“A dying man needs to die, as a sleepy man needs to sleep, and there comes a time when it is wrong, as well as useless, to resist.” – Stewart Alsop
Death, as life itself, is inevitable. It can be delayed but it can never be cancelled. The ultimate act of love you offer your loved ones is to plan ahead for your own funeral. You may be uncomfortable doing so but not only will your family be better off with you doing the planning but you save everybody else’s time as well.
When your end comes, your family can focus on their grief, not on your death certificate and other menial tasks. These may take their minds off the reality for a while but the suppressed tears would only harm them in the long run.
After a few days or months, the death of a loved one must have already been accepted. This will be the best time to do a memorial service. Hiring a planner is not necessary when any one within the family circle can do the job. It is important though that he can maintain his focus while everyone else becomes emotional during the service. The family may take an active part during the planning until the service itself but they may also choose not to.
The administrator must be detail-oriented; aware and be prepared of sudden misfortunes (like a rain on a service at the garden); and most of all, must possess a sound judgment of what’s important and what’s not with the family.
There are themes which the family may find offensive. He must therefore consult first with them at the start of the planning of the things he must know about (both the favorites and the not-so favorites). Even in the choice of music, memorial cards, and the presentation of the service as a whole, the family must be take an active role if only for just saying yes or no.
However and wherever the service is planned and done, the planner must bear in mind that the point of it all is to celebrate the life and mourn the death of the loved one. Whether the family chooses it to be a solemn event or not, it must revolve around the life, death and the living memory of the sleeping beloved. No music, theme, food nor decoration can ever take the place of the loving atmosphere the planner can magically create.