Planning a loved one’s funeral is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. And it seems extraordinarily cruel that you have to do it while still in deep mourning after they’ve recently passed. If you have to plan your loved one’s funeral, here are some tips to get  you through the experience:

    Find a funeral director

    While you’re unlikely to have a funeral director’s number on speed dial, they’ll be the most helpful person for you when you’re planning a funeral. The first meeting will probably be relatively long, as you’ll need to make seemingly thousands of decisions. These involve things like the type of music you’d like, whether friends and family will visit the body, the type of coffin, if you want the body to have makeup, and more.

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    Choose the order of service

    This will usually be a collective effort, and you may find that family tensions begin to emerge here. Remember to compromise, and put things in perspective- if you don’t like one of the hymns or the font on the front page, this is unlikely to be a big deal. Be sure to support the person who is delivering the eulogy, and if this is you, take plenty of time to write down what you’d like to say before the day.

    Consider food

    Usually, there will be a wake after the service. For this, you’ll need to plan food. Whatever you do, don’t take on all of the catering by yourself. Either hire a catering company or ask a few of the guests (or family members) to come a few hours early and help with the spread. Avoid complicated food, and make sure there is plenty of alcohol available for mourners.

    Choose a headstone

    If your loved one will be buried, you’ll be seeing this headstone for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to find a nice memorial headstone that represents their life. Choose something unique to their personality, and engrave it with a special message. With so many options to choose from, you’ll be sure to find something you and your family love.

    Choose a theme

    Depending on your loved one’s personality, you may want to choose a specific dress code. This could range from formal black to bright colours, dress up, a uniform, or a meaningful emblem. Make sure all mourners are aware of the dress code before the funeral so they can take part.