Guide to arranging a funeral

Coping with the death of a loved one is one of the most challenging and emotional experiences you'll ever go through, and unfortunately, the stress involved with arranging the funeral – especially if it's something you've never had to do before – can make the situation feel much worse. To help you minimise the strain of organising a funeral, here are some simple, useful tips for sending off your loved one.

Finding a funeral director

Hiring a funeral director can relieve a great deal of the stress and strain associated with planning a funeral for a loved one. If you can, choose a funeral director based on a recommendation from a friend, so you know that they will be reliable. Be sure to interview more than one funeral director – in person, if possible – so you can compare costs, services available and their personal styles before you make a final decision.

Choosing a wake venue

When it comes to choosing a venue for the wake, make sure that you don't underestimate how many people will want to attend. Some venues will provide catering for you, but be realistic in your estimation of how much food you'll need – no one goes to a funeral for a free meal.

Get the message out

It might sound a little outdated, but arranging an announcement in the paper really is a great way of circulating funeral details, especially when it comes to announcing the funeral of an elderly relative. You could also use this space to inform people of what they should bring; many people feel the need to give something, such as flowers, but if you don't think that that's appropriate then you could ask them to donate to a relevant charity.

Do what the deceased would have wanted

The most important thing to remember is that your own preferences come second to what the deceased would have wanted. If they left behind instructions for what kind of funeral they would like, follow their requests, but if you're left without any guidelines, use your knowledge of their religious beliefs and their personality to create the funeral you think they would have wanted.

Remember there are no rules as to how you should send off a loved one, so go with whatever you feel would be an appropriate way to send them off. If they loved bright colours, don't hesitate to ask attendees to avoid the traditional black. If they were a huge fan of heavy metal, then why not send them off with some of their favourite music?

Interested in taking out one of our Funeral Plans provided by Sun Life Direct? Please speak to one of our agents who will be only too happy to help.

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