One of the most difficult conversations in a person’s life typically takes place near the end of that life. Planning for a funeral can put an emotional strain on family members and friends, but some of the stress can be relieved when the most common questions have answers.
Start by examining your options. While funeral homes generally have similar offerings, they can also vary quite a bit in pricing and other amenities. It’s important to choose a funeral home you feel comfortable will meet the emotional needs of your family members and be sensitive to your budget.
Speaking with a funeral director to assist in planning and preparing for memorial services once you’ve settled on a funeral home is one of the easiest ways to find clarity during a stressful, often confusing, period of time. Consider these five common questions funeral directors are asked, along with advice and direction from the experts at the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA):
How much does a funeral cost?
The value of a funeral is often more important than cost for families, as it should provide an opportunity to remember and honor loved ones. While the national median cost of a funeral is $7,360, the most meaningful service isn’t necessarily the most expensive. The price is determined by the elements a family chooses to incorporate. There are meaningful touches that cost little to nothing to add. A licensed funeral director can provide guidance about all of the options available to make a tribute meaningful.
How do I ensure my family knows my end-of-life wishes?
A survey conducted by Remembering A Life found nearly 3 in 5 Americans aren’t confident they could plan a funeral for themselves. A funeral is an important life event that helps those grieving a death take the first steps toward healing. Having discussions with those close to you can help ensure the service reflects your wishes and is meaningful and healing for loved ones.
How can my loved ones celebrate my life in a more personal way?
A funeral director’s priority is to help families commemorate the lives of loved ones in meaningful ways by incorporating elements into the service that reflect the interests and legacy of the deceased. Whether you’re interested in a ceremony at a special location or would like your favorite music incorporated, there are many ways to make a service personal.
Can I have a funeral even if I choose to be cremated?
Cremation does not preclude funeral and memorial services. In fact, it can provide more options, such as a viewing and funeral before or a memorial service after cremation. When it comes to laying your cremated remains to rest, you also have options. According to the NFDA 2019 Cremation and Burial Report, about 42% of cremated remains are returned to families, 35.2% are buried at a cemetery, 16% are scattered at non-cemetery locations and 8.1% are placed in a columbarium.
Is it appropriate for children to be involved in funeral planning?
Regardless of age, the death of a loved one is painful and difficult. A funeral director can help you find age-appropriate ways to talk with children about funerals and include them, if they are comfortable, in a service. There are many ways for children to be involved, including greeting guests, sharing a reading, placing flowers at the casket and more.
Find more support for planning a funeral, and helpful tools for starting the conversation, at RememberingALife.com.