Planning a winter funeral can require a few extra considerations that aren't typically required for services at any other time of year. If your loved one passes away during the cold winter months, use this guide to help make the planning process a bit easier.
Be Flexible With Funeral Service Times
Winter weather can be unpredictable, and heavy snows can prevent mourners from getting to the funeral home on time. Work with your funeral home director to create some flexibility in the start time for your services, so you can give everyone the opportunity to attend. This may mean starting the services 30 minutes after the planned start time, or it may simply mean holding a brief viewing first to provide a bit of cushion in the day's schedule.
Host An Indoor Graveside/Burial Service
If the temperatures are too cold for a traditional graveside service, you may be able to host an indoor service at the cemetery instead. Some cemeteries have buildings they use for this purpose, so you and your family can have the comfort that comes from a final goodbye without having to fight bitter cold temperatures. If this is not an option at your cemetery, consider combining the graveside prayers with your traditional funeral service.
Hire A Snow Removal Company
This may seem like a small detail, but the last thing you want to do on the day of your loved one's funeral is to shovel your way out of your home's driveway. Contact a local snow removal company, and ask that it provide on-call services in the event of a snowstorm. This can help to take some of the stress out of getting ready in the morning, and it ensures that you can leave for the funeral home on time.
Prepare Emergency Housing
In some cases, you may find that your family from out of town can't fly or drive back home due to bad weather. Have a contingency plan for emergency housing in place so they have somewhere to stay until they can leave. This might include reserving a block of rooms at a local hotel, or it might mean preparing guest rooms at your home and the homes of other local friends and family.
Work with your funeral home director to ensure that every detail is accounted for when planning your loved one's winter funeral, and discuss your plans with your close family to let them know exactly how the services will go.