • Sports teams- what’s your favourite sport? What team do you support? You might be an avid West Ham fan and want to have a West Ham-themed funeral. Have all your guests show up in claret and blue, singing blowing bubbles. You could even have your funeral hosted at your beloved team’s football stadium. Having a sport-themed funeral is a great way of being remembered and playing tribute to the game you loved.

Next steps

Planning a funeral is about prioritising your wishes. Prioritising your wishes when planning a funeral allows you to create a meaningful and personalised event that truly reflects who you are. Focus on what matters most from the theme to the food to the music. Your next steps are to continue doing research until you are ready to act.

Plan now. Rest later.

More about planning a funeral.

More about next steps after death.

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for more support.

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