By : Tricia Borren
Despite being a challenge that every family will have to face, funerals are an event that many find themselves woefully unprepared for when the need arises. The emotional stress of a loved one passing away is often so great that family members move to “get it over with” and plan a funeral as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, such a strategy is likely to lead to greater distress for the family, as the high prices of many funeral services may drive the funeral planners into considerable debt. Though unpleasant by definition, there are a few ways to make funeral planning less miserable.
While it may seem unbecoming to be thrifty during funeral preparations, the sad truth is that funeral services come at a considerable cost (only driven higher by the occasional unscrupulous vendor). It is important that family “shop around,” not only for the fairest prices, but to ensure that a funeral home or cemetery will be able to meet all of the needs for a ceremony. Many find that they prefer to use a family-run funeral home that is relatively close to their own residence, as these smaller businesses can provide a high level of personal care to grieving family members throughout the process. Places like the Cremation Society of Ohio is a great example of a smaller funeral home that can help you prepare on a rational budget.
A funeral should be an opportunity to both grieve over the loss of a beloved family member and celebrate the live that they lived; thus, a ceremony is often most powerful when it maintains an element of simplicity. A long, complicated ceremony will only lead to frayed nerves and stress added to the grief of mourning. Additionally, as costs begin to add up, one risks focusing too heavily on budgetary matters rather than emotional needs. It is often best to plan a service that is traditional and elegant in its simple approach to honoring the deceased.
Taking these concerns into account, the easiest way to make the unpleasantness of funeral planning more bearable is to plan far in advance. Though a difficult topic to broach with aging parents, family should nonetheless discuss funeral preferences before the need actually arises for a service. Having a plan in place means that the family are able to forget about the logistical concerns of preparing for a funeral and focus on supporting each other through a difficult time.