I want to arrange a funeral

Planning a funeral can be a deeply personal and meaningful way to honor a loved one. Many people turn to funeral homes or professional planners to help them through this process, but there is another option that is quickly becoming a more frequent and modern choice for many: a Do-it-yourself funeral ceremony. DIY funeral planning can be a way to create a unique and highly personalized ceremony that reflects your loved one’s life authentically, and can save you money. Here are some steps to help you with the process.

Step 1: Decide on the Type of Ceremony
The first thing to do is to decide on the type of ceremony you want to have. Will it be a traditional religious service, a non-religious celebration of life, or something completely unique and different? Make sure to consider the preferences and beliefs of your loved one, as well as those of the attendees.

Step 2: Choose a Location
The location of the ceremony is important in setting the tone for the event. You can choose to have the ceremony at home, in a church, a community center, or even outdoors in a park. Make sure to also take into consideration the weather, the number of attendees, and any logistical concerns such as access to restrooms to freshen up and be thoughtful about accessibility for those attending who might have mobility limitations.

Step 3: Consider the Speakers and Readings
In a DIY funeral ceremony, you and your family and friends will be responsible for selecting the speakers and readings. Consider asking friends and family members to share their memories, stories, or original poems or essays that were meaningful to your loved one. Don't be afraid to reach out for help when developing Eulogies (spoken word about a loved one), it can sometimes feel like a huge undertaking to speak to the entirety of a lifetime lived, focus on specific sacred moments that connect to their greater legacy.

Step 4: Choose a Music Playlist
Music can add a powerful emotional element to a funeral ceremony. Consider playing songs that were special to your loved one, as well as selecting songs with lyrics that reflect their personality or life experiences. You can also ask family members or friends to perform a live musical tribute.

Step 5: Create DIY Decorations and Keepsakes
Creating DIY decorations and keepsakes can be a meaningful way to add a personal touch to the ceremony. You can make a photo display with pictures of your loved one, hang a clothesline to display photos outdoors, or create a memorial board with handwritten notes from family and friends (be mindful of the wind and make sure it's secured if you do celebrate outdoors). You can also create small gifts or keepsakes, a native wildflower seed packet tucked into a printed program, or ceremonial objects such as candles or ornaments, as a way to remember your loved one long after the ceremony is over.

​Step 6: Food is deeply connected to rituals around gathering, and coming together in person or virtually is powerful. Whether it be a favorite dish of a loved one, or a dish that is important to your spiritual or religious background, incorporating those special meals will bring guests together and create a more healing gathering for those in attendance. Food creates a gathering of friends and family for support. Food from different faiths or backgrounds is a good idea.

Step 7: Consider Logistics
It’s important to consider logistics when planning a DIY funeral ceremony. This includes things like arranging transportation, booking accommodations for out-of-town attendees, and ensuring that the venue has the necessary equipment, such as sound systems or projector screens. Test out the auxiliary items beforehand, a tech rehearsal can go a long way.

Step 8: Engage in Self-Care
Planning a funeral, even a DIY one, can be an emotional and exhausting process. Make sure to take breaks and engage in self-care to manage stress and emotions throughout the planning process.