It is without a doubt that funerals can be one of the toughest events we attend in life. If you are in the midst of planning and preparing for your first funeral, it can be hugely daunting and can often leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Whether you are planning the service yourself, or you are attending the service of a loved one, it is a difficult situation for anyone to face. We’ve created a useful guide on how to prepare for your first funeral.
Practice Your Role
You may be given a specific role in the funeral. Often, a few individuals may be asked to read a poem or a eulogy out loud. You could also be asked to be a pallbearer. No matter what role you are given it is a good idea to practice what it is you may say or do.
This can help take off some of the pressure on the day and help you feel more at ease with what it is you’re going to do. Check out this article, on some ideas on how to write a eulogy, it may be useful to you if you’re struggling where to start.
Know That It Will Be Emotional
It is ok to cry. A funeral is an emotionally challenging experience for you to go through so you should learn to come to terms with your loss in your own time. Although there will be others in attendance, you shouldn’t feel like you have to put on a brave face all the time.
People mourn death in different ways. You may feel anxious or scared as it is your first funeral, so make sure you are talking to those around you.
It is likely that a member of your family or friends have attended a funeral before so they will be able to put your mind at ease and give you an insight into what to expect. Try to think of the funeral as a celebration of life, to help you move away from more negative emotions.
Try to keep your mind busy by taking up a form of exercise in your spare time. Yoga is a fantastic way to help you relax and clear your mind. It can be nice to try it out with a friend and help take your mind off the funeral for a while.
Choose A Trusted Service
Whether you choose a funeral home or a crematory, it can be difficult to know where to start. It can give you a lot of ease to talk to a local funeral home who have a lot of experience with the proceedings. Knowing your funeral is in the rights hands can take a lot of pressure off you and give you more time to focus on other matters.
It is important to monitor your own well-being by taking time out for yourself and family. Remember, you are in mourning, so don’t feel like you have to be keeping busy 24/7. Let the funeral home help you and give support. As this is your first funeral, don’t be afraid to ask questions, they can offer some reassuring advice that can help you in the lead up to the burial or cremation.
Decide What to Wear
Surprisingly, one of the biggest anxieties people face in the lead up to a funeral is what to wear. You may feel pressured to look a certain way but try to remember that no one is there to judge you on your appearance. Those in attendance know what you’re going through and are there to support you through it.
If you feel you need to go shopping for an outfit, make sure to take someone close to you, it will be nice to have some support. If you’re struggling for some outfit inspiration, then check out these funeral outfit ideas.
Prepare To Have Awkward Conversations
Funerals can often bring together members of extended family that you haven’t engaged in conversation with for a long time. This can often lead to awkward or uncomfortable conversations. Try to remember, that people can sometimes find it hard to say the right thing. Try not to let certain anecdotes or topics of conversation offend you.
If you don’t wish to engage in a conversation with a particular person or group, simply thank them for coming to the funeral and move on. You can’t be chatting to everyone all at once and people will understand that.
Reach Out to Your Support Network
Dealing with the death of a loved one can feel overwhelming and lonely. Your family, friends and close neighbours will want to do what they can to support you – prioritise these relationships. Try not to push away those around you. Many people in your support network will want to help in any way that they can. It is important that you don’t see yourself as a burden.
Having the opportunity to speak about your feelings with others can lift a huge weight off your shoulders and often give you reassurance that everything is going to be ok. If you have someone close to you who wants to help, suggest that they read this article on how they can give you the support you need.