Death can be a macabre topic and difficult to broach for most, but funeral pre-planning can actually be extremely helpful to the individual and their loved ones.
This may be easier said than done in Singapore, where cultural sensitivities may prevail. Talk of death is viewed as inauspicious, and even without this superstition, the topic is often taboo – what more the thought of people making plans for it.
While understandable and borne of good intentions, funeral pre-planning can actually be an act of love and consideration for all parties. Rather than view it as a disagreeable act, those involved – especially with the blessing and participation of the ailing individual – can find immense comfort in the procedures when done in the right frame of mind.
Here is how one can look into funeral pre-planning matters with the right approach.
Understanding the Reasons for Funeral Pre-Planning
A funeral is always associated with grief so planning for it feels morbid, but when one looks past the emotional response, there are good reasons for it.
First of all, is the relieving of emotional burden. It is common for many to experience difficult emotions when a loved one is at the end stages of life – including the individual – and this wave of negative thinking can take a toll on mental health. A study showed that many of those in palliative care can experience feelings of burden while caregivers can go through bouts of guilt and anger on top of the looming grief.
By initiating conversations about funeral pre-planning, it can provide a platform for a more communicative and open emotional exchange, while having a function to focus on. The passing individual and loved ones can rest easy too, knowing that their wishes are known and respected.
This is especially so in multi-cultural Singapore, where people (even within a family) can have different ethnic and religious needs. Whether it’s a Taoist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or other funeral traditions – even a freethinker – pre-planning ensures that these customs are followed accurately. It is also good to note that even among the same beliefs, there can be very different specifications on what one should do at the funeral rites, which is why clarifying it with the individual is best. This adds another layer of personalisation and meaning, which can be incredibly comforting for all parties involved.
Through this process, there will also be less likelihood of conflict between planners. With decisions to be made about locations, caskets, rites and more, there is a chance for disagreements to happen. While family members may wish to express their love and devotion through their own ideas, this may cause rising tension as time goes by. The passing individual’s wishes are often seen as sacred, and by outlining it clearly in advance, there can be no room for disagreement between loved ones during the funeral pre-planning stage.
On a more practical note, the financial aspects can also be discussed between the passing individual and caretakers. Singapore funeral services range greatly in cost, and discussing the priorities will mean the budget will go to the most important aspects, especially since both parties tend to differ in this respect. Similar to the earlier point about feelings of burden from the passing individual, they can also highlight areas to save on costs to alleviate their guilt.
Most importantly, with a few option of post-rites for the departed, doing funeral pre-planning can allay concerns about that final journey. While cremation is common over burial, there are many ways to handle the ashes, including keeping it in a columbarium, scattering them inland or at sea.
The above clearly illustrates why funeral pre-planning can be of such help to both the passing individual and loved ones alike.
How to Get Started with Funeral Pre-Planning for Singapore Funeral Services
As highlighted, approaching the matter of funeral pre-planning lies largely with the right frame of mind. It’s all about mental preparation and the first step often lies with self-reflection.
Consider what is important to you and what kind of funeral or memorial service you envision. Examine it through your prevailing personal beliefs, whether seen through culture or religion. Think about the associated traditions, burial or cremation preferences, and any specific requests you deem non-negotiables. This self-reflection will serve as the foundation for your pre-planning decisions.
Then, it’s time to do some research. This can be done online, but given the overwhelming information online (which sometimes conflict), many find it helpful to speak to funeral professionals instead. From caskets, location and rites, all the way to transportation and cremation or burial, a meeting with a funeral director can align your wishes to the available options, and at a budget you deem reasonable.
Finally, it is time to write down your plans and communicate them to your loved ones. Documenting them leaves no room for misinterpretation, and you can convey your wishes to the most important people (including the executor of your estate if necessary) to lay down the instructions. Discuss your wishes openly with room for feedback, and make sure those involved know where to find the necessary documentation when the time comes. Leave room for periodic reviews as circumstances can change over time, and update the parties when necessary.
Create Invaluable Peace of Mind
Funeral pre-planning is really an incredible expression of love, and can be a meaningful time for all parties involved. By taking the time to reflect on your preferences, make informed decisions, and document your wishes, you can alleviate the emotional and financial burden of all parties involved during a difficult time. It not only allows you to leave a legacy the way you want, but also provides that ultimate peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.
Create an atmosphere of love and peace for that final journey. Let the specialists at Memorial Funeral provide assistance to support you in these end-of-life matters.