If like me you are living or spending plenty of your time here in Spain you probably give little thought to your funeral! After all we are living the good life are we not?
However we all share one destiny and the positive thing is that you are hopefully living well and enjoying the life we have been given for whatever time that is.
A very personal ceremony
I have attended three funerals of expats in Spain. In each case I believe the family was caught out by events and been ‘assigned‘ a funeral company who have secured a priest who speaks some English to conduct the ceremony. This is not what I would want for my loved ones or myself. The end of life is an important time to create a memorable and very personal ceremony to celebrate the life led and the person who was.
Most spanish citizens agree and in spain it is the norm to plan ahead at whatever age. It is part of making things easier for family and loved ones.
In spain the speed of the process can take expats unaware. A doctor and the guardia civil must be contacted when there is a death. One or the other will contact a local funeral director (or tanatorio) who will ask the relatives to sign a release form. This may well be the service contract and thus the funeral arrangements are all sorted by the FD leaving the relatives with little control over either the price or the nature of the arrangements or the ceremony.
Spanish funeral directors
Spanish funeral directors are unlikely to have knowledge of the existence of english speaking celebrants, unattached to any particular religion. This is a pity because a trained celebrant, working with the funeral director and team, can ensure that the family are supported to have a beautiful ceremony reflecting the life of the deceased at very little cost.
Even if you do not wish to take out a funeral plan it is important that you have made preferences clear about the nature of your funeral celebration to those close to you. Have that conversation…it is not as hard as you might think.