Arranging for the burial of a loved one is often a highly emotional experience. When considering the best way to honour somebody, the issue of cost management can seem like a taboo. In the worst cases, the stigma of ‘cheap funerals’ or low cost funeral options can make you feel pressured to spend far more than you can afford during a time when you’re probably already feeling not in the strongest frame of mind.
However, it’s important to remember that nobody wants their burial to place an addition burden on the family and friends they leave behind, and there’s a world of difference between an affordable service and a so-called ‘cheap funeral’. Here are a few of the ways you can keep the costs manageable without compromising on providing a beautiful and respectful send-off.
Many people don’t like the idea of being the centre of a lot of fuss in life, so it’s only fitting to honour their wishes in death. A simple, dignified no-frills service can allow everybody to grieve in their own way. Low-key cremation services are often far cheaper than full church funerals, and are suitable for creating an intimate opportunity for the loved one’s nearest and dearest to say their goodbyes.
It may sound a little cold, but the fact is that funeral costs can vary wildly across different providers, and there’s no reason you should have to accept the first offer you receive. Talk to several local providers, and ask to see a full breakdown of what they offer. If you don’t feel emotionally prepared to undertake this yourself while you’re grieving, don’t be afraid to ask a close friend or relative to accompany you or do the research on your behalf.
Some funeral directors may attempt to pressure you into having your loved one professionally embalmed. However, it is an option, not a necessity. The main reason to have it done is to slow the natural processes after death occurs for a more life-like appearance for public display. If viewing the body isn’t important to you, or if you can arrange the funeral shortly after the time of death, this is a perfectly legitimate way to cut down costs.
In busy areas, burial plots are in high demand – and this can be reflected in the cost. It’s often possible to find attractive, meaningful burial locations in a designated ‘natural burial ground’. Instead of a tombstone, a tree can be planted in honour of the loved one, and a bio-degradable coffin can be used to ensure their burial doesn’t harm the environment.
Many of the things we assume are essential to a good Exeter funeral service are, in fact, merely optional. For example, you don’t need a hearse to transport the coffin – other vehicle options should be available. Similarly, while it’s common to follow the hearse in a limousine, there’s no reason you can’t simply arrange for everybody to meet at or near the venue, or follow in your own cars.
Finally, flowers are often a major expense at a funeral, so why not consider an alternative? Simple, hand-picked blooms can feel a lot more meaningful, and are better for the environment too. Or you could encourage mourners to decorate the grave with small items of personal significance instead.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to grieve, and that truth very much extends to making funeral arrangements. If you follow your heart and take a respectful but pragmatic approach to the event, you can enjoy peace of mind that comes from knowing you did the best you could for the loved one and said goodbye to them with love. Chances are, that’s all they would have wanted anyway.