Planning a funeral is something that most folks want to avoid for as long as possible. However, putting together a funeral plan with your family and loved ones is actually one of the most important things that you can do. Nobody wants to talk about death and dying but this is your opportunity to share stories, hopes, dreams, and indeed your deepest thoughts on what lies beyond. Above anything else, having a funeral plan is a great way to take the burden off your family so they have one less thing to do while mourning your passing.
To be completely honest, thinking about death and dying isn't something that I've given a lot of thought to until Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary, Crematory, and Cemetary in Hayward, CA contacted me. Initially, I wasn't sure what I would have to say since promoting a funeral home and cemetery really isn't the sort of uplifting and fun type of content that I normally like to write about and promote to you guys. However, the deeper I looked, and the more I thought about this topic I began to realize that the industry has come a long way and that it really isn't scary or something to avoid. In fact, I was pretty impressed with how modern Chapel of the Chimes was and the variety of different services that they can offer from having mariachi bands to eco-friendly burial options. They offer funeral, cemetery, and cremation services all in one location and that means your loved ones will never leave their care. Plus, the property is surprisingly modern, beautiful, and culturally diverse too.
When Should Funeral Planning Begin?
Conventionally, the idea of funeral planning often begins when the person or even couple becomes sick, very old, or too often after the person has passed away and it is left to the family and relatives. This leaves little time for the deceased to plan what comes next and can also create additional stress on the family and friends both emotionally and economically as they try to quickly create a funeral plan that they feel is appropriate.
Instead, we should start thinking about end-of-life plans far earlier. While I don't think there is an exact age that this needs to begin, certainly it can start as early as with people in their 30's. This doesn't mean you need to select your urn or casket at this age, but it is important to start thinking about protecting your family and discussing options and preferences with your spouse, partner, and friends just in case something happens. Additionally, this time is also a great opportunity for you to explore and learn about what's out there. In today's world, the cliche casket or urn style funeral that you see in the movies is far from the only options available.
How To Create a Funeral Plan?
Creating a funeral plan is as simple as writing an email and sending it to your family members, though some elements such as writing a will or purchasing a cemetery spot will need to be more formal. These are things that can be filled in later but the important thing is to make sure that you start to consider options and share them.
If you are looking for options to make it easier, there are free funeral planning worksheets available online that are ready for you to fill out, funeral planning software, and you can also request a funeral planning guide from Chapel of the Chimes as well.
How Much Does a Typical Funeral Cost?
There are so many different variations on a funeral plan that it is extremely difficult to write a single number. However, you should expect that the minimum cost for a funeral with cremation would be $7,000 and for a funeral with a casket that cost would be at least $10,000. These prices do not include cemetery location, grave marker, flowers, or other decorations. Additionally, once you begin to explore the subject of funeral planning options, you will quickly discover that caskets and urns can very quickly increase in price depending on the materials used. Likewise, in today's modern funeral market there are many many other addons and types of services available that will also increase the cost.
What Should Be Considered In Your Funeral Plan?
Planning ahead can make a big difference both economically as well as in lowering the stress and anxiety level among your loved ones. With some people, a passing is easier to predict because it is preceded by months or weeks of intense hospitalization or hospice care. For others, though it can be a sudden occurrence where you have little time to plan. This can leave your family scrambling to find a suitable tribute to your life and make plans in your honor without proper time to find the exact right solution for your eternal rest. Here's what you should consider when putting together a funeral plan ...
What Kind of Experience Do You Want - Do you want a traditional Catholic funeral service or do you want something matching your ethnic heritage that integrates Chinese traditions or perhaps you want something more radical such as using your ashes to create a jewel that your loved one(s) can wear as a remembrance of your legacy. These are some of the ideas that you would need to consider as well as fundamental decisions such as your thoughts on being cremated or embalmed and buried. The important part here is that you need to explore options and discuss them with your family and loved ones so that they know what you would like.
What Music Should Accompany Your Funeral Ceremony - Traditional services feature bible hymns but that's not the only option. Today's funeral plans can include everything from jazz and mariachi bands to pretty much anything you can possibly imagine to send a person off to the next phase of existence in the style that they wish.
Where Do You Want To Be Laid To Rest - while some final rest solutions don't involve a cemetery or mausoleum, for others the location is very important. This includes both the geographic location as well as other preferences such as positioning within the cemetery. For instance, do you prefer to be on the top row of a mausoleum? Maybe you want a perfect view of a sculpture from your grave spot? Perhaps you'd prefer to be near an oak tree or overlooking a pond? These are all options that need to be shared in your funeral plan.
Who Do You Want To Know About Your Passing - Perhaps equally important to how you will be laid to rest and where, is who will be there to celebrate your life and honor your legacy. While this is a list that will be constantly changing, this is a very important thing to share and indeed write down as part of your funeral plan.
How To Pay For Funeral Expenses - many organizations offer pre-paid funeral packages and there also are financial institutions that offer programs that can help avoid paying for funeral expenses all at once. Most funeral homes, including Chapel of The Chimes, can offer this as well though your best solution is to begin putting money aside well in advance of your potential passing so that you can avoid unexpected burdensome costs. By pre-paying for your funeral you can also lock in prices and avoid inflation.
Final Thoughts On Your Final Resting Place
There are many options to consider when exploring the idea of funeral planning today and many providers have risen and begun to innovate in this space. While it is clearly an industry primarily focused on older individuals, sadly death is not limited to just that demographic. Additionally, our perspectives on the role of tradition in society is changing to become one that is more personal than dogmatic as well. This is why it is essential that you begin the discussion of funeral planning earlier in life than you might consider, as well as finding a source such as Chapel of The Chimes where you can talk with someone to help you plan ahead.