Cancer can be a huge reminder of your mortality, and many people with cancer—whether is terminal or not—heed that reminder and plan their own funerals. If you have cancer and you want to plan your funeral in advance, that is relatively easy to do. Before you start planning your funeral, here are some tips to consider:
1. Prepare to encounter some possible disappointment or fear from friends or family
If you haven't been speaking openly about your death with your family, they may find it difficult to accept you planning your own funeral. Regardless of your prognosis, some family and friends may see planning a funeral as simply giving up the "fight" or "battle" against cancer.
Be prepared to deal with the naysayers before you start planning. Be ready to reassure them that many people plan funerals in advance. You are not giving up but rather planning just in case.
2. Plan to address all aspects of the death ritual
In most cases, planning a funeral involves addressing all aspects of the death process. Plan to make decisions on what you want done with your body (burial or cremation) as well as what songs you want played at your funeral service, what readings you want read and where you want the service held.
Funeral directors like Lee Adam Funeral Services can help you address all of these needs. In fact, funeral homes offer something called a pre-need. A pre-need is essentially a prepaid, preplanned funeral package.
3. Involve your loved ones in the process
One of the advantages of creating a pre-need is that you get to decide exactly how your funeral goes. You don't have to worry about any well-meaning individuals injecting unwanted religious elements or any distasteful rituals into your funeral.
However, funerals are for the survivors. If you want your funeral to give comfort and closure to your loved ones, ask them what they prefer. Although it may be difficult to talk about, getting your loved ones involved in the funeral planning can help everyone process what is happening.
4. Take notes on your funeral plans
If you don't have the money or interest in paying for a pre-need at a funeral home, you can still plan your funeral on your own. Simply, make notes on what you want and inform your family of your wishes. If possible, also set aside money to pay for the funeral or talk with your relatives about the budget.