So where to begin. One of the best places to start is with questions. Whether you are considering prearranging or have just suffered a loss, these are some questions that may be helpful to you:
- What is important to you, your loved one who has died and all of the surviving family members?
- What is the best way to honour and celebrate the life of your loved one?
- What will help each of the family members and friends the most when considering the choices that are available?
- Are religious beliefs important to you? Is spirituality important to you? Are you or your loved one members of a church or group?
- Would a non-religious gathering to celebrate and honour your loved one be of value to you and other family members and friends?
- Would a venue other than a church or the funeral home be a choice you would make?
- Is there a funeral home in your area that has a reputation for integrity, compassion, excellence of service and professionalism?
- Would you or your loved one want to be buried in a casket or cremated?
- If cremation is chosen, have you thought about what you would wish to do with the cremated remains(burial, keeping or spreading the ashes)? Do you have or need to purchase cemetery plots and a headstone for casket burial?
At this point, you might be thinking that all of the decision-making must be almost done if not done but there is much more. But take heart, a compassionate and honourable funeral professional will guide you through each step and provide you with the options so that YOU can make the best choices possible for YOU and YOUR LOVED ONE.
Some additional questions to consider:
- How can a service be personalized?
- Do we have to have a minister? Are there other options?
- Would any type of service or memorial gathering be public or private?
- Would there be a newspaper notice and who writes it?
- Would a service or gathering include a lunch?
- Do I have to use a funeral home or transfer service?
Some of these questions can be answered quite simply, others are more involved and require a good deal more thought.