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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Tips for funeral planning

Here are just a few tips if you have lost someone, and you are planning their funeral.  You will appreciate knowing these things after you have gone through this.  Learn from my triumphs and my mistakes:

- Always have food everywhere.  It doesn't have to be fancy, but spend the money on a caterer.  Don't add stress and try to make food yourself.  We had the viewings catered, which was the smartest thing ever.  2 days of socializing and crying can make you tired.  It gave us something to say to people, "Please make yourself a plate of sandwiches, veggies, fruit, and cookies!"  It gave us something to do when we were mentally exhausted and needed a break.  It was one less thing to think about for 2 days (hunger).

- Give everyone in the family a job, no matter how large or small, and then assume they will do it.  Don't try to do everything yourself (my mistake).

- Make sure all sympathy cards that are sent to individuals are reported to the person writing thank you cards so they can be properly thanked.

- Put someone in charge of writing the descriptions of flowers on the back of every card so we can include a description in the thank you card.  Better yet, take a picture of the arrangement, and then a picture of the card to match them up.  A lot of people don't get to see the arrangement that they sent.  Right now looking at the cards that the funeral home pulled off, I have no idea who sent what.  I should mention that most flower shops do include a description, but not all of them.

- Have someone make a roster of people at the funeral, and at the luncheon, if applicable.  It's hard to remember who was there several days later when writing the cards, and there is no sign in book at these events.

- Give yourself a few days off after it is all over.  Once the people are gone and the responsibilities are over, it will hit you like a brick.

- Let the funeral home do as much as they are offering.  They know what they are doing better than you do.

- If possible, get help writing thank you cards.  There are a lot to write.

Peace.  Love.  Serene.