Two tips for planning your own funerals

If you have decided to plan your own funeral because you are terminally ill or elderly, here are some tips that you might find helpful.

1. Ask for help from a local funeral home instead of trying to take care of all of the arrangements yourself

It is a good idea to ask the funeral home that will be hosting your funeral for help with making the funeral arrangements. Even if you have already come to terms with the fact that you will pass away in the near future, you may still find yourself struggling to cope with the reality of the situation. The added heaviness of that reality can make it hard to deal with the practical elements of planning your own funeral. This could leave you feeling extremely vulnerable and emotional, which could, in turn, result in you making rash decisions that you later realise were the wrong ones.

This is why it is worth asking for support from the director of a local funeral home. They will be able to gently guide you through the process of making the arrangements and help you to avoid making poor decisions during temporary moments of sadness or distress.

2. Choose your inscription before asking the funeral home director to help you with selecting your headstone

Choosing a headstone can be a difficult and time-consuming task; headstones are available in a wide range of materials, sizes, shapes and designs and as such, you may find yourself feeling a bit overwhelmed when the director of the funeral home asks you to select a specific one.

One way to narrow down the selection is to decide what kind of inscription you want to have before you speak to the funeral director. If for example, you want to include a long poem or song lyrics, it might be best to opt for a long, rectangular headstone, as this will be spacious and tall enough to fit all of the lettering you want. Conversely, if you want a simpler inscription, with just your name, dates and a single quote, a much smaller square, flat headstone might be a more suitable choice.

When you have done this and are ready to ask the funeral director to show you some options in the shape and size you want, you can then narrow your choices down even further, by specifying your budget range. Then you can decide how durable you want the headstone to be. Generally speaking, if your family and friends will be visiting the grave regularly, it's worth investing in a headstone made from durable materials that will still look good in several years' time.