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Helpful Considerations When
Facing a Terminal Illness
No one wants to talk about death or dying. Nor do they want to think about how to plan a funeral for someone they love, especially if they have not passed. Although extremely difficult, planning the funeral arrangements of a loved one who has been diagnosed as terminally ill is one of the best decisions you can make. However, we strongly encourage you to seek professional help!
When you combine the death of someone you care for with wanting to make the right end of life decisions, especially given the fact that you have a limited amount of time to attend to all the details, it usually leaves many families feeling overwhelmed.
Our Funeral Advisors, Family Counselors, and Funeral Directors can help answer some of the more common, and more difficult, questions that people have about many of the funeral planning challenges that may lie ahead. They can also help guide you to become empowered by providing you with the information and resources you need – and deserve – to know.
Facing a terminal illness and loss is hard enough to deal with, but the end of life planning shouldn’t be. At your time of need, our nationwide network of pre-screened Funeral Advisors/Directors/Counselors are here to both educate and assist you in making the best possible decisions.
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Find a Pre-Screened and Qualified™
Funeral Professional Near You
To plan a funeral is widely recognized as an extremely difficult task, mainly because you are trying to cope with a combination of difficult decisions that usually involve your emotions, finances, religion, conflicting opinions, grief and loss, and time constraints. Therefore, when it comes to end of life planning for something so important, we strongly encourage you to seek the help of one of our Funeral Professionals:
What to Look for in a Funeral Professional:
- Work through arrangements with the next of kin or responsible party
- Clearly explain all the services they can provide, as well as those services they cannot help you with
- Help coordinate the appropriate funeral home services and merchandise
- Provide informative, educational, and compassionate advice and support
- Assist in all forms of counseling with the family including planning, budget analysis, grief support, as well as legal services and connections
- Review all of your financial options, work within your budget, as well as review their General Price List (which is required to be disclosed and readily available by state regulations as well as the Federal Trade Commission)
- Discuss your options regarding transportation and choosing your preferred funeral home or cemetery
- Help in your decision for burial or cremation options
- Provide assistance with funeral options such as preparation of remains, embalming, restorative art, etc.
- Help coordinate the use of their facilities to assist with memorial services, use of their chapel, hearse, etc.
- Conduct cemetery or graveside burial service
- Perform the funeral service
- Coordinate your funeral plans with religious affiliations such as your Church, Synagogue, Catholic Funeral Planning, etc.
Funeral Planning Help
Three Most Common Reasons Families
Need Help Planning a Funeral
There are three common situations where families need funeral planning information, guidance, and support:
1. A loved one has recently passed:
One of the best ways to reduce the stress and pressure involved when you need to plan a funeral is to make sure you’re well prepared. This involves being able to access helpful information, people, places, and resources. It also helps to start with a plan.
FuneralResources.com is solely designed to help you find complete details regarding everything you need to know when facing any type of funeral planning. Our goal is to help you organize this process and ensure educated and clear decision-making, as well as provide access to pre-screened funeral homes and professionals.
2. A loved one has been diagnosed as terminally ill:
There is usually a tremendous amount of chaos surrounding funeral planning, especially when the loved one in question has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. At such a time, you will likely be overcome with grief and loss, and need someone slightly more removed from your loved one, such as professional grief counseling, to act objectively and handle the many options and responsibilities of planning a funeral in advance.
Key considerations when faced with a terminal illness:
a) Review the Last Will of your loved one to learn of any special or unique arrangements they might have in place. The goal here is to find any plans or preferences regarding their end of life planning, as well as to see if they might have accomplished any preplanning.
b) If established, be sure to review their Living Will and Advanced Medical Directives. These documents can become extremely important in the event certain difficult health circumstances arise. The goal of these documents is to ensure their last wishes are carried out by the people closest to them in the event they become physically or mentally incapable of making these choices on their own.
c) If everyone mutually agrees that the Last Will or Living Trust is not going to be discussed or reviewed until after death, we strongly suggest that you consult with a funeral estate planning attorney to review the Last Will and identify if there are any special instructions concerning their last wishes.
d) Inform certain key people of what likely lies ahead including immediate family, friends and relatives, co-workers, insurance companies, a family doctor, the Cemetery or other burial place, other organizations such as churches, social clubs, etc.
3. Preplanning your end-of-life plans and preferences
In the past, planning for your death in advance was considered to be taboo. Today, preplanning a funeral and the accompanying arrangements is a popular decision and should be considered an important part of planning for the future. There are many reasons to consider learning more about the 3 ways to preplan a funeral. The most important reason is because it reduces or eliminates the emotional and financial pressure of making difficult decisions during life’s most challenging circumstances. In addition, prearrangements also let you choose exactly how you want to be memorialized and allows for personal preferences in all aspects of the funeral service. Not only is this becoming a widely accepted part of a sound comprehensive financial plan, but we firmly believe this is one of the greatest gifts you can leave your loved ones.
How To Give a Eulogy
Giving a Eulogy is Hard To Do…
But Good Things Don’t Come Easy
Most people will probably say they dread giving a funeral eulogy. This is partly because one of the biggest fears most people have is public speaking, and partly because it is so difficult and emotional to summarize a person’s life story in a series of moments.
I had to give a funeral eulogy at a loved ones memorial service, and I will not hesitate to tell you that it was extremely difficult. Afterward I felt like I had experienced just about every emotion possible. Some of the toughest parts were being nervous, having to reflect on my grief and loss, worrying about getting through it without breaking into tears, and trying not to forget anyone. Some of the best parts about this was reflecting back on all of the great memories, the special people in her life, the amazing things she did for me and others, the funny stories, and being able to heal by sharing and expressing my thoughts and feelings.
I worked so hard, for what felt like countless hours, to try to find all the right words, recall all the most important memories and stories, and mention all the key people in her life. And to be very honest, I wish I could go back and do it again. To this day, I still look back with regret, wishing I could go back and say some things I neglected to mention.
Tips To Giving a Good Eulogy
In the event that you, or anyone you know, needs to give a eulogy, I have put together some tips that I learned that I hope can help you:
Giving a eulogy is a good thing for you
It may hurt to write a eulogy, and it also might be hard to read it. For some, that is the worst part. The world might spin a little, and everything familiar to you might fade for a few minutes. But remember, remind yourself as you stand there that you are the lucky one who gets to tell everyone about this special person.
You were selected to face the group, the family, the world, and summarize the story of this loved ones life. You are the one being asked to do something at the very moment when nothing can be done. You are the one who gets the last word in the attempt to define the outlines of a life. You are the one who gets to tell everyone who this person was, the differences they made in so many lives, and the reason their life should be celebrated. You are the one who gets to heal through this grief and loss process.
So it really doesn’t matter what you say, or how you say it. The reality is this opportunity is both a privilege and a gift.
Don’t feel like you have to accept this offer
If on any level you are not interested in taking on this task, for whatever reason, that is perfectly OK. Some people may choose to decline this gift for a variety of reasons. They might feel putting together the story of someone’s life is too difficult, or too emotional. Some people are simply too overcome with bereavement and grief. Some people may feel like they are not the most appropriate person. Others may feel as if they are not great expressing feelings or emotions publicly.
So know that whether you choose to accept this gift and give a eulogy, or not, there are no wrong decisions. It is totally a matter of preference and comfort.
Creating a funeral eulogy will be difficult
Be prepared for the harsh reality that this will be a difficult thing to do, from beginning to end. Writing and reading of a funeral eulogy is, above all, the simple and elegant search for small truths. They don’t have to be truths that everyone agrees on, or even that everyone knows about. The should just be the ones most people will wither recognize or appreciate. This can be surprisingly hard to make note and mention of some of the smallest of details of a life. But some of these details can define a person, and even serve as a form of recognition.
What I am referring to is small examples like:
- She cared more about her family and her friends than she did herself.
- He loved to talk about his football team, his military background, his career.
- She never wanted to talk about herself, but rather listen and learn about you.
- He had a loud voice that could be heard across a crowded room.
- She always said and did the right things.
- He was never found anywhere without a cigar in his hand or mouth.
- She lived for gardening, and I will always think of her with every beautiful flower.
Don’t worry about time
They may tell you have have a specific period of time, and that there is a set schedule. They may tell you that you have three minutes, or five minutes. They may tell you to take all the time you want. Don’t listen or follow any limitations, as I firmly believe that time constraints are always an insult at funeral or memorial services.
Of course you want to be respectful and work within the finite space you’ve been given, and remember that the funeral eulogy is just one part of the memorial service. However, tell your story, express your feelings, and it this ends up being shorter or longer than others may wish, it does not matter at all.
Remember who to speak to
As you stand there, think about the room as being filled with rings of loyalty. The people in the nearest ring, or those closest to you, likely in the front row, are owed the most. You should speak first to them. And then, in the next measure, consider speaking to room itself, which is the next ring, which is usually filled with the closest family, friends, and loved ones. Then consider speaking to the last right, which is the physical world outside, the neighborhood, the town, the place, the groups, the clubs, the associations, the companies, etc.
So try to remember your rings of loyalty, and also try to speak to them in the order they deserve.
Be sure to put your thoughts in writing
You must be sure to write down all of your thoughts. In grief, people can have a tendency to wander through memories that may not be acute, relevant, well-framed, or purposeful. Sometimes people can move off track into a personal feelings, stories or conversations that are not necessarily appropriate. Therefore, make sure to have you thoughts documented, or at the very least a general outline.
You might be struck with emotion or cry
To give a funeral eulogy is one of the most emotional experiences you can go through in life. With that in mind, you must accept that fact that you might get extremely emotional, cry, or even reach a point where you cannot continue. But if possible, try not to give up. Just remember that everyone who is in attendance and listening can fully understand and relate to the fact that giving a funeral eulogy is an extremely difficult and emotional thing to do. And also remember that everyone admires and respects you for having your courage and contribution to express these special words with them.
Since you may become overwhelmed with emotion or cry, this is another reason why you should have everything in writing. This can help you stay on track, not lose your focus, and pick up where you left off should you need to stop for emotional reasons.
One final suggestion is to have a backup plan. Sometimes close loved ones can break into an emotional state where they simply cannot recover or continue. If you feel like this might happen to you, make sure you ask someone to be there for you, and be ready to come up and help you finishing giving your funeral eulogy. Again, everyone understands and appreciates you for sharing, whether you finish or not.
Practice, practice, practice
As with any public presentation, the best thing you can do is practice this speech. Read it aloud until you feel comfortable with the content and how it flows. Practice and rehearse to the point where you might even be able to give this eulogy without reading if you had to.
Another major advantage to practicing is it will help you evoke the emotions you have inside, and determine which parts are the most difficult to deliver. This can help you prepare more intensely in certain areas, or even redesign how to give a eulogy, if you feel like you need to minimize some of your emotions to get through this.
Prepare yourself for in case something goes wrong
Often times during public speeches, especially during such sensitive gatherings such as funeral home services, events can occur that will throw you off course. There might be a noise, an unexpected emotional outburst, a child crying, or the microphone failing to work properly. Again, this is where practice helps by allowing you to stay on track and keep your composure. If it helps, make up something you say to yourself to help you through those moments and allow you to regain your refocus.
Also, one other note is that many people choose not give a eulogy by reading everything word for word. The use bullet points and the expand on their thoughts from each bullet point, topic, or subject. Keep in mind this during such an emotional and sensitive speech, you may say something that feels “out of line” or inappropriate. But like I mentioned above, that is perfectly normal, to be expected, and something to prepare for and be ready to work through.
Finally, practice speaking slowly, and during times of great importance or intense emotion, learn to pause. A pause is good for you because it allows you to collect your thoughts and gather you composure should you need to. A pause is also good for those in attendance because the silence helps to create a stronger and more powerful message.
Consider using humor
For many people humor and laughs can be a pivot point in a funeral. Especially when the deceased is someone who was known to have a good sense of humor. Eulogies don’t have to always be about the sadness or the loss. They can be about the funny memories, person, or stories.
In fact, some of the best laughs come by forcing people to remember who this person really was, versus strictly “glorifying” them. For example, one of the best ways to use humor is through telling a story about something everyone can relate to about this loved one. This can even be about something that was not among their best qualities. At the closing of your story, the element of surprise always brings a good laugh when you can summarize with a conclusion that no one expects.
During any good eulogy, you can expect that there will be moments of panic, silence, laughter, sadness, or moments when the speaker gets choked up. Giving a eulogy is almost always accompanied by challenges and surprises. This is one of those things you can fully prepare for, but have no idea what to expect.
However, if you can find the strength to take advantage of this great opportunity, I am fully confident you will be glad you were able to tell your story and express yourself with so many other who share in your thoughts, feelings, and loss. And no matter what happens, no matter what you say, no matter how you feel before or afterward, you will be loved and appreciated by those in attendance, as well as those listening above.
Christopher P. Hill, Founder
Funeral Estate Planning
The Differences Between a Last Will and Living Trust?
Which One is Best For You?
Who Should Have a Last Will?
The sad truth is that most financial advisors and estate planning attorney’s will tell you that approximately 70% of Americans die without and End of Life Plan or Last Will, also known as a Last Will and Testament. In my opinion, this is totally unacceptable! Why? Because I am fully confident that most of us:
• Truly love our family and loved ones
• Would prefer not to place any unnecessary or additional burden on our loved ones during a time of terrible emotional loss
Please allow me to explain why funeral estate planning is so important. Should you pass without so much as a Last Will, the unfortunate reality is that state law will determine how your property is distributed, as well as take control of your estate if you should you become disabled or incompetent.
The Statute Called “The Law of Intestate”
The best way I have found to describe intestate is simply; “having a lawsuit with your state of domicile over the management of your estate”. Put another way, it will not be you or your family who ultimately decides what happens to your assets, your children, and your financial legacy – but rather your state, the government, and your least favorite uncle – Uncle Sam.
I think it is safe to say that your personal wishes for the disposition of your money, children, estate, well-being, and how you want to be remembered would not be exactly the same as that of your state or local government. Therefore, dying without a Last Will is going to put your family through an extremely difficult, time-consuming, and expensive ordeal…at a time when they should be focusing on celebrating your life and the wonderful memories you’ve left behind.
So I think you can reasonably conclude that I firmly believe that everyone, regardless of your net worth, marital status, or age, should have a fully completed and executed Last Will!
Why? Creating a Last Will accomplishes two extremely important things for both you and your family. First, it helps protect you against scenarios in the event something happens unexpectedly such as a disability, incapacity, severe accident, coma, amnesia, etc. Second, as I mentioned above, it becomes one of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones by making this difficult period easier, less emotional, time-consuming, expensive, and uncertainty.
Why Would Someone Choose a Living Trust?
Most Estate Planning Attorneys will agree that a better and more useful funeral estate planning tool is using a Living Trust, also known as a Revocable Living Trust.
One of the most common questions most families ask is “What are the advantages of creating a Living Trust versus a Last Will”? Well, although a properly structured Last Will is a “must-have”, one of the biggest disadvantages with having a simple Last Will is that it must go through probate.
What is Probate?
Probate is a court supervised procedure by which the court ensures that the assets governed by your Last Will are valued properly, the debts of your estate are paid off, and the remaining assets are properly distributed to the persons named in your Last Will.
The probate process is typically a negative experience, to say the least. Here’s why:
• It is expensive. Legal and executor fees and other costs must be paid from your estate before anything can go to your heirs. The costs are usually estimated at 1-5% of the gross value of an estate (before debts are paid).
• It takes time. Often 1-2 years or longer, depending on your state. During this time, assets are usually frozen and nothing can be distributed or sold without the courts approval. If your family needs money to live, they may have to ask the court for a living allowance, which the court may or may not approve.
• Your family has no privacy. Probate files are open to the public, so anyone (including a business competitor) can see what you owned and whom you owed. This knowledge can also invite disgruntled heirs to contest your Last Will.
• Your family has no control. The probate process controls, and it can be very frustrating for your family to have to pay for the court to tell them who gets what money and when. This frustration very often leads to family feuds, disputes, and family members may even choose to contest the Will.
So as you can see, probate can be a very emotional and difficult process. If you ask anyone who has been through the probate process (like my father), they will very likely tell you it is something you want to avoid at all costs if possible.
That is why many families choose a Living Trust, also called a Revocable Living Trust. A Trust, if drafted by a seasoned Estate Planning Attorney, can be a comprehensive document that will allow you to avoid many of the challenges when handling a deceased estate, such as:
- Avoid the probate process
- It is extremely hard to contest
- Can potentially reduce or eliminate estate taxes
- Will preserve your privacy
- Expedite the distribution of your estate
- Allows parents of small children (like myself) to give specific instructions to the Trustee or Guardians as to when to make distributions to the children, what they can use the money for, and at what ages to begin letting the children have control over some (or all) of the monies
- Many other challenges such as special needs, special instructions, multiple marriage situations, etc.
So Which Is Better…A Last Will or a Living Trust?
The reality is there is no exact answer to this question, simply because either a Last Will or a Living Trust can be deemed as most effective, but largely depends on each families personal situation is unique. Therefore, as with any decision that is extremely important to your financial future, the best way to make the right choice is to seek the help of qualified and credible Estate Planning Attorney who can help you determine whether a Last Will or a Living Trust makes the most sense.
One last suggestion that is very important is making sure you work closely together with both your Financial Advisor and Estate Planning Attorney when determining your most appropriate wealth transfer strategy. The reason why this is so important is because you need to ensure that, whether you create a Last Will or a Living Trust, this document is not only established correctly, but also that it is properly coordinated and integrated with the rest of your comprehensive financial plan.
I cannot encourage you strongly enough to be proactive, and take the first steps towards completing this necessary part of your financial and funeral estate planning.
Personally, I am proud to say that my family and I have completed our Funeral Estate Planning, as well as coordinated it with our comprehensive financial plan. This helps me sleep better at night knowing I have created this all-important gift for my family…and I truly wish the same for you!
Christopher P. Hill, Founder
End of Life Plan Steps
5 Easy Steps Create an End of Life Plan
The Greatest Gift Your Family Will Always Remember
Live As If There’s No Tomorrow
The truth is nobody likes to talk about death or dying. However, the unfortunate reality is that all of us will be forced to deal with this difficult situation at some point, and often times it happens when we least expect it.
Another harsh reality is that the large majority of financial professionals and families overlook or ignore the importance of incorporating a smart end of life plan as a part of a comprehensive financial plan.
I firmly believe that nobody would ever want their family and loved ones to have to deal with any unnecessary emotional and financial decisions (or costly expenses), during what could arguably be the worst times of their life. However, yet another harsh reality is that over 70% of people who die fail to leave their family and loved ones as much as a basic Will, also called a Last Will and Testament.
Use These 5 Easy Steps:
I’ve put together 5 easy steps that should help every family improve their financial plan, simply by adding these key pieces of a smart end of life plan:
2. Complete our FREE Family Record Guide, which contains funeral plans including:
• A budget for the funeral costs that will be involved
• Your preference on a burial or cremation
• The location of your burial, or where you wish your ashes scattered
• Decide if you want a large memorial service or a small one
• Pre-arrange the caskets or cremation urns you like
• Choose officiates and others you want to run or speak at your service
• Pick the funeral music and Video Tribute you wish to have played
• What you would want engraved on your tombstone
3. Create a “love drawer”, which is a central location where you keep all your end of life plans mentioned above. Choose someone to tell, and update it every two years.
5. Take advantage of the new memorial technology tools such as:
• Consider funeral webcasting on the Internet, so everyone possible can “attend”
• Build your own personal DVD Video Tribute, complete with songs and pictures
• Create and design a memorial website, who loved ones can share together online
Benefits to You and Your Family
By taking these steps now and creating your end of life plan in advance, you are sending your family a very strong message – which says that you cared enough to make this difficult time a little easier. Not only with they thank you, but they will remember this selfless gift of love forever!
Chris Hill, Founder
Funeral Etiquette for
the Family of the Deceased
It’s not always easy to know what to say or do at a time of loss. Just being there for a friend or family member can be a comfort. However, there is funeral etiquette to be followed when someone passes away. Customs for expressing sympathy vary according to religious and ethnic background. The following information is a suggested guideline for what is generally accepted during a funeral. It is best to be aware of expectations to avoid acting in an inappropriate manner.
When to Notify?
The immediate family should receive notification first, preferably in-person or by telephone, followed by the closest relatives and friends. Be sure to provide the name and address of the funeral home for the delivery of funeral flowers. The service details can be relayed later when available
Though it is no longer necessary to dress in black, do show respect when picking out your funeral attire. Conservative suits or dress-clothes, in dark, respectful colors are most appropriate. It is advisable to avoid floral or busy patterns.
What are Typical Visitation Rights?
Upon learning of a death, it is customary for intimate friends of the family to visit the family either at their residence or funeral home. It would probably be more comfortable for all concerned to meet and learn more about their funeral home services since they are fully prepared for visitors. Each family should decide the number of family members needed during calling hours.
It is also not necessary for family members to engage in long conversations; a simple “Thank you, it means so much to have friends like you at this time,” is adequate. If the casket is open during calling hours, some visitors may want to bid farewell to the deceased. Although sometimes a visitor will request that a family member accompany them to view the body, it is not a requirement.
Funeral Service Duration?
Modern funeral or memorial services are usually brief and last approximately 30 minutes.
Cemetery Service Duration?
The graveside service tends to be brief. Customarily, once the commitment ritual is complete and the casket has been lowered to ground level, the family typically departs. The casket is then placed in a vault, interred, and funeral flowers placed on the grave.
What Typically Happens Immediately After the Memorial Service ?
Immediately after the funeral service, the family sometimes invites the attendees to join them for food or a reception at their home or designated place. This gives everyone a chance to talk and provides some time to relax and refresh. Sometimes friends or church members will take it upon themselves to prepare food ahead of time and relieve the family of this task.
How Should You Respond After the Funeral?
For several days after the service, the family should be permitted to rest and have time to handle the myriad details that accompany such an occasion. While some families enjoy the diversion of visits and calls from friends and family, others prefer complete privacy. It is not inconsiderate to cut short calls at this time.
What About Sending Thank You Notes?
Most Funeral Directors can supply you with generalized thank you cards or the family may choose to send a more personal thank you note. The thank you notes should be a concise, personal, and specific. Also, yielding to modern tradition, a simple thank you card with a signature is accepted, with or without a personal note
Who Should Get a Thank You Note?
1. Anyone who sent a gift or card to the family deserves a thank you note. This would include anyone who sent funeral flowers, brought food, sent a memorial contribution, or in some other substantial way acknowledged the deceased. The notes should be sent within two weeks of the death
2. A personal note is suggested for thanking the clergy person. If an offering or donation is sent, send it in a separate envelope. Never include it in the thank you note
3. Pallbearers should also be sent a personal message of thanks
5. For groups or organizations that sent flowers, send a note to the head of the group and remember to include all the members of the group in your note. If individual member names appear on the floral card, a separate note should be sent to each one but a personal message is not necessary.
6. Friends who have volunteered their time and effort helping in any way deserve a separate written thank you. If the volunteers are close to the family, you may prefer to thank them in person.
Upon Receiving the News ? When learning that a relative or friend has died, you should express your condolences and offer assistance as soon as possible. Only very close friends of the deceased and the immediate family are expected to visit the family before the funeral. Let the family know if you will be attending the funeral. It is important to keep the conversation brief taking in account their emotional state of grief and loss, and that they will be receiving numerous similar calls.
Funeral Flowers Etiquette?
Unless the family asks that donations should be made in lieu of flowers, you should honor their request. Many people consider it obligatory to send flowers unless there is a prohibitive note in the newspaper notice.
Thoughtful Memorial Gifts:
1. Food for the Family? Food is always a welcome gift as there are always visitors around that need to be fed. Make sure to prepare dishes that require little preparation.
2. E-mail? E-mail is only appropriate from those who are not intimate with the family such as a business associate.
3. Phone Calls? All calls should be as brief as possible.
4. Mass Cards? If the deceased was a Catholic, some people will send a mass card instead of or in addition to flowers. Catholics and non-Catholics can arrange for a mass to be said for the deceased
5. Donation to Suggested Charity? Usually the family will designate a specific organization or charity. Remember to provide the family’s name and address to the charity so they can send proper notification. Often the funeral home will offer a direct link to the charity requested by the family
Though it is no longer necessary to dress in black, do show respect when picking out your funeral attire. Conservative suits or dress-clothes, in dark, respectful colors are most appropriate. It is advisable to avoid floral or busy patterns
When Paying Respects ?
Etiquette for Casket Viewing?
Before or after the service, friends will often go up to the casket for a final farewell. It is not obligatory and is totally left to your discretion
Attending the Service ?
It is suggested that one arrive at the funeral home at least ten minutes before the service begins. Funeral services usually start on time and it is considered rude to be late. Enter quietly and be seated. Do not conduct an animated discussion in the chapel; the mood should be somber. Do not try to talk with family members you feel are suffering from bereavement if you arrive early. The first few rows are reserved for family members. At the conclusion of the service, you will want to leave promptly and wait in your car if you plan to follow the procession to the cemetery. Remember to turn your headlights on so you can be identified as being a part of the procession. The headlights are to be turned off once you arrive at the cemetery. Attending the graveside service is optional and is usually determined by the relationship between the individual and the bereaved family.
Funeral Planning and
Funeral Music Considerations
You cannot lose sight of the fact that when you have to plan a funeral, without sounding selfish, the reality is that this celebration is all about you. Therefore, you have every right to request a grand celebration with lots of fun, laughing, dancing, and funeral music. Some of us may not want the typical “traditional funeral” and accompanying “traditional funeral songs”. If people know you for your great sense of humor, then you may choose to have your loved ones laugh and have fun rather than spend this special day crying over sad funeral songs and videos. The fact of the matter is you only get one chance, so it is really your opportunity to create that “special time to be remembered”.
So if you are ready to preplan a funeral and your end of life plans and preferences, this certainly includes choosing the “right” funeral music. The most important thing to focus on here is this: make sure the funeral music you’ve selected fits you, and how your loved ones remember you. This can be very therapeutic for everyone since music can dramatically heighten the ability of your loved ones to connect the great memories of those moments they shared with you. Keep in mind that you probably don’t want your loved to be bombarded with sad funeral songs during your memorial service. Music is inspiring and can be used to help remember the joy a passed loved one brought to their lives.
Who Says it Has to be Sad Funeral Music?
So, just because it’s your funeral doesn’t mean that it has to be accompanied by your typical funeral hymns, sad songs, and lots of tears. Since you have the ability to preplan these details in advance, why not help your loved ones by telling them exactly what type of funeral music planning you prefer, and will comfort them, along with other elements of the ceremony. Heck, you may choose to throw the farewell celebration of a lifetime. For example, maybe you wish to have one of your favorite bands play? Or maybe just simply crank up the rock n’ roll music on the stereo and dance all night? Regardless of what you choose, please do yourself and your family a favor – document your funeral music planning along with all of your other preferences now here:
Our Top 15 Favorite Funeral Songs:
1. Amazing Grace
2. The Grace of God, Patti Austin
3. My Way, Frank Sinatra
4. Let it Be, The Beatles
5. Only the Good Die Young, Billy Joel
6. She’s Finally Home, Cissy
7. I’ve Had the Time of my Life, Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley
8. Live Like You Were Dying, Tim McGraw
9. Candle in the Wind, Elton John
10. What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong and Kenny G
11. I Hope You Dance, Joe Dee Messina
12. Imagine, John Lennon
13. Unforgettable, Nat King Cole
14. You are the Sunshine of My Life, Stevie Wonder
15. Amazing Grace, Elvis Presley
Five Reasons A Funeral Video Tribute is an
Excellent Memorial Keepsake
1. A Quality Memorial Tribute
Each custom Video Tribute is hand-crafted by professional technicians who artfully tell your loved one’s story. With expert direction, the funeral music and imagery join together in perfect harmony to create a healing experience as individual as your loved one’s life. This memorial tribute will be a treasured family heirloom for generations to come.
2. Restore Your Loved One’s Photos
Your precious photos are carefully restored, enhanced and artfully arranged by talented multimedia technicians. These experts can combine faded, tattered, torn, static snapshots into moving cinematic video, bringing your treasured photos to life forever.
3. Create a Fitting Video Memorial
From majestic mountains and oceans to the simplicity and beauty of a single rose, a Video Tribute utilizes custom thematic scenery, filmed in stunning High Definition by world renowned videographers, designed to personalize and illustrate your loved ones life.
4. Healing and Uplifting Music
A professionally crafted Video Tribute utilizes therapeutic, custom soundtracks. This special music is specifically composed, arranged and/or produced to heal a broken heart as well as provide the perfect accompaniment to your family photos.
5. A Memorial as Individual As Your Loved One
These Funeral DVD Videos are professionally produced tributes which, celebrate your loved ones life in magnificent cinematic quality and are available in standard or wide screen format.
You can learn more about these Video Tribute Memorials as a helpful addition when funeral planning on our website by clicking on the following link: Video Tribute
Get more information on other new and innovative memorial technology tools now available when planning a funeral. You can learn about things like Video Tributes, such a Memorial Website, Memorial Tributes, Custom Funeral Music, as well as Funeral Webcasting just by searching the various menus on this site.
Families are Searching the Internet for
Funeral Planning Help
Although nobody likes to talk about death or dying, the reality is there are thousands of people every day who are faced with one of the most difficult decisions they can make throughout their lifetime. For most families faced with the need to plan a funeral, they almost always begin by searching for the answer to the following question: “What do we do now?”
To get answers regarding funeral planning information, more and more families are turning to the Internet, especially given today’s new funeral and memorial technology tools available today.
Here are some eye-opening statistics that should make Funeral Directors, Funeral Homes, and Cemeteries adjust their business plans to make sure they include an Internet presence:
• 83% of families today are turning to the Internet to plan a funeral
• There are nearly 300 million funeral–related keyword searches each month on Google
• 87% of people will research a company online before doing business
• 84% of online reviews influence buying decisions
• Last year those ages 50+ accessing the Internet grew by over 100%
At FuneralResources.com, we believe that a quality funeral planning resource should provide families the answers they are searching for, as well as easy access the credible funeral home services, people, and products they need and deserve.
How can funeral resources online accomplish this? First, they must contain valuable and real-life articles, information, as well as funeral planning and end of life planning resources that help families who are planning a funeral or memorial service. This information and resources should be specifically designed to help families learn, prepare, and become more educated and empowered.
Second, if a Funeral Professional chooses to become associated with an online funeral services provider, they should find one with a “Pre-Screened and Qualified™” process. This exclusive process is designed to ensure that their Members meet specific criteria which will likely increase the confidence families have in determining the credibility as funeral professionals.
And third, they must have different funeral services directories for all of the various funeral services families are searching for to plan a funeral. Member listings should be equipped with innovative funeral and memorial technology that includes important details such as their full contact information, website, services provided, driving directions, sending funeral flowers, obituary search, and more. This offers families the ability to quickly and easily find these the most credible funeral services providers, as well as make sure these providers can set themselves apart from the other 20,000+ Funeral Homes, Cemeteries, and Crematories listed online.
This is a sensible model where both families and funeral professionals can benefit. The families can receive help searching for the funeral planning information and qualified funeral professionals they need. The funeral professionals can be “found” by more families who are searching for the all-important family services they provide. However, this quality funeral planning online resource center has not existed – until now.
FuneralResources.com has filled the void and created a truly family-focused online resource center. In addition, we have also created a “sister” resource center, www.memorialtechnology.com. This new resource center is specifically designed to assist families who are searching for today’s new and innovative memorial technology options. They new memorial technology tools can not only significantly help in the grief and loss process, but also enhance a families ability to heal and remember a loved one in a much more meaningful way.
We welcome and encourage all comments, feedback, input, and suggestions to email@example.com
Christopher P. Hill, Founder
FuneralResources.com and MemorialTechnology.com
Funeral Planning Help
What Kinds of Funeral Planning Help
are Families Searching For?
When I recently lost my mother, the terrible loss was compounded by the need for funeral planning help. Like most families, we had never discussed and quite honestly, we avoided answering the question of; “What do we do next?” Also, similar to most families, we had no idea who to turn to, nor did we have a clue where to begin making our funeral planning arrangements.
Through extensive study, family surveys, and my own personal experience, I now understand what most families are searching for on the Internet, and the questions they need answers to.
Three main reasons families seek funeral planning help:
1. A recent death has occurred
2. A death is expected
3. There is an interest or desire to pre-plan their funeral or cemetery arrangements
Three questions most families need answers to:
1. What should I know?
2. Who can I turn to?
3. Where do I get started?
In such a difficult situation, most families feel vulnerable, uncertain, and quite frankly, uneducated on what to know or ask. It is during times like this where families need the comfort and confidence to know they are working with someone who is looking out for their best interests; someone who is credible and qualified.
With more than 25,000 Funeral Homes, the Internet is loaded with Funeral Home Directories. But most families don’t really want just a name in a Directory. With the advent of the Internet and new funeral and memorial technology, families want quick and easy access to the most qualified funeral professionals, combined with the right tools to help them research all the important surrounding details.
Three reasons funeral planning is overwhelming:
1. They are in a state of shock, disbelief, grief and loss, and more
2. This is usually a process that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable
3. There are many difficult funeral planning and financial decisions to make
Most common questions families need answers to:
Here are just a few of the common questions that arise; What are the burial wishes of the deceased? A traditional burial, cremation, graveside burial, or memorial service? Where do they want their final resting place to be? How, when, and where are these services performed? And by whom? What other funeral home services should we consider? What is the right amount to pay for the funeral costs? And much more.
Another detail families need to consider is the religious preference of the deceased. Planning a Jewish Funeral is completely different than, let’s say, Catholic funeral planning. In Jewish Funerals there is typically no embalming, the funeral service is performed quickly after death, and wooden caskets are preferred. Preparing for a Jewish Funeral can be quite confusing for those trying to adhere to the end of life plan set up deceased.
The list of details goes on and on but, as you can see, there is a tremendous need for families to have access to high-quality information regarding every detail of funeral planning. This includes information about how to locate a Funeral Home or Cemetery, how to preplan a funeral, making emergency funeral arrangements, or even preparing their end of life arrangements in advance.
Families want a centralized place for high-quality and family focused funeral planning help. It is my own personal experience and other families needs that have inspired me to offer a place where families can get all the answers they are searching for. Families can become more confident, educated, and empowered. In doing so, it is my passion and dream to become the most credible and trusted online funeral resource center families are turning to.
Christopher P. Hill, Founder
Funeral Flower Arrangements
FuneralResources.com Endorses FTD Flowers
Sending funeral flowers has never been easier since FuneralResources.com has endorsed FTD as a preferred Funeral Flower Provider.
A lot has changed with funeral flower arrangements, and there are many tasteful options to extend sympathy to loved ones. FTD has funeral flowers to send to the home, office or as a part of funeral home services. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised at how lovely and comforting these modern arrangements can be.
Sometimes it can be hard to find the words to express our bereavement and grief, as well as our sympathy for the bereaved. Sending sympathy flowers, plants and memorial gifts can help those who are grieving to know you are thinking of them in their time of need.
Traditionally, funeral flowers are sent to the funeral or memorial services as a way to provide beauty and comfort in a very solemn setting. But, funeral plants sent to the bereaved can provide long lasting comfort to someone in mourning in a very life-affirming way. Keep in mind that in many cases families will be inundated with floral arrangements, so sending a tasteful plant to the home may be an appreciated sympathy gift.
As mentioned above, a lot has changed over the years regarding funeral flower arrangements. Gone are the days of completely somber tributes. Therefore, below are the meanings of certain types of funeral flowers, which can hopefully help play a part in your memorial tribute:
Carnations – a red carnation implies admiration, pink carnations symbolize remembrance, and white carnations have the dual meaning of purity of love and innocence.
Lilies – an extremely common sympathy flower, which symbolize the restoration to innocence of the soul of the departed. Any type of white lily will also express purity and majesty.
Gladioli – a very traditional funeral arrangement which stand for strength of character, integrity, and sincerity.
Chrysanthemums – or “mums” are sent mainly to the funeral or memorial service, mainly because a white chrysanthemum symbolizes death in many Eastern and European countries. Our understanding of “mums” are as a symbol of truth.
Roses – are popular in funeral tributes because a white rose means reverence, humility and innocence – whereas a red rose conveys courage, respect and love. Pink also symbolizes love, grace and gentility.
As one of the most recognizable flowers, roses can be a beautiful part of funeral flower arrangements. A white rose evokes reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage. And love, grace, and gentility are the message of a pink rose.
These aforementioned flowers, or any other flower, can be arranged in any custom fashion to convey a special message to the bereaved. There is a lot of professional guidance available at FTD Flowers, and FuneralResources.com is proud to endorse their high-quality funeral flower arrangements.