Unique Perspective: Personalising Funerals And Memorials

What to do after a loved one's death

After the death of a loved one, grief can be overwhelming, and practical considerations may be the last thing on your mind. Organising the funeral arrangements for the deceased, however, is an important step towards overcoming this grief, and allowing friends and family to share their feelings and commiserations.

Funeral arrangements

Making funeral arrangements is one of the first things you need to do following the death of a loved one. Ensure that the funeral arrangements have been discussed with family members before you approach a funeral director. Important issues to raise are:

  • whether you want the deceased to be buried or cremated;
  • when the service will be held;
  • what will be done with any ashes (if the deceased is cremated);
  • where any burial will take place;
  • any music or decorations for the service;
  • whether the casket will be open or closed; and
  • any eulogies or passages that will be read at the funeral.

By discussing these aspects of the funeral, your funeral director will be able to ensure that the funeral service for the deceased runs smoothly and honours the memory of your loved one.

However, before a funeral can be held, a death certificate must be obtained from a doctor. The funeral director can help you apply for the death certificate if need be, and will transfer the deceased person from the place of death to the funeral home where the funeral will take place. The funeral director's role also involves providing information and advice regarding the above options for the funeral.

Another aspect to consider is the cost of the funeral. This can vary depending on the type of service, location, floral arrangements, catering, and whether the deceased will be buried or cremated. If your loved one was certain about what they wanted they may have pre-payed and pre-planned the funeral.


With the funeral service organised and managed by the funeral director, also ensure that you allow yourself time and space to grieve. Losing a loved one can be extremely stressful, and has been rated as one of the most stressful life event by two prominent psychologists, Holmes and Rahe. This stress is amplified if the deceased is your spouse or partner. You may benefit from talking to a counsellor to manage your grief. Keeping a diary to write down your feelings can also be a good way to help yourself to grieve, as well as talking to people that you trust.

Arranging the funeral services for the deceased can be a difficult process while grieving, but consider the above information and tips for approaching a funeral director and organising the funeral for the deceased. Make sure that you give yourself time to grieve, and apply coping mechanisms to manage your grief. This will ensure that you can weather the storm of the death of your loved one. For more information, contact a funeral service like Chapel of the Holy Family.