A funeral has different meanings for different people. It is an opportunity to say goodbye to the person who has died and to mourn their loss. It can also be an occasion to celebrate their life and express thankfulness for them. Some people leave a written record or have told family or friends what arrangements they would prefer for their funeral. They may also have had a pre-paid funeral plan in place. If this is the case, the process of arranging the funeral is a little simpler.
However, if you are unsure of their wishes, there are a range of decisions you will need to make, from deciding on the type of funeral and location through to the choice of music and readings.
Most funerals are arranged through a funeral director (formerly known as an undertaker). It is important to find a funeral director who belongs to one of the professional associations, such as the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) or the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), as these associations have codes of practice and complaints procedures.
Funeral directors and their staff will be sensitive to how you may be feeling and you will be paying for their help and guidance, so use them to the full and ask as many questions as you want. They are experts in all aspects of arranging a funeral and will guide you through the decisions to be made.
If you already have ideas about the funeral, do ask the funeral director. There are so many choices available it may be difficult for a funeral director or arranger to cover all the different possibilities in their first meeting with you. There is no right or wrong way to hold a funeral provided it fits with your own faith and/or that of the person who has died and it enables you to say goodbye to the person with respect and dignity and sensitivity to the needs of the people who will attend.
Racing Chaplaincy can also help with any arrangements and liaison with funeral directors as necessary to make it as stress free as can be, during a difficult time. Althernatively if you would like to speak with a Welfare Officer you can contact Racing Welfare to request an appointment with either the Racing Chaplain or a Welfare Officer by calling the Helpline 0800 6300 443
For information on what to do when someone dies go to the Government website.
For The National Association of Funeral Directors click here.
For The Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors click here.