Losing a loved one is devastating, but if you are in charge of planning their funeral, it can also put enormous amounts of stress on you. If you are or will be planning a funeral in the near future, check out these five tips to help you reduce your stress, so you can honor your loved one.
Do Some Pre-Planning
If your loved one hasn't passed but is nearing the end of their life, do a little pre-planning to help you prepare for the funeral. That way, you don't have to do everything all at once while also coping with your grief. While you can, you don't have to make every little decision at this point (flowers, songs, etc.), but at the very least, you should plan the big decisions. You'll want to decide if your loved one should be buried or cremated. If you choose buried, where will they be buried? Next, you should start looking for a venue like Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd with a funeral director with whom you feel comfortable. Last, determine how you'll pay for the funeral.
Whether you've done pre-planning or not, after your loved one has passed, the clock starts ticking, and you may feel like you only have a few short days to prepare the funeral, but you have more time than you think. Unless your religion has specific guidelines on when to bury, you can take a little extra time, which will relieve some of your stress because you aren't racing the clock. There is nothing wrong with pushing the funeral out a few more days or even a week. This gives you more time to make the necessary decisions and ensure people can attend the funeral.
Consider Less-Expensive Alternatives
Another common stressor of planning a funeral is the expense, but when you slow down and think instead of making split-second decisions, you can also start considering less-expensive alternatives. One of the best ways to cut costs is to not buy your casket from the funeral home. Instead, shop at retailers. You may be able to find the same casket, a similar one, or one you like more for less. As long as your loved one and family wouldn't mind, consider cremation instead of burial, which can drastically reduce the costs. Last, don't have your loved one embalmed, which can be expensive.
Ask for Help
If you feel like you have to do everything yourself, you're going to be more stressed. Instead of putting everything on your shoulders, ask for help. Just because you've been put in charge of planning, it doesn't mean you can't have some help. Get family members or friends to do some of the tasks, such as choosing flowers or deciding what your loved one will wear.
Don't Ignore Your Feelings
It's common for funeral planners to put all their energy and focus into planning the funeral because it allows them to ignore their grief, but that is never good. Your ignored grief and the pressure of planning the funeral will only add more stress. The best way to start coping with your grief is to allow yourself to express your feelings. If you're mad, get mad. If you're sad, be sad. It doesn't hurt to express your feelings in a creative way too, such as keeping a journal or making a scrapbook. You can also talk to someone about your grief, so you don't have to go through it alone.
Planning a funeral is sad, but it doesn't have to be stressful. When possible, pre-plan, but even if you can't, remember to slow down and think. If you are ready to discuss final preparations or would like more information about funerals, contact a funeral home in your area today.