Your last and perhaps most meaningful gift to your family is to clearly communicate how you wish to be remembered at your funeral or memorial service. By clearly communicating your funeral plans, you ease the strain and burden on family at this stressful time.
Your pastor is often willing to help you plan your funeral. Also, it is good to discuss this matter with family members so they will know you have a written funeral plan.
What should you communicate about your funeral?
• Communicate if you are an organ donor so at death your organs may help others live.
• Communicate you have a pre-paid funeral plan. Share its location and contract information.
• Communicate your burial plot location. Share your gravestone provider and the information you want on it.
• Gather pictures, awards, honors, and other information to be displayed at your visitation event. Most funeral homes will help put together a PowerPoint presentation of your life to be shared.
• Share the type of memorial service you desire: Christian, fraternal, military, or other.
• Share your desired funeral place: your church, funeral home, or other location.
• Share your desire of a closed or open casket during the service, no casket if you donate your body to science, or cremation with instructions for your ashes.
• Share your preference about flowers and the charity you want memorial contributions to be given.
• Share the minister(s), musicians(s) and soloist(s) you want to lead your memorial service.
• Share the music to be played or sung. List the scripture passages, poems, or quotes to be read.
• Write your life story, including your Christian testimony. Share your age when you became a Christian, persons who helped you become a believer, your baptism day and location. Share the Christian blessings you have enjoyed.
• In your obituary share the names of your spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, siblings, and other relatives. Share vital information such as your education, career, and life joy.
• Finally, make a list of six pallbearers. You may honor other folk by naming them as honorary pallbearers.
Yes, planning your funeral is a lot of work. But it is also a wonderful and meaningful gift to leave for your family.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the last column by Frank Fain, as he is retiring. We appreciate his many years of writing for Word&Way and wish him well.