Today I planned my own funeral.

I looked down the path that we know we’re all going to eventually end up going down and decided to plan out my funeral instead of leaving it to someone else to sort out once I’ve gone. No, I’m not sick or dying, I’m just planning ahead.

I went online and found the Funeral Trust website, picked my Funeral director and completed the information. This led to them contacting me and making an appointment for a chat. I was a little nervous about going as I still hadn’t decided on what I wanted.

The day arrived, I got dressed and drove to my appointment. I met a lovely funeral director, Kirsten at Dil’s. She welcomed me, offered me some refreshments and we went into a nice quiet room and had a chat.

She confirmed all my details that I had entered online and then we started filling in the blanks. She asked me what kind of casket I wanted, luckily I had a picture of the casket that I had previously seen on instagram a while back so I had that stored on my phone, it’s a cardboard casket with beautiful rose print on the lid, cardboard! Yes it’s cardboard but don’t worry it’s not an ordinary box, I had contacted the company earlier asking about the caskets and they can hold up to 320kg!! That’s one sturdy cardboard box!

We continued on with subjects like flowers, what kind of music I would like, who would officiate, where I would like my funeral, if I was going to be buried or cremated. After our discussion I said to her, ‘what happens if I want to change a few things?’. She said, ‘no problems that I can contact her anytime and change things’. That gave me some peace of mind as I hadn’t told my family what I was doing at this stage, so it led me to go and have that conversation with them.

This experience was a little freaky at first, being handed a casket booklet and flower spray booklet and asked if I liked any of these was a bit overwhelming to start with but the thought of why I’m doing this doing this and the benefits of making it easier on my family gave me a great reassurance to carry on.

Being asked these questions as it’s not something we normally talk about but probably should. Here in New Zealand we just don’t talk about death very much, we only seem to talk about it once a death has happened. I think this should change and we should talk about things like this more, it’s been a very rewarding journey for myself, and I would like to encourage others to give it a go and plan your funeral.