Nearly 5 years ago, my husband’s precious maternal grandmother passed away. This special woman had an amazing sense of humor and a flair for life. Without saying a word, she could make me laugh with just a look. Several years before her death, she visited a local funeral home in order to plan her funeral services. When she passed away, the family didn’t have to deal with the stress of organizing her farewell services. They could relax, grieve, and concentrate on the wonderful memories they shared with her. I've grown to appreciate this. On this blog, you will discover the steps required to plan your own funeral.
Making the decision to plan your own funeral is something that a lot of people shy away from, but it really is a responsible and thoughtful way to ensure two things. One, your surviving relatives will not be left planning your funeral at a time of mourning. Two, you can ensure the funeral you get is exactly what you wanted. While planning a funeral in itself can feel a little overwhelming, there are things you can do in advance to take a little of the awkwardness out of the situation. One of those things is to get familiar with certain terms and what they mean.
Wake - A wake is pretty much the same thing as a viewing, which is modernly held in a funeral home in most case. In years past, a wake was something that most often took place in the home of the deceased. The individual was arranged in the home for friends and loved ones to join together in mourning their passing. While in-home wakes do occur in modern time, they are much less common, and it can come with an added expense because the funeral director must come to make the preparations in the home.
Memorial Service - A memorial service can mean different things to different people, and may even mean something different than you expect, depending on what funeral home you choose. In loose terms, a memorial is a gathering of loved ones in which the deceased may not be present or open for viewing in a casket. A memorial most often accompanies a cremation or is held as a private event in place of a traditional funeral. The memorial tends to involve eulogies, family members sharing their memories, and maybe even food and drinks.
Visitation - For the most part, a traditional funeral will involve what is referred to as a visitation, followed by the funeral service, and then transportation to the cemetery, which may or may not include a graveside service. Visitation is held a period of time before the funeral service, and it is an option you can eliminate if you are trying to save money. This is a less formal event that allows those visiting to mingle and comfort each other before the actual service begins.
You may run across a few terms you are not familiar with during funeral pre-planning, but don't let these terms make you feel uncomfortable. Talk openly with the funeral director or planning coordinator about anything you do not understand.