Things to Think About When Planning a Funeral

Couple holding hands

Fortunately, funeral planning isn’t something families have to do every day. So when the time comes that a loved one dies, many people are unfamiliar with the many decisions that need to be made and numerous tasks involved in putting together a funeral or memorial service. This can lead to rushed or uninformed decisions, ultimately creating an even heavier burden for grieving families.

By providing you with some of the most important things a family should consider when planning services for someone they love, we hope to help you create an experience that can begin the healing process and brings people together to say goodbye in the most meaningful way.

Prepare for the Arrangement Conference

When several people attend the funeral arrangement conference with a funeral director, things can get overwhelming. The family should discuss the most important aspects of a loved one’s funeral together, prior to the conference, and select someone, most likely the next-of-kin, to be the spokesperson when talking with the funeral director. That helps alleviate any conflicts that may arise beforehand, and ensures the conference can be as stress-free as possible.

You don’t have to do this alone.

Ask family members and friends to help make phone calls, write the obituary, and add personal touches to the services. Grief is meant to be shared, and so is all the work that comes with loss of a family member. Delegating tasks to others gives you more time to spend taking care of yourself and your own family, as well as creating a more meaningful goodbye.

Your loved one might have preplanned.

Some individuals choose to plan their funeral in advance, to ensure their wishes are carried out and that the burden of funeral planning and the costs associated is taken off their family. Preplans can be as basic or detailed as the planner wanted, and can alleviate some of the decision making that comes with planning end-of-life services. A funeral director will look into whether or not your loved one has a preplan in place, and go over it with you.

Stay Organized

Funeral and memorial planning entails a myriad of decisions to make and details to take care of, and that’s on top of the laundry list other responsibilities next-of-kin must handle when a death occurs, such as closing accounts, securing property, legal duties, taking care of pets, etc.—all in the midst of grieving a loved one. It can be very easy to lose track of all the funeral information you need during this overwhelming time.

At Farris Funeral Service, we provide families with a folder that includes price lists, helpful reminders, details about where family should be and when, and the contact information for the funeral director so they can reach out to them any time they need to. We also call the family on the day of services to touch base. Our aftercare team is available to assist with filing for benefits, insurance paperwork, and many other administrative matters after the services are completed. 

A funeral can be what you want it to be.

When many people think of funerals, they think of a church, people in black or dark clothing, a hearse and graveside ceremony. Although this style of funeral is a beautifully traditional way to say goodbye, it’s not the only way. A funeral or memorial service can incorporate as many personalized elements as the family wants. Did Dad wear a Hawaiian shirt every day of his life? Lay him to rest in his favorite one. Was Aunt Lucy an avid golfer? Have her service at her favorite course or have personalized golf balls as memorial gifts for guests. From small, custom details in a traditional funeral, to completely unique celebrations of life, a gathering goodbye can be as personally meaningful as you want.

Participation Heals

The more family and friends participate in a loved one’s funeral, the more meaningful and connecting it becomes for the people there. Acting as a pallbearer, writing and saying the eulogy, playing a song on an instrument, or telling a story about the person you all share a connection with are all ways that loved ones can participate in the service, all kinds of rituals that help a person heal in grief and feel connected to those who are also mourning the loss.

Research funeral homes

Not all funeral homes are created equal. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things a person will ever experience, and it’s important to find a funeral home that meets the needs of the grieving family. It’s important to find a funeral home that is established, has a good reputation and is staffed with people who are knowledgeable, genuinely compassionate, and strive to make planning final arrangements as comforting and effortless as possible.

Farris Funeral Service has served the families of Abingdon, Virginia since 1952, offering our expertise, guidance, and shoulder to lean on in their times of need.



Forest Hills Memory Gardens | (276) 623-2717
19415 Lee Highway, Abingdon, VA

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