Planning a funeral for a loved one can be difficult. Not only are you working through your feelings of loss, but you also have to play host to the mourners who come to pay their final respects. You may become overwhelmed the day of the funeral, but fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier so you can tend to your emotional needs while still interacting with guests. Here are some options to consider as you plan for the funeral service.
Ask Mourners to Address Prayer Cards
You'll likely want to send thank-you cards to the people who sign prayer cards or bring condolence cards to the funeral home. Ask your funeral director to post a neatly printed sign next to the prayer cards asking mourners to write out their names and mailing addresses on the prayer card envelopes or on the envelopes containing their condolence cards. Collect the envelopes at the end of the funeral service, and use them to mail back thank-you cards. This saves you some time when writing the thank-you notes, and it ensures that the notes get sent to the proper addresses. You may also want to collect the envelopes throughout the day so you can remember the names of those in attendance.
Assign Official Greeters
You may become overwhelmed with emotion at different points throughout the viewing and funeral, so consider assigning a close friend or two to help greet people when you are not able to. These individuals can be the people you choose to act as pallbearers, or they can be your best friends. Let them know when you need a break, and they can stand at the entrance to the funeral home to greet people as they arrive. If you don't have anyone to assign, let your funeral home director know when you need to step away, so he or she can fill in.
Arrange for Food Delivery
If you are hosting an all-day wake, or if you are having several hours of viewing before the funeral, think about arranging for food delivery in advance. You can have catering brought to the funeral home so everyone can have a bite to eat, or you can ask family members to bring in potluck items, such as potato salad and finger sandwiches. In some cases, you may be so emotional that you forget to eat, and having food delivered can help serve as a reminder. It also provides a way to tend to the needs of small children or people with medical conditions who are in attendance.
Your funeral home director has experience with helping to make the day of the funeral easier on the bereaved. Ask for other ideas you can use to ensure you can take the time you need to care for yourself on the day of the services. To learn more, talk to funeral services like O'Halloran & Murphy Funeral & Cremation Services.