You don’t expect to find an article about home funerals on a real estate website. But, homes are where you would hold a home funeral, and the real estate website Redfin recently posted this story about how to plan a home memorial service.
“As the project manager for this article, I wanted to create a piece of content that related to the importance of a home outside of investment, decor, or upkeep advice,” said Bailey Chauner with Redfin. “Redfin’s goal is to ‘redefine real estate in the customer’s favor’ and I wanted to create a guide to address the value of a home even in the most difficult times of life.”
Here are a few key points to know about home funerals:
- Is this a memorial service or a funeral service? There’s no body present at memorial services (but you could have cremated remains). A funeral means you’ve got a body in a casket – at your home. That bumps up the complexity factors for transportation and storage of the body, paperwork like burial transit permits, and making sure there’s enough room in the house and doorways to allow clearance when moving the casket, and planning how to navigate any stairs that have to be climbed.
- In a home gathering, you need to be prepared as if this were any other kind of party – food and drink; plates, glasses, napkins, tablecloths, cutlery and serving dishes; seating; and decorations or flowers. Will you use the good stuff or go with paper and plastic?
- You may need a sound system, so everyone can hear what will be said about the dearly departed. If there’s music, live or recorded, a sound system will be a must, especially for an outdoor event. If you plan to show videos, do you have the equipment to clearly display them?
- Ask your family and friends to help out. You’ll need assistance with set up, running the event, and clean up.
- Figure out how you’ll invite people to the event. There are plenty of ways to do that: by telephone, email, postcards/written invitations, social media, and text. Give yourself and your guests as much lead time as you can to put the event on their calendars.
While there are many benefits to holding a home-based memorial service, many funeral homes now have reception centers that provide a place for entertaining. As part of their service fee, they provide the space, entertaining supplies, and AV equipment, as well as handle set up and clean up for any event, from a casual memorial service to a formal funeral. It’s worth checking into your local options well before a loved one dies.
As the Redfin article sums it up: “The truth is, planning a memorial for someone you love is never easy. Holding the event at home can make the grieving process feel less detached and allow for a much more personal experience. Keep in mind throughout the process that no minor detail, be it the material of the casket or the number of flowers, is worth fretting over. Putting your loved one to rest is about so much more than the physical details, so channel your energy into creating a loving environment for everyone to say goodbye.”