If your deceased relative will be cremated soon, here are the steps you should take as part of your preparation for this event.

Choose an urn and get it engraved

It's a good idea to get an urn before your relative is cremated and to arrange for any engravings you like to put on it to be done before the ashes are put into it. Selecting an urn for a deceased relative can be a cathartic experience, that gives you time to dwell on them and to consider what design they would have appreciated the most or which would have best suited their personality.

Buying and engraving this object before the remains are cremated will mean that you can put the ashes straight into it after you receive them and won't, therefore, be forced to stow the ashes in a random box in your home or in the plain container that they come in when you are given them at the funeral home for several days until you've chosen the urn. This is important. In the days that follow the cremation, you may feel particularly sensitive and sad, and the sight of this person's ashes in a random container might make you feel as though you're disrespecting them.

What You Need to Know When Planning a Funeral

Planning a Funeral can be a daunting task for families when they are trying to deal with the loss of a loved one and experience the range of emotions that come following a death.  Often, family dynamics and relationships play a large role in how a funeral is planned and what is included and not included at the time of the funeral arrangement.  This can be especially difficult if there is tension within the family or if the wishes of the loved one were not clear before they passed. Generally, there are standard pieces of information that are required for arranging a funeral, regardless of the unique elements that a family may wish to include, and having these prepared before meeting with a funeral director can definitely assist in the funeral arrangement process.

Simple Information

The first pieces of information that a funeral director will want to obtain from you, are the basic details of your loved one.  These include their full name, date of birth, date of death, residential address, and the location of their death.  All of this information will assist in preparing release documents for the coroner, or for the hospital where your loved one may have passed and will ensure that there are no delays in bringing your loved one into the care of a funeral director.

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Re-use funeral flowers

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If you have arranged a funeral before, you will know that often there are more funeral flowers than you know what to do with, and it can be a shame to throw them away. Some people choose to disassemble the arrangements and re-group them into posies. These can be given to guests as a way of saying thank you for their support.

Another option is to make the flowers into jewellery. This is easier than it sounds. You will need translucent polymer clay, which you can buy from arts and crafts shops or online. Knead the clay until soft, then sprinkle in dried flower petals and knead again until the petals are worked into the clay. Then you can shape the beads as you want, using wire to create holes for threading. Bake in the oven according to the instructions on the clay packet. Once the beads are baked and cool, you can thread them together to make necklaces or bracelets. You could give these out to friends and family as gifts of remembrance, and keep one for yourself.

What to say when someone dies


1. Acknowledge the person’s death

When you are searching for what to say when someone dies, don’t be afraid to state what a terrible thing it is to have happened. Do it in a way that feels natural. You could begin with something like: ‘I heard about John – how awful’.

2. Be empathetic

Regardless of how sad you’re feeling, or your own experiences of a loved one dying, you should never assume that someone who has been bereaved feels the same. Saying ‘I can’t imagine how it feels for you,’ acknowledges that their grief is unique, not that you don’t sympathise with them.

3. Be specific

Many people tend to shy away from asking questions after someone dies, but they can provide a way for a grieving person to express how they feel. However, it’s best to avoid generalisations like ‘How are you?’ Here are some questions that might be better: ‘How are you coping? What are your days like?’ ‘How do you feel when you wake up?’ ‘Have you got enough support?’

4. Talk about the person who died

One of the main things that people find difficult after someone dies is when no one talks about their loved one anymore. Sharing a memory and saying things like ‘they were so funny’, or ‘I remember this about her so clearly…’ can open up an opportunity for them to talk.