Death of your spouse is closely linked with grief and loss. It is really tough to come in terms with losing your spouse, especially if you have been married to your spouse for several years. Just the mere thought of spending life without your life partner can be very traumatic. But in spite of that once your spouse dies you need to think about planning the funeral.
As the funeral is a special occasion where the life of your loved one will be celebrated, you need to plan it in a proper manner. But planning a funeral for your spouse can be very stressful if you do not have proper knowledge and guideline. To help you during this stressful time, here are some simple and easy to follow tips to help you in the funeral planning process.
Contact family members:
As soon as you get to know about the death of the spouse you need to contact your family members with whom you have a close relationship. Discuss with your children (if any), close family members or friends to assist you in making important decisions regarding the funeral service. It will be a great help if others can help you during this situation. Remember that it is not possible to take care of everything on your own.
Make a list:
You need to disclose to your close family members and friends the preferences of your spouse relating to his or her funeral. A will left by your spouse may indicate funeral preferences. If the wishes of the deceased are not known, you along with your family members and friends can make the final decisions. It is better to take a paper and note done everything you need to do to help you plan your work properly and prioritize the tasks.
Ask for the death certificate:
If your spouse has died in the hospital, the staff will get you the necessary papers and arrange for the death certificate. In case the death of your spouse has happened at home, notify the doctor and he will fill out the death certificate. It is important to ask for the death certificate and make several copies of it. You will need the death certificate of your spouse to make several legal arrangements later on.
Find a funeral home:
Now it is time to select a funeral home. In case you do not have any idea regarding a good funeral home located nearby, you can ask your family members and friends to recommend you some names. Call the funeral home or visit the funeral director and ask for a price list of the services they offer. Compare the prices and services offered by the funeral homes and then choose one that suits your budget and preferences. Remember that a funeral can be expensive. As per the National Funeral Directors’ Associationthe average cost of a funeral is $6,500 but the figure can easily cross above $10,000. So, tell the funeral director about your budget.
At www.us-funerals.com, you can find a complete list of funeral homes in the USA.
To know in details about funeral service, visit www.ftc.gov.
Taking care of the deceased body needs to be done in a professional way. So, you need to make a proper decision regarding how the body of your spouse will be transported to a place where it will be cared for. Just tell about your preferences and the funeral home will make the necessary transport arrangements. If your spouse has died in the hospital, it is the duty of the hospital to take care of the body unless a funeral home is selected by you.
Decide the final disposition:
At this point of time you need to make a final decision regarding whether it should be burial or cremation. If the wishes of the deceased are known to you then you need to follow the wishes. If the wishes are not known discuss the matter with family members and friends who were close to your spouse. Someone might have some idea regarding the viewpoint of the deceased relating to this matter. Once you know the choice, you need to make other decisions such as for burial you need to choose a coffin, whereas for cremation you need to buy a cremation urn. For, burial you need to also decide whether to open or close the coffin for the ceremony and the clothing also need to be selected. For burial, you need to meet with a cemetery representative to purchase a burial or entombment space. For cremation, the funeral director can make the necessary arrangements.
At www.cremationassociation.org, you can get detailed information regarding cremation.
Finalize the venue and time:
Now you need to decide as you want to hold the funeral service of your spouse. You can choose a church, a funeral home, a park, the backyard of your home or any particular graveside. To locate a funeral home you can check the official website of International Order of the Golden Rule where information about 1,300 independent funeral homes is available. You can also check the official website of Selected Independent Funeral Homes to know about independent funeral firms who work as per the Code of Good Funeral Practice. Contact the authorities of the venue to check for availability and make necessary arrangements.
To the funeral director, you need to tell your preferences regarding small details like eulogies, photos of the deceased, the obituary, choice of flowers, and music for the viewing, religious readings and pallbearers. You need to provide single and family photos of the deceased in case of an open casket funeral. While doing so try to keep the likes and dislikes of your spouse in made. For instance if your spouse liked yellow roses then you must tell the funeral director about it so that yellow roses can be used at the service.
For wriitng an eulogy for a spouse, take help from www.funeralresources.com.
For some useful advices for readings that you can use in a funeral, check www.godweb.org.
Once everything is taken care of, it is time to invite people to the funeral service. As you need to handle so many things you can ask some two to three people to make call to people on your behalf with details of the funeral service. You can also make an announcement in the newspaper. While inviting peoples ask them if they would be interested to offer any prayers, songs, and speech during the funeral. To know more about funeral announcement ideas, check www.elegantmemorials.com.
After the funeral of your spouse you need to work on various documents that were in your spouse’s name. Gather important documents such as Death certificate, Will, Social security cards, Life insurance policy, Loan paperwork, Bank statements, Tax returns, Stocks and bonds information, Safe deposit box key, unpaid Bills and so on. Once you have all the documents you need to work on changing them into your name and take care of other financial obligations.
Lastly, you need to take care of yourself emotionally. Take some time to grieve as losing a spouse is great blow in your life and it is not easy to continue on with life without your spouse. It is important to take one thing at a time and work on it slowly. This way, it will become little easier for you to handle things.
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Filed under: Funeral