Planning your own funeral can feel emotionally overwhelming, but your bravery in facing these decisions now prevents your family from facing these difficult decisions later. Beginning the planning process with other family members can make it easier for you to make the best decisions for all involved. Considering a “Funeral Pre planning worksheet” now can help you address everything you need to consider.

Music and Reading of Texts

Thinking about what type of music and texts you’d like to share is an excellent first step. Most of us have favorite songs or quotes. If you feel unsure, consider these questions:

  • What are your guiding beliefs? 
  • Do you have poems, quotes, or religious texts that you’d like to share? 
  • What do you enjoy most about your life? 
  • Are sports your guiding passion?
  • What’s your favorite type of music?
  • Who do you like to hear singing?

Think about the type of music you’d like for your service. You can ask family members to sing or play an instrument, or you can even choose an era or genre of music. Consider a theme, such as music, flowers, decor, famous poems, and song lyrics from the ’60s. Other themes could include:

  • Sports: a favorite team or activity
  • Gardening: include seed packets and poems about rebirth, regeneration, growth, etc.
  • A favorite band or singer
  • Ancestry Research or cultural nods to your roots
  • A favorite movie or play

You may have beloved scriptures or poems that describe beliefs you’d like to share in a printed program. Perhaps you have a niece you’d like to ask to read aloud your favorite text or sing a specific song. You can also ask the officiants you choose to read a particular text or have each of your children share about your life. 

Memorial or Funeral Service

Generally, a funeral takes place before burial or cremation. With cremation, you have the option of postponing your service until the right time for your loved ones to attend. In this case, you would have a memorial service.

Planning the order of service now can save your family time later when grieving. Even a rough draft of what you’d like to include can be helpful. Choosing who will officiate makes everything easier on your family. You may ask a friend who speaks well, a pastor or spiritual guide, or a funeral director.

Also, consider where your service will take place.  A community building, funeral home, church, or outdoor park are all good ideas to consider. 

Viewing or Visitation

Will you plan to have a viewing or visitation a day or two before your service? Many families in NC choose to have a “wake” where family members and friends gather together, usually in the evening, to say goodbye to their loved one.

Consider what you will wear for a viewing. Maybe snap a picture of you in this outfit with the makeup or accessories you’d like to wear. Or write in your plans that you’d like your sister or a trusted friend to choose this for you. 

Your Obituary

You can write your own obituary if you choose to do so, or name someone you’d like to write it. Also, consider what your obituary will say about memorial contributions. Will the obituary ask for flowers or charitable contributions in your name?

Your post-service reception: Will there be a large gathering for all who attend the service? Where will it be, and how will your family pay for this.

Traditional Burial, Cremation, or Green Burial

With a traditional burial, go ahead and choose pallbearers and the type of casket you’d like. Consider the cemetery and where to buy a plot. Will you plan this with family members who’d like to consider burial in the same area?

You can choose to use a pressed wood casket for cremation and invite only close family members to attend the actual cremation. If you choose a funeral home with an in-house crematory, loved ones may witness the cremation. You may choose an urn, a smaller cemetery plot, or other ways to leave your ashes. Some may like their ashes scattered in a favorite place, such as the beach or a unique park or ar-sea.

If you choose green burial, you will need a plot at a cemetery that allows green burial. On one occasion a family chose to make their own casket or you can buy a simple wooden casket or even a shroud. 

PrePlan with Your Funeral Director

Talk with a local funeral director to finalize your plans. A funeral director can answer any additional questions you may have about the process. 

You also may choose to pre-pay for your funeral.  Paying in advance locks in today’s prices so your loved ones don’t face tomorrow’s inflation. Making a preneed plan for your funeral can save money for your family in the future.

The funeral home does not hold a preneed payment, and you can transfer the funds to another funeral home anytime you choose. You may also cancel if needed and withdraw the monies. 

Consult with Loved Ones

Sit down together with loved ones to discuss your decisions. Talking about it with family or friends can help you feel good about your choices. Discuss your thoughts with those closest to you. 

Consider your answers, and then take your notes to a local funeral home. Meet with a funeral director who can help you answer any additional questions and file your plan so that everyone is on the same page when your time comes. 

Also, write down any questions you have. It’s okay to feel unsure about your notes. A visit with a funeral director can help you think about your answers and finish your plan.

We Can Help

At Renaissance Funeral Home, we create beautiful, memorable events for your loved ones to mourn their loss and celebrate your life. Family members and friends need time to come together and grieve. They need to remember your life and consider what you meant to them. These bittersweet times together can help your loved ones move forward with hope. In addition, your service can inspire loved ones with a new zest for life in the years to come. 

Get in touch with us today and meet with a funeral director. We can help you work through your plans and answer any questions you may have. Give us a call and find out how we can help you make your end-of-life plans.