Thinking about my funeral

As you think about the end of your life, you will begin to wonder about your funeral. How will your friends and family want to remember, mourn and celebrate your life?

It may seem strange, but you may find planning your funeral an uplifting activity that you can share with the people you love. By helping to plan your own funeral, you can also feel reassured that the people you are leaving behind will have your help at a difficult time, and that they can remember you in the way that you wished.

Preparing to think about your funeral

With your My Relationships at the End of My Life thinking tool you thought about whom you might ask to help organise your funeral and to take part in it. We suggest that if you haven’t thought about this yet, you use this thinking tool now.

You will also find it useful to look back at your One-page Profile. This will remind you of the things that are really important to you in your life and what makes you the person you are. You can ask that the celebrant at your funeral see your profile so that they know you a little better.

How to use the Thinking about my funeral thinking tool

Now it’s time to think about your funeral. The first thing to say is that there are very few rules about funerals and that what matters most is that the funeral reflects your life.

You may choose a small and quiet event for a few people, or a whole day of celebration and remembrance with music and dancing. You may follow your faith tradition, or invent your own ceremony.

Be guided by your instincts rather than what you think other people expect, but remember that you are asking others to carry out your wishes so they will have to be comfortable with them. You can ask a funeral director to help you plan your funeral in advance if you like, and you can pay for it too.

Open the Thinking About My Funeral thinking tool and make notes about each aspect of the funeral. Many people find it works well to do this with close family or friends so that you can share ideas.

Next steps

Now that you have filled in the thinking tool, here are some questions:

  • What needs to be done to arrange the funeral you want?
  • Who do you need to help you plan it?

When you have thought about these questions, please open the Action Plan thinking tool.

Write down on the Action Plan thinking tool:

  • what you want to do
  • what others could help you with