Death is an inevitable part of life, and while it may not always be our topic to discuss, planning for our own funeral can be a thoughtful and responsible decision. By taking the time to plan ahead, you’re taking some of the pressure off those left behind. It’s up to them if they then honour your wishes or not (usually they do!) but makes it much less of an anxious time if they at least have an idea of what you want. Funeral planning is something we’re obsessed with, as we know how much of a difference it makes when those left to arrange the funeral have an outline of what their person would want.
Begin the planning process by reflecting on your personal preferences. Consider the type of service you fancy—whether it’s a religious ceremony, an all bells-and-whistles celebration of life, or a a quieter gathering in a more natural setting. Think about the location, music, readings, and any other elements that hold significance to you. By identifying your preferences, you can create a personalized funeral experience which, if you plan your own funeral with Coffin Club – you can leave in our own personalised funeral wishlist.
Openly discussing your funeral plans with your loved ones is crucial. It helps them understand your wishes and ensures they can fulfill them when the time comes. Share your thoughts and desires with your family and close friends, if you pop along to your local Coffin Club it can really open up these conversations. This way, everyone will be on the same page and aware of your intentions.
Funeral planning doesn’t have to be complicated – there is nothing, legally, that a funeral director can do that you can’t do yourself. And, there are lots of resources available through organisations like The Natural Death Centre and Coffin Club, of course! That said, you may feel more comfortable being supported by a professional. But make sure you check out your local funeral directors, ahead of time, to find the one that’s the right fit for you.
Funerals can be expensive, so it’s important to consider financial implications. The only requirment you can’t avoid is disposal of the body – so you’ll have to come up with the cost for that no matter what. Remember, if you want to be buried in an area that is outside of your council tax catchment, it will cost you more. And some crems charge for people coming out of area. Other than that how expensive you go is up to you. Instant ways to save costs – use your own car not a hearse or limo, research coffins, this lovely one in the picture is from Ecological Coffins. Flowers are expensive, how about decorating with things from the persons life – a hat, walking boots, map and a pint of bear. By all means ring-fence some money – pre-payment plans will have admin costs and be inflexible, so just put the money aside and tell your trusted person what you want them to do with it.
Sarah, a Coffin Club Celebrant-plus Celebrant
To ensure your funeral plans are executed correctly, document your wishes in writing. We know how relieved our Coffin Clubbers are once they’ve sorted out what they want, written it down in their Funeral Wishlist and given it to the person they trust. Then, they just forget about it and get on with living!
That said, you need to make sure that the person who has to put your wishes in place is up to the task. Maybe don’t ask for things that are unreasonably difficult to fulfill. Or, if you want a great big show-tunes-and-dancing-girls production – ask a person that you know will enjoy rising to that challenge. And remember, once you’re dead, no one is actually obliged to respect your wishes. Although, in our experience, it is something people will do their best to fulfill.
Finally, it’s important to review and update your funeral plans every now and again. You may have fancied cremation and now you’ve discovered a greener option, you’ve changed your mind. So, don’t sweat it, just update your wishlist, tell your special person and keep on keeping on!
Planning your own funeral may seem daunting, but by following these seven tips, you can take control of the process and ensure your final wishes are honoured. Reflect on your preferences, communicate with your loved ones, go DIY or seek professional guidance, if that’s your preference, make financial preparations, document your wishes, make sure you’ve got your trusted person in place and, every now and again, have a little update. By doing so, you can alleviate the stress on your loved ones and create a meaningful farewell that reflects your life and values.