Your loved one has passed away and despite the deep physical and emotional toll it has taken on you, it’s time to find a funeral home and begin making arrangements. While it often sounds like much to expect from a grieving widow, child, or friend, we often find that those still living take some solace – however small – in the reminiscing and distraction that funeral arrangements can bring.
Determining your needs
The first step is choosing a funeral home. Because this isn’t a service you use every day, it can be hard to determine your needs or “non-negotiables” in a service provider. We can help. Start by answering these questions:
- Do you have a preferred burial site or cemetery, or is it important that the funeral home can assist you in finding a final resting place?
- How will the remains be handled (buried or cremated)? Is the funeral home able to support your loved one’s wishes?
- How and where do you envision the service? Can the funeral home provide the service your loved one would have wanted?
- How many mourners will be in attendance, and will the funeral home be able to accommodate that number of attendees comfortably?
- Do you have a preferred pastor or member of the clergy to conduct the service or do you need the funeral home to provide you with one?
- What is your budget? Find a funeral home that can provide what you need within budget while maintaining positive customer reviews/word of mouth referrals.
- Do you need the funeral home to work directly with your life insurance carrier, and if so, will the funeral home you’re considering do so?
If you do not feel comfortable with the first funeral home you speak with or visit, know that you have every right to visit or speak with a second or third funeral home, and so on, until you find someone you trust to provide exceptional care for you and your family. Here are some more questions to ask yourself and what to look for when comparing funeral homes. If you are looking closely at prices, make sure you ask about what expenses are being included.
The deciding factor
The most important factor for almost every loved one left behind (or person planning their own funeral in advance, which is always recommended) is trust and rapport with the staff at the funeral home. Choose a funeral home who you trust to honor your wishes, welcome and console your loved ones, and ensure the service is a celebration of life.