What do I need to bring to the funeral home to make arrangements?
 

Prior to making funeral arrangements, you will need the following information:

  1. Full name of the deceased
  2. Date of birth
  3. Place of birth
  4. Father's name and mother's maiden name
  5. Social security number
  6. Residence address
  7. Spouse's name (maiden name); and their date of birth and social security number
  8. Occupation
  9. Educational background
  10. Information and/or documents to support the place of burial or disposition
  11. Veteran’s discharge papers (DD-214), if deceased is a veteran.
  12. Any insurance policies you would like for the Funeral Home to process
  13. Clothing and/or jewelry for the deceased (including all usual undergarments)
  14. Information and photograph for obituary
 

Writing an Obituary

 

Writing an obituary is an important part of funeral planning. It's a fairly simple process, though you can be original and creative if you're so inclined. It is becoming quite popular to make obituaries into creative pieces of public memorial.

An obituary can be very basic, including only the essential facts about a person's life, such as the names of children, grandchildren and spouse, the career(s) of the deceased, their interests and fascinations, and perhaps a favorite sacred verse. On the other hand, an obituary can also be very personal, warm and unique.

Download our "Obituary Information Worksheet" to guide you in this process.

To view the file you may need to install the Adobe .pdf Reader software:

Get Adobe Reader - View .pdf documents

   
 

How to Write a Eulogy or Remembrance Speech

 

A eulogy is a well-crafted speech intended to commemorate a loved one who has died. It is usually presented at a memorial service or funeral by someone who was close to the deceased and knows them well.
A eulogy may contain:

  • a condensed life history of the person who has died
  • details about family, friends, work/career, interests, and achievements
  • favorite memories of the deceased
  • favorite poems, songs, quotes, scripture.

The most touching and meaningful eulogies are written from the heart. A eulogy does not have to be perfect. Whatever you write and deliver will be appreciated by the people in attendance.

 


Here's How:

  1. Start by realizing the task at hand.

Writing and delivering a eulogy is truly an honor. It is an opportunity for you to bring the deceased person back into the minds of those in attendance. Your words will paint a picture of the deceased through the memories, anecdotes and stories you tell.
A eulogy allows the audience to remember the person -- who they were, what they did and what they enjoyed about life.

  1. Recall your own memories.

Think about the deceased and the relationship you had with them. Where you met (if you’re not family), things you did together, humorous or touching memories, and what you will miss the most might be things you decide to share.

  1. Gather information about the deceased.

Talk with family members and close friends to gather important information about the departed. Even co-workers may have valuable things to share. Some important information to include in the eulogy:

    • Persons age/date of birth
    • Family and other close relationships
    • Education/work/career
    • Hobbies or special interests
    • Places the person lived
    • Special accomplishments
  1. Organize.

You may want to organize your notes and drafts on a computer program, plain paper or note cards. Use whatever method is most comfortable and familiar to you.
Some people prefer to prepare and deliver a serious eulogy while others will want to keep the tone light. A mix of both elements, solemnity and humor, is usually best. It allows the audience to grieve appropriately but to also share in the celebration of a life well-lived.
Create an outline of your speech and fill in the information you gathered about the person.

  1. Write.

Write your speech in your own voice. That means to write it in the same way you would normally talk. Don't get bogged down by the formalities of writing. Your audience will want to feel like you are talking to them, not reading from a script.
Keep in mind the most important thing: write from your heart.

  1. Review and revise.

The first draft you write is usually not the last. Read through it and decide what to keep and what to toss out. You may want to read it to family or friends to get their feedback or read it into a recording device so you can listen to it yourself.
When you think you are done, let it sit overnight. Review it again the next day when it will be fresh again. Make any necessary revisions.

  1. Rehearse.

Practice reading the eulogy several times to become familiar with it. You don't have to memorize it unless you really want to. You will want to know it well enough that you won't have to read it word for word but it is a good idea to have a written copy, or at least notes, that you can refer to.

  1. Finalize a copy.

As mentioned before, it is a good idea to have a copy of the speech printed out for reference. Again, use the method most comfortable to you whether it is a computer program, note cards or plain paper.
A couple of useful tips: Print in large text so it's easy to refer to and number the pages so you don't get them mixed up.

  1. Deliver.

Even if you are comfortable speaking to large groups of people, a eulogy can be a difficult speech to deliver. Try to remember that you are doing this to honor the memory of a loved one, not gain the approval of the audience.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and picture the deceased in your mind, then begin. Try to speak slowly and breathe throughout. It's easy to hold your breath when you’re nervous. If you need to pause and take a deep breath, do it.
Remember that just as you wrote from the heart, deliver from the heart.