Planning your final farewell – why, how & when

Planning your own funeral – why, how & when

Things that are commonly planned in advance – weddings, parties, vacations and the likes. What about planning a funeral?

“One of our customers who planned their funeral in advance had requested specifically for Lionel Richie’s top hits to be played during the course of the wake.”
– Darren Cheng

Planning one’s own funeral ahead of time may seem like a morbid undertaking for some. However, this is a service made available to the masses in Singapore. This begs the question, how far in advance can one plan their funeral, can it be done at any age and most importantly, why?

Why should we pre plan our funerals?
For those of us who don’t shy away from this service, it provides us with a say on how things should be carried out when we are no longer around. It provides a sense of reassurance for those of us who value control and certainty, especially for those who have specific tastes and preferences. Aside from this, pre-planning one’s own wake may be helpful for our loved ones when the time comes as it lessens the need to sort out logistical aspects during the grief process. Experiencing grief is not the easiest thing for anyone to go through as it requires one to cope with weighted emotions that affect the mental and emotional state.

Afterlife planning also helps with finances – it provides one with the rough knowledge of how much is needed financially and allows one to start setting aside the projected funds needed (however, it’s important to note that all planned contracts have a 5-year validity period and are required to undergo revision and renewal based off the time appropriate market rates).

“What’s fulfilling to me at the end of my life journey is seeing my family bonding together happily, regardless of the differences that they have. On the day that I pass, I want them to come together, remembering the happy times we’ve all spent together and be there for my husband.”
– Jenny Tay

How do we get started?
Planning our final farewell can be confusing when we don’t know where to begin especially since it’s not a commonly discussed topic with tips readily available. We approach the planning of our final farewell as we would a celebration of life. After all, the final farewell we hold is in an effort to immortalise and celebrate the memories we have built in life, to celebrate a life well lived.

To begin, you should take some time to think about the details of your final farewell that you would like to have personalised – from the preferred religion, songs to be played during the wake, types of flowers to be incorporated, clothing to be embalmed in, etc. Upon deciding on how you’d like to personalise the vigil service and funeral, you may then opt to engage a funeral company who’ll assist you in ensuring that when your final farewell comes, it goes in accordance to what you have specified or you may opt to have the information consolidated and passed to someone who’ll be able to carry out your request on your behalf when the time comes.

For those interested, check out our bite sized infographic for more details. Alternatively, you may download our guide on planning your final farewell here.

Download PDF