Planning an End of Life Celebration: Funeral
Have you ever thought to put together an End of Life plan? Whether it be your own or for a loved one. An end-of-life celebration plan will help ease the surviving loved one’s job of planning a funeral in a time of great sorrow.
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It might sound morbid but, being the architect of your funeral arrangements reveals your unique personality and will serve as a wonderful memorial event for you. It also allows you to express your wishes for what you want to be remembered for. This will also relieve the stress of the surviving loved one’s grievances by allowing them to focus on their grievances rather than brainstorming and guessing what you may like for your funeral event.
For a loved one:
Losing a loved one can be one of life’s most traumatic events, leading to psychological trauma if not handled properly. When bereaving a loved one, no amount of preparation seems to be enough to erase feelings of pain and loss.
Life will be a crazy whirlwind at first. You need to put your own life back together in addition to dealing with feelings of loss. This can be a difficult task. Some people recover faster than expected, while others take longer.
Following the death of a loved one, it is critical to regain physical and emotional stability. Doing the right things at this critical time can help you cope with your loss, allowing you to recover quickly and move on with your life.
Things To Do Right After Loss Of A Loved One
Contact Funeral Home
One of your first calls should be to the funeral home. A funeral home can help with a variety of services, such as obtaining death certificates and answering questions about Social Security benefits, veterans benefits, and life insurance.
Gather Key Documents
You will need some required documents to lay claim to your spouse’s rightful entitlements. A funeral home can assist you in this situation. You’ll need to contact various institutions for your entitlements, such as insurance companies, workplaces, and others. You’ll need the following documents to prepare for those conversations:
- Birth certificates,
- Death certificate (both certified copies and originals are required; the funeral home should assist you with this)
- Marriage certificates,
- Financial Power of Attorney,
- Life insurance policies.
Stay With Loved Ones
You may want to stay with loved ones, such as friends and/or family, or have someone come stay with you. It can be extremely beneficial until you are able to accept and manage your loss. Make an effort not to dismiss your feelings of sadness.
Your family and friends are undoubtedly grieving as well, and some people find that sharing memories is a helpful way to help one another. Sharing memories of the deceased can help you cope with the loss of someone you loved. So feel free to tell stories about the person who has passed away. If you lament for too long, you may develop symptoms of serious depression and anxiety, both of which are unhealthy. You might be able to get help until you’re able to deal with your grief on your own. The entire family may need time to adjust. It is essential to have open and honest communication.
Let Major Decisions Wait.
Defer major life decisions until you are in a better mood. You don’t want to make a major decision, such as selling your home or quitting your job, while you’re grieving and possibly unable to think clearly. Your top priority right now is to recover from your feelings of loss and get back on track.
How to plan a Celebration of Life ceremony?
You’ve just experienced the death of a loved one. All of the grief can cloud your judgment or overwhelm you as to what you need to do to plan this memorial service for them. What’s the first thing you should do? It’s best to figure out what kind of budget you’re working with first. This will be a deciding factor in the items you choose to include. Then you should start making a list of all the things you want to include in your party. What are some things you’d like to include on your to-do list?
The number of guests who will be present is an important consideration when selecting a venue. Your financial situation will also play a role. Some people have held funerals in their homes or the homes of friends, but if you expect a large crowd, you should consider renting a community center, banquet hall, park, or the beach or check with your church.
Before you can plan the actual program, you must first answer a few key questions. Who will preside over the ceremony? Who will want to say something? What is going to be said? Many of the celebrations include the following key elements.
A presentation that uses media such as pictures, video, and music to highlight the most important aspects of a person’s life.
This is about narrating the person’s life story.
Either the deceased favorite poems or poems that describe their life or personality can be recited. Poems about or written by the deceased may also be included.
Memories or Stories
Stories can be told by close friends or family members to give you a clear picture of the person’s life and why they were significant.
Decoration and Memories
Many things can be included in the funeral event’s decoration, not only for aesthetic purposes but also to share memories. To greet visitors, key memory photos can be displayed at the entrance.
A table with a guest book can be set up next to the posters for family and friends to sign. Personal items about the person, such as stories, pictures, or a family tree, can also be included in this guest book. You may also want to request their emails in addition to their names so that you can send out a digital group thank you card after the event.
You might want to put a basket or box next to the book so that friends and family can leave cards. Aside from that, some index note cards and pens can be kept nearby. This section is for those who want to write about their experiences with a loved one.
The program should be created in such a way that it can jog the loved one’s memory. This can be accomplished by including photographs, the person’s life story or eulogy, a schedule of the day’s activities or a ceremony presentation, and a favorite poem, scripture, or song on the back.
A memory table can be placed somewhere in the main part of the room. Personal items such as awards, pictures of unique events, and a diary of a loved one with some significance are displayed on the memory table. These items are meant to convey information about a loved one’s personality.
Flowers are an essential component of any celebration. When it comes to memorial services, many people prefer to have more personalized arrangements. Some florists have created arrangements with pictures as part of the arrangement, or they may have flowers that spell out the person’s name. Consider the type of flower or colors that were your loved one’s favorites when selecting flowers. Arrangements can be placed at the entrance, on stage, and on the table as table decorations.
The majority of receptions serve food as a buffet. So choose foods that people can eat while standing or while eating off their laps. You may want to include a specific type of food on the menu if your loved one enjoyed it. In most cases, it is preferable to have the event catered, as preparing food for a large crowd can be stressful on top of everything else. If you’re on a tight budget, stick to the basics and serve a snack. Cakes and cupcakes can now be made in a variety of shapes to represent a special occasion. For instance, if your loved one was a football fan, you could make football-shaped cupcakes. Another popular option is to order a sheet cake with a picture of your loved one adorning the top.
The use of background music can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Some people hire professional musicians to play instruments like the guitar, violin, or harp before the ceremony or during the reception. Others have compiled a playlist of songs that were meaningful to the loved one and played them during these moments. Others may hire a DJ and provide a list of songs or artists for the DJ to compile as background music.
What To Do For Someone Who Has Just Lost A Loved One.
It can be difficult to know how to support someone who is grieving after a loss, but you can’t back down because this is someone you care about. Excruciating physical and mental stress, including depression, anger, guilt, and profound sadness, is experienced by the bereaved. People grieve in different ways, and it takes different amounts of time for them to get over their grievances.
It’s natural to be unsure of how to approach a grieving person; you may be afraid of saying the wrong thing or worsening the situation for your loved one at this difficult time. As valid as this emotion is, you must recognize that your loved one requires your assistance in dealing with their dreadful situation. You may not have all the answers to their questions or be able to do everything right, but the most important thing you can do for someone who is grieving is simply to be there. Your presence and support will aid your loved one in coping with the pain and gradually beginning to heal.
Here Are Things You Can Do To Help A Grieving Loved One.
Understand The Grieving Process.
It’s important to realize that the stages of grief aren’t always predictable. It can be a rollercoaster of emotions, with unforeseen highs, lows, and setbacks. Avoid telling your loved one what they “should” be feeling or doing because everyone grieves differently.
A grieving person may display a variety of behaviors and emotions, such as crying, lashing out at loved ones, or soliloquizing. Your loved one requires assurance that their feelings are normal. Don’t pass judgment on them or take their grief too seriously.
You don’t have to push them to move on or make them feel like they’ve been grieving for too long. People’s length of grieving periods differ; they can be shorter or longer. You can help them by convincing them to accept their loss.
Be Careful About What You Say.
You must be careful of what you say to the bereaved in your attempt to console them. If some words are uttered, it is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be misinterpreted and lead to an eruption of anger, pain, and other emotional behaviors, which can cause more harm. But, in general, the bereaved need to know that their loss is acknowledged, that it isn’t too painful to discuss, and that their loved one will not be forgotten.
You can help the grieving person by being present and listening compassionately. Simply being present and listening to them can provide a great deal of relief and healing.
Assist In Practical Ways.
You don’t have to assume that bereaved loved ones don’t require assistance simply because they aren’t asking for it. Lack of motivation, depression, loss of appetite, and fear of being a burden to others are all factors that can prevent grieving people from seeking assistance. You can help them overcome all of these limitations by making specific suggestions that will make it easier for them. “I’m going to the market this afternoon,” you could say. “Can I bring you anything from there?” or “For dinner, I made beef stew.” When do you think I’ll be able to bring you some?”
If you can, try to be consistent with your offers of help. The grieving person will know that you’ll be there for as long as it takes and can count on your attention without having to make the extra effort of asking repeatedly.
For your grieving friend or family member, certain times and days of the year will be particularly difficult. Grief is frequently reawakened by holidays, family milestones, birthdays, and anniversaries. On these occasions, be sensitive. Make the bereaved person aware that you are available to help them with whatever they require.
Put Together a Care Package
One of the things that I was surprised was so helpful was a package for paper goods. With all the comings and goings it was these little things that we didn’t think we would need that came in handy.
- Paper plates
- Ziplock bags of a few different sizes
- Paper cups
- Paper utensils
- Paper towels
- Water bottles
- Aluminum foil
- Hard candies
Another very useful idea was simple finger foods and snacks
- Chicken Salad
- Fruit tray
- Veggie tray
- Little deserts
Presentation Of Gifts.
Purchasing a gift for a bereaved loved one shows that you recognize their loss and how much you care about them. This accelerates their recovery and provides reassurance that they will get better. Purchasing items that can help them improve their situation should be encouraged.
Great ideas are:
Jewelry that may be sentimental
What things have you done to prepare?
What have you found that has been super helpful or comforting when coping with the loss of a loved one?
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