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Celebrating Life, Saying Goodbye
This is one event that no person ever wants to plan. It is, however an important event. It's a time to celebrate the life of your loved one and also say goodbye and give the opportunity for those who loved them to pay their final respects. A funeral or memorial service should honor the wishes of the deceased and also the survived loved ones. In this very difficult time, Gig Salad is here to help make the planning part just a little bit easier.
As you begin to make plans for the service, we recommend contacting close friends and relatives and see if they have any requests or want to have a say in how the service is handled. Also be sure to find out if the deceased had any requests and make sure to honor those the best you can. Come to a decision with the loved ones of what kind of funeral should be planned. A religious or non-religious funeral? Was the deceased cremated or will their be a burial? Were they in the military,and if so will this be a military funeral? Flowers are also an important part of the funeral service, so you may want to contact a florist to fill the church or funeral home with flowers appropriate for funerals.
Selecting the people
The most necessary person for you to find is someone to conduct the funeral service. This can be a church leader, pastor, relative or a funeral director. An important piece of the funeral service is the eulogy. The same person that conducts the funeral could deliver the eulogy, or you could have another close friend or family member speak. Make sure to ask them in advance so they have time to prepare something. You could also open the floor to let anyone come up and say a few words, this can be very touching to all in attendance.
Many funerals also include music. Bagpipers are among the most common types of performers for funerals and typically play a song with family and friends present at the grave site. Bagpipe players at funerals are not only requested for Irish or Scottish families, but are commonly hired across all nationalities. Other options include an ensemble or string quartet to play some ambiance music as people visit the casket and pay respects. You may also consider hiring a singer with a guitarist or pianist to accompany them to perform after the eulogy. The song choice could be a religious hymn, a contemporary ballad, or a popular song that holds a sentimental value to the deceased or their loved ones. Songs should honor the memory of the deceased, convey how much they are missed or celebrate the life that they lived.
After the service
In addition to the funeral or memorial service, some people choose to also hold a wake. This gathering is an opportunity for loved ones to meet and lean on each other in the difficult time. To show support and to also celebrate the life the one they loved. Wakes are usually held at a relative or close friend's residence. Some funeral homes will also allow you to host a wake on location, but homes are more common locations. Since the wake is often considered to be a celebration, albeit a somber one, it is often treated like a party. You will want to provide food and drinks for the guests. You may want to hire a caterer to handle this for you since this should be a time for you to be with your loved ones and not worrying about the details. Bring the flowers from the funeral service and fill the location with them. Another good idea is having pictures of the deceased present. Make collage boards or set up a table with framed photos. These allow people to remember the good times they had with the deceased and invites them to share their memories with their fellow mourners, which will help them cope with the loss. You should also set up a guest book for people to sign and perhaps share a memory they have of the deceased. Later the family can read this book together and feel comforted in knowing how much the departed was loved.
This is an event no one asks to plan or wants to deal with, but unfortunately it is a natural part of life. Planning a funeral is difficult and emotionally draining, but with the right resources it can hopefully be handled smoothly with as little stress as possible. Gig Salad can be your one stop shop for all of your funeral service planning needs.