When the death of a loved one occurs, regardless or whether it was expected or not, you will find yourself having to deal with a great number of people. Some you will know closely, others may be complete strangers; all will be claiming some kind of relationship to the deceased.
While grieving for your loved one you may find yourself not wanting contact with anybody other than those to whom you are closest. Having to deal with so many people can be very difficult so it's important to understand how to handle them.
Notifying Relatives and Close Friends
Those who were close to the deceased need to be contacted before the funeral. When you break the news, remember that they will also need the chance to express their grief and this must be respected, no matter how deeply distressed you are feeling yourself.
Sometimes it can be difficult, if not impossible, to trace certain family members. Don't feel guilty if you've not been able to contact all of them.
Some of those who you'll need to contact may be people who you do not know personally. If they come to the funeral and you have not been able to speak to them properly it would be a good idea to write or telephone them later, to thank them for attending.
The Small Funeral
Perhaps you have decided on a small funeral, either through your own personal preference or because the deceased made their own preference clear. Perhaps the financial side of the funeral will force you into this decision. Make the decision clear and stick to it.
You may find that some friends or relatives insist on attending even after you've explained this to them. Be polite but firm. Explain that you appreciate their wish to attend, but that it is a family decision to enforce such a restriction. If they still insist, they are simply being insensitive and you may have to take a different approach. You might tell them that the date of the funeral has not yet been decided and leave things at that. Whatever you do, don't allow anyone to emotionally blackmail you into changing your decision. And don't feel guilty if you need to lie. They are being insensitive, and you are simply trying to deal with matters as best you can.
Types of Tributes
A funeral is so much more than a way to say goodbye; it’s an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special.
Today, a funeral can be as unique as the individual who is being honored. From simple touches like displaying personal photographs to events created around a favorite pastime, funerals can reflect any aspect of a person’s life and personality.
Following are questions you can use to help you decide how to personalize a service:
For additional ideas on personalizing a funeral, please contact your local funeral director.
What did the person like to do?
Often people have hobbies that become more than just a casual pastime.
Their activity could have been as much a part of who they were as their
smile. Why not showcase that important part of their life during the funeral?
By adding these or other personal touches to a funeral, the service becomes a reflection of the person’s life and personality.
What was the person like as an individual?
One way to enhance a funeral is by bringing a piece of the person’s personality to life. Consider what made that person special, what made them who they were? Then find ways to link their individuality to traditional aspects of a funeral service.
As an example, an avid cowboy or cowgirl may want to ride of into the sunset one last time. Tasteful ways to honor their wish include:
Other themes you may want to consider:
What was the person like as a professional?
Many people take great pride in their career. Perhaps they dedicated a lifetime to a profession that transformed into more than just a job. If this holds true for your loved one, you may want to consider ways to include their professional life into their funeral service.
Following are two examples of how you could incorporate a profession into a service:
Was the person spiritual?
Through organized religion or personal beliefs, most people have some sense of spirituality in their life. Often those values are from the very core of who the person was in life. Therefore, you may feel it is important to incorporate the individual’s sense of spirituality into their funeral service.
Following are ideas on how to incorporate spirituality into a funeral service:
1984 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22102
1984 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA 22102