When is the best time to discuss a funeral?
If you have the opportunity to talk about what you and your loved ones wish from a funeral before you are experiencing the pain and stress of grief and loss, it can make a real difference.
Pre-planned does not have to mean pre-paid. Just communicating with each other what you do and do not want and expect, sharing important aspects of your life and values, the people who mean most to you, can ease the way when the time comes.
We know these are not easy discussions. No one likes to think about death - no longer having that person's physical presence, their emotional support, feeling their hugs, hearing their laugh. But after a death, as well as the emotional and mental pressures to deal with, there is so much to be done - phone calls to be made, paperwork to be completed.
There is also a lot involved in planning a meaningful funeral that will be as unique as the person who has died and healing to mourners. And, as with most aspects of life, until you are faced with the experience, it is difficult to know where to start. Burstows, with a history of over 120 years behind us, are here to listen and guide you through the process, focusing on what is really important to you and your loved ones.
Our funeral directors are happy to organise no-obligation consultations on pre-planned or prepaid funerals. However, if your loss is unexpected, please be aware that a funeral service does not have to take place immediately after the death. Do not be rushed into decisions. This can be such an overwhelming period.
We encourage you to move at a pace you feel comfortable with - take the time to plan a service that will truly honour your loved one, express your grief, give you comfort and set you on the path to healing.
In deciding the day and time for the ceremony, allow yourself the space to make informed decisions and consider everything and everyone involved. This may include allowing travel time for mourners, or ensuring streaming services can be provided for those who cannot attend the service in person.
It is natural for people to want the pain of their loss to be over. However, grieving is a process. While it is a very important part of that journey, the funeral will not end the pain of your loss - it does not provide 'closure'. Understandably, losing someone you love is just not that easy.
In his book, Creating Meaningful Funeral Ceremonies, world-renowned grief expert Dr. Alan Wolfelt writes, "Grief is not a disease (from which you can be cured). Instead, it is the normal, healthy process of coping with the death of someone loved. And while no 'treatment' exists for what you are feeling, I promise you that if you can see yourself as an active participant in your healing, you will experience a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life".
Taking part in a fitting final farewell, being surrounded by all those who loved that person, remembering them, the important role they played in our lives, and providing each other comfort, will be the start of healing.
Dr. Wolfelt concludes by saying, "I truly believe that while a funeral cannot change what has happened - the death of someone precious to you - it can and will make a significant difference in how you channel your grief towards healing ... When words are inadequate, the ritual of ceremony is both fitting and healing".
Please ask us about Burstows' special free memento book, Memories of a Lifetime ... In My Own Words, in which to record the reminiscences, dreams, advice, values, beliefs and life lessons closest to your heart as a treasured keepsake for your family, as well as your funeral wishes if you desire.