Your own funeral. It's not something most people really want to think about but dying will happen to everyone eventually. And, while you might think it's overly morbid to plan for that day, it's actually a sensible and highly practical thing to do.
For one thing, it gives you the peace of mind that you'll get the send-off you really want, with every aspect just as you chose it. More importantly, it takes the pressure off your loved ones, giving them one less stressful thing to deal with during a difficult, grief-filled time.
Planning your funeral doesn't need to take a long time, and when you've done it, you can concentrate on enjoying life. Here's how to put a plan together.
Decide on the essentials
One of the most important aspects of your funeral, and one that many people have strong feelings about, is whether you want to be buried or cremated. You might have a faith that makes the choice clear but it's best to have it on record to make sure your wishes are carried out.
Find a location
You'll probably need more than one location, actually. Some people prefer just a simple graveside gathering but chances are you'll want a service in a place of worship followed by a shorter burial or cremation service. Decide on where you'd like to be buried or where you'd like your cremation carried out. Think of a place for any longer service you'd like and for people to gather afterwards for food and drink.
Who should be involved?
If you have a particular person in mind to carry out the service, make sure they're notified and included in the plan. Also, think about pallbearers and anyone you'd like to read at your funeral.
The content of the service
Passages from holy texts, poems, extracts from literature, personal recollections: all of these make great readings for funerals. Also decide on what music, if any, you'd like played.
You may want to consider whether you'd prefer people wear traditional black or more colourful clothing. Also, would you like flowers or do you have a favourite charity people should donate to instead? Finally, if you're being cremated, would you like your ashes scattered somewhere special or kept in an urn by family? Take some time to flesh out the details and add anything else important.
When you've finalised your plans, type them up and print them so they're easy to read and follow. Print several copies, laminate them if necessary, and keep them in very safe places! Make sure people know where to find them.
You should also discuss your plans with friends and family, particularly those you've named as taking part in the service, to make sure they understand and they're happy with your wishes. If you need help planning your funeral, it's also a good idea to get in touch with a funeral director at a place like Caring Funerals.