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Funerals and memorial services are like weddings in some respects -- they are important social occasions that are done infrequently in one's life and can be expensive. Most people don't arrange funerals often enough to get good at it, so the mechanics of planning a service can add a lot of stress at a time when grief and bereavement can be overwhelming.
Funerals and memorial services are complex events that must balance many factors, including religious requirements, emotional needs, and financial realities. It's important to remember that these events are primarily ways for the living to remember and celebrate a life.
Don't hesitate to be assertive about what you want. The modern funeral industry recognizes that it is a service business, and offers many alternatives.
If death takes place within a hospice or professional home care setting, social workers are often willing to discuss options with you. The person who is dying may also express memorial preferences as part of the process of achieving death with dignity.