We were thrilled to catch up with Debi Roberts, a funeral celebrant working with bereaved families to ensure they have the send off they want for their loved ones.  In our interview with her, Debi shared some top tips to think about when planning a funeral.

“A funeral is usually the time when those who knew the deceased come together to pay their respects.  Those present can vary from family and friends to work colleagues and acquaintances.  With so many people in mind, here are my top 5 tips for planning the perfect funeral.

Do some Advance Planning

Many people don’t like to face the fact that we’re all going to die.  I’ve lost count the amount of times that I’ve heard ‘I don’t care what happens to me after I die, I won’t be here!’ or ‘I don’t want to think about my funeral, my family can decide’.  But sometimes there’s nothing worse than grieving, feeling totally confused and trying to figure out what would have been wanted.  You know yourself and the many facets of the people in your life so plan something that appeals to who you are and what you stand for and share it with your loved ones so that when the time comes, it can be calmly executed.

Set Your Budget

Funerals can be very expensive and until someone starts arranging one, they often don’t realise the high costs involved.  The total cost of a funeral will depend on third party (disbursement) fees which can vary from crematorium to crematorium and funeral ground to funeral ground.  Costs can also vary a lot depending on the funeral director that you choose to use (if at all) and your additional choices.  So shop around, don’t go with the first funeral director that you stumble upon and compare everything – costs, options, quotes and service suppliers.

Tell a Good Story – the Eulogy

Everyone loves to hear a good story so it’s nice to capture those attending the funeral with an interesting eulogy that spans the different areas of the person who has died.  Often attending the funeral are people who knew the deceased person from different walks of life, so it’s nice for them to find out aspects of that person that they didn’t know.  The eulogy doesn’t have to start at the beginning and work through that person’s life, it can a series of short adventures.  It can be read by one or more people, be weaved throughout the ceremony and be serious or funny.  Whatever you choose, the eulogy can be wonderful to hear and bring that individual ‘to life’ in the minds of those listening.

Be True to Self

When it comes to funerals, one size does not fit all. Just like the unique aspects of the person who has died, the ceremony can reflect who they were and what they stood for.  It can take into account their culture and language, their practices, beliefs and/or their faith.  If it’s important to you and meets the needs and expectations of the deceased’s family and friends, it’s important to include it.  If you are working with a funeral director, a minister or a celebrant who is not being accommodating, work with others who are.  You want to have people in your corner who make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.  So, it’s crucial that whilst you are making the choices to suit your ceremony, that those around you are sensitive to your needs.

Be Creative

Whether you’ve decided to be have a religious or non-religious service, you can have whatever you want!  Having a traditional or more religious ceremony will have its limitations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own style.  You can opt for a jazz band, an opera singer, a colourful coffin or a coffin in the shape of a car, candles or incense, have everyone attend in fancy dress, hire a dance troupe or have silent reflection, poetry or spoken word, a photographic display or a short film.  You can forgo any flowers and ask people to donate to a charity to raise money for a cause that is close to your heart.

Whatever you choose, you can do it your way!”

If you would like to talk to Debi about how she can help you, you can connect with her here.

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