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The Emotional Complexity of Funeral Planning

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It’s common to want a simple funeral. The last thing many of us want is for our families to experience the stress of funeral planning when they’re facing loss and grief. A simple funeral can help alleviate some of that stress, and can make your family’s path toward healing a little clearer.

But the fact is that even a simple funeral is not simple. No matter how you look at it, funerals require emotionally complex decision making, and on top of that, they can also be financially burdensome. We all want what’s best for our families, but instead of asking for a simple funeral, you can give your family the gift of preplanning and ensure that when the time comes, the only thing they will have to do is call us.

We have been helping Denver families in their time of need for over a century. We have seen firsthand how funeral planning can cause distress in those that are experiencing grief. Here’s how preplanning can help.

A Funeral Can Be Emotionally Complex

A funeral is an emotionally intimate event that serves as the final goodbye for someone you love. There is often pressure to make your loved one’s funeral services “perfect.” This is understandable—we all want to honor our loved ones as best we can. But the truth is that when your family is grieving, decision making will become difficult. It can be easy to unintentionally overspend, or overcomplicate your funeral services.

When you make these decisions yourself, and solidify them by preplanning, you save your family from this difficult experience. They will know that your funeral services are exactly as you wanted them, because you planned them yourself. And if you prepay, you can save them from the financial obligations, too.

Even A Small Funeral Service Requires Many Decisions

Even if your family decides to hold a small church service, they will still have to make several decisions. Burial or cremation? What kind of casket, or urn? What music should they play? Which scriptures or passages should they read? Are they accidentally leaving anyone important off the guest list? Should they hold a reception, and if so, where?

These are all decisions that you will make when you preplan your services. There is no decision that is too big or too small to go into your preplans, and you can include any detail that you think will bring your family comfort. And you aren’t just making these decisions for your family—you’re making them for yourself, too. Your funeral services should be a reflection of your personality and your life, and preplanning can bring you peace of mind by knowing that your funeral will be exactly how you want it.

What You Don’t Want Is Just As Important As What You Do Want

Something that we see often from families is the stress of not knowing what their loved one would and would not have wanted. Often, they will know the answers to the big questions, like whether to choose burial or cremation, but will be at a loss regarding other considerations, like whether or not to hold a viewing.

These are often things that many people have strong feelings about, but out of fear of upsetting their families, never clearly articulate. Sometimes rifts can appear in families when disagreements arise about what their loved one would have wanted.

When you preplan, you can help your family avoid these rifts. If you feel certain you don’t want a viewing, or any other part of the funeral service, you can add that to your preplans. You don’t have to worry about anyone changing your plans after you pass. Once you make your preplans, it is set in stone. All your family will have to do is call us.

Horan & McConaty is committed to providing care to you and your family as you preplan your funeral services. We want to make this process as easy as possible, and we will provide whatever guidance you need. Call us, day or night, at 303.745.4418 to learn more about preplanning, or visit any of our seven funeral homes in the Denver Metro area.

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