How to Slow Down When Planning a Funeral

If you’ve lost someone close to you, you know how the days and weeks that follow are a blur of phone calls, paperwork, and funeral planning. This is compounded by complex feelings of shock, pain, and even guilt that can quickly overwhelm.

Since many Milwaukee-area families don’t have a lot of experience planning funerals, the process itself often seems daunting. Our Krause Funeral Home team of professionals is here to help everything go smoothly, and with more than 80 years of experience serving our friends and neighbors in Milwaukee, Brookfield, and New Berlin, we know exactly what to do and say to make this a reality.

We also know that one of the biggest mistakes families make when designing a final tribute is rushing through it. Some feel a need to follow tradition and have the funeral within days of the death. They get caught up in a flurry of activity, wanting to create a “perfect” service, all while walking through the fog of grief. Others move quickly because they have out-of-town relatives counting on them to make decisions – and fast. There are also those who don’t want to face the pain that can come with sitting down and thinking through the options.

Our caring staff wants you to know this: You only have one opportunity to do things right for your loved one, so when it comes to the planning stage it’s crucial to slow down.

While certain religions like Judaism and Islam require burial to take place as soon as possible after death, this is not a requirement for most others. Funerals can be held in the days, weeks, or even months that follow, giving a family an opportunity to gather themselves and decide how they want to proceed.

If a loved one didn’t preplan their arrangements ahead of time, there are over 100 decisions that need to be made. Things like whether to have a burial or cremation. Does the family prefer a traditional funeral officiated by a pastor or priest or something less traditional led by a certified funeral celebrant? What about the songs, readings, and eulogies? Many Milwaukeeans want to have a reception following the funeral, and with our in-house catering serving anything from cocktails and appetizers to a sit-down meal, there are endless possibilities.

One of the main reasons we recommend taking time to plan is because we know the importance of including personal details in the service. These details make a funeral special and set the healing process into motion; this is something that can never be rushed.

It’s little things like offering guests a keepsake to bring home to always remind them of their loved one who meant so much. A packet of seeds for the person who enjoyed gardening. An edible treat that everyone knew was a favorite. Even a printed poem, quote, or saying a loved one favored or was known to recite over the years. Coming up with ideas like these takes time. You don’t want to find yourself months later thinking, “Why didn’t we include that at the funeral?” only because you were in a hurry to get through the planning.

We work with families every day, and we encourage them to sit and talk with one another. To share stories and be present in the moment. To trust that our knowledgeable funeral directors will present a variety of options to best fit the person who meant so much to you.

Planning a funeral is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate a life. This requires time and thought and discussion. Don’t allow invisible deadlines and self-imposed pressure to interfere with this important final goodbye. If you have questions or are interested in preplanning your own arrangements, reach out to us anytime.

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