Organising a funeral for a loved one can be a whirl of conflicting emotions. On the one hand, dealing with the grief and loss makes taking charge of funeral arrangements potentially very trying and stressful.
But on the other, many people take a lot of pride in the responsibility, and setting out to give the deceased the best possible memorial service can be a great source of comfort.
One of the priorities when organising a memorial is getting the message out to as many family, friends and acquaintances as possible who might want to come to pay their respects. When time is of the essence, this can feel like a daunting task. Here are some tips for making sure your announcement reaches far and wide while keeping the logistics as simple as possible.
Cast the net wide
The first piece of advice for announcing a funeral is not to try to do everything yourself. Your loved one will have built up relationships with hundreds of people over the course of their life in all sorts of different contexts. Reaching out to them all is no easy task. The best thing to do initially is to make a list of all the different social groups your relative will have been involved with - different places of work, clubs, societies, going all the way back to their school days. Then try to think of one key contact from each. Ask them to help you with names and contact details of people they think would like to attend, and also get them involved in distributing invitations.
Make use of digital media
Paper invitations have always been the staple of funeral announcements, perhaps backed up with a public obituary published in a local newspaper which also includes details of the memorial service. But paper raises its own issues, not least the cost and effort involved in mailing out dozens if you don’t get the opportunity to hand them out in person. Modern digital media provides a faster and cheaper alternative that can help you to get word out to a much broader circle of acquaintances.
For sheer speed and convenience, sending out emails can save a lot of time - it is a lot easier to gather email addresses than mailing addresses, and you can send a bulk load in one go. Another option worth exploring is using social media like Facebook. Many sports and social groups nowadays have social media accounts, if your relative was a member of any you could use their pages to post an announcement. Plus, of course, if your loved one had their own account, you could use their own friends and contact list.
Using print templates
While digital media can help to ensure your announcement reaches as many people as possible, many people prefer the formality of sending paper invitations, at least to closest family and friends. The decision then is whether to create your own, buy pre-made announcement cards or have them printed professionally.
Professionally printed funeral announcement cards offer a helpful halfway house between the effort involved in writing them yourself and the lack of personalisation in off-the-shelf products. Modern online print services offer a choice of templates you can customise quickly to include relevant details, plus added little touches like a picture of the deceased. With so much to include on a funeral announcement, templates offer a nice balance between allowing you to make your cards your own and making sure you include all the important details, all without the effort of typing up and designing a card from scratch.