Follow this guide to ensure you’ve done everything necessary to prepare for your loved one’s funeral.
A completely unknown aspect of a funeral is how to actually prepare for one. You might have attended one or more in your lifetime, but understanding the effort and coordination that goes in to the planning is something most won't understand until it's absolutely necessary. To help you, OBITUARe has created a funeral preparation checklist to guide you through the process of planning for your loved one's funeral, memorial or any other celebration of life service.
1. Decide on a funeral home
A funeral home can help you arrange many aspects of your loved one's end of life details. As with any service, we recommend reading reviews and comparing at least 2, preferably 3, funeral homes to ensure you receive the best service within your price range. Working with a funeral home you can trust will provide you and your family tremendous ease and comfort during this difficult time.
2. Contact your church or clergy
If your loved one served as a member or was affiliated with a church be sure to contact them well in advance if you plan to hold any service or reception in their facilities.
3. Contact military personnel
If your loved one served in the U.S. armed forces be sure to contact the honor guard agent for the branch of military service in which the deceased veteran served. More details can be found here at VA.org.
Be sure to check out this page for financial benefits you may be eligible to receive.
4. Write an obituary
An obituary is important for a few reasons. First, you are honoring your loved one by summarizing and sharing highlights of their life with family and friends. Second, obituaries are used to communicate important details regarding services. It becomes especially important if you have a large family and an extended network of friends who will be eager to know such details. And lastly, an obituary is used to memorialize your loved one. Services such as OBITUARe allow you to expand on the basic obituary by incorporating multiple photos and video, and by providing a guest book and flower wall for guests to engage and share their personal stories.
For step-by-step instructions on how to write an obituary visit this page.
5. Publish the obituary
You have two options when it comes to publishing an obituary: (1) your local newspaper or (2) an online obituary service such as OBITUARe. After doing your research you'll find that dealing with your local newspaper can be difficult, expensive and result in extremely low value. OBITUARe was built to provide you with an easy, flexible and affordable service. Visit us here to publish your obituary in 4 simple steps.
Be sure to publish the obituary as soon as possible so friends and family can read all the important end of life details. We recommend completing this as soon as possible but no later than 3 days after your loved one's passing.
6. Spread the word
After you create an online obituary at OBITUARe we make it easy to share service information and all other end of life details. You can choose to send a templated email or post the announcement on social media in a single click.
7. Organize a reception
It's a good idea to organize a gathering where food is shared among family and friends. You may choose to purchase the food yourself or have a potluck. Either option is a gesture of gratitude and allows for a unique opportunity to celebrate the life of your loved one.
8. Write a eulogy
If you're planning a funeral you'll want to ensure you have a eulogy prepared. We wrote this article specifically to help people prepare for this important event.
9. Prepare a service program
The service program plays an important part of a funeral. It's handed out to guests as they arrive and informs them, most importantly, about the order of service. The order of service is a list of funeral participants along with their role and a schedule of when they will present. Be sure to coordinate this well in advance and give adequate time to the participants.
In addition to the order of service, the service program will typically include a nice photograph of your loved one along with important dates of life and death, a biography (an adapted version of the obituary may be used here), and possibly a special poem or song.
At OBITUARe we provide you with dozens of templates and various options to customize a service program in minutes. After you finish your customizations you can easily print from your personal computer or a print shop. In addition, when you use OBITUARe to create an obituary we save you time by using the same information to automatically create your service program.
10. Create condolence cards
A condolence card is a nice, sentimental gift to leave your guests with so they can remember your loved one. The condolence card is smaller in size so that it can be transported/carried easily. For this reason, it usually contains a special picture with important dates of life and death and possibly a bible verse, short poem or quote.
11. Purchase flowers
Be sure to order flowers a few days in advance. If you're working with a funeral home they may be able to coordinate this for you; however, you can save yourself money by arranging this yourself.
12. Prepare a small gift
A keepsake is optional for a funeral but often times appreciated by family and friends who wish to have something tangible to remember their loved one by. As mentioned above a condolence card is a perfect choice.