If a person outlives all of their immediate family members and friends and then passes away, their funeral may have to be arranged by a distant relative. If you have found out that someone you were distantly related to has died and you need to handle the funeral arrangements, these tips should help you with the challenges of doing this for someone you were not close to.
Visit their home to look for clues as to what approach you should take to the funeral arranging
If you have been given access to the deceased's home, you should visit it before you contact any funeral homes and start making the arrangements. The reason for this is as follows; whilst you could technically pick any music, flowers or casket you want, taking the time to learn about the deceased and arranging the funeral in a way that reflected who they were as a person would be much more respectful and would allow you to add some personal touches to this funeral, in spite of the fact that you were not close to this individual.
If you visit their home, you could, for example, look through their record collection to see what music genres they seemed to favour and then play a few of these records at the funeral. Likewise, if you notice that they had a garden full of wildflowers, you could order a funeral wreath made from wildflowers. Additionally, if there are any photos of them on holidays or surrounded by friends, you could take a few of these and display them beside the coffin in the funeral home.
Provide plenty of detail when writing the obituary
As part of the funeral arrangements, you'll need to write an obituary. It's important that you make it as detailed as you can. For example, in addition to including the name of the funeral home and the date of the service, want to include the deceased's maiden name (if they had one), as well as information about the secondary school and university they attended when they were young. You may be able to find this information when visiting their home (you could, for example, look for diplomas hung on the walls or graduation photos that feature their school's name and crest).
It's worth doing this, as it's possible that they may have had several good friends when they were much younger, that they lost touch with after they left school or moved away. Some of these people might notice this obituary if it is printed in a newspaper that they read and might greatly appreciate having the chance to go to their old friend's funeral.