There are so many people that have not experienced a death in their family. Many people don’t have to go through the planning or arranging for someone until late in their life. Those people are usually the ones that ask me “What do we really need a funeral home for?” “What does a funeral home do?” They begin to tell me that they know that a funeral home has to be called to pick up the body of the deceased and possibly prepare it for a viewing or handle the cremation but really have no idea what else we do. Many assume that the church plans and executes a funeral and the only thing that the funeral home is needed for is to handle the portion of the death that pertains to the body.
This is a conversation that I enjoy having with many, because it gives me the opportunity to show them that there is so much more. Yes, a funeral home is needed 24 hours a day to come and pick up a deceased person at the place of death, and yes a funeral home will help prepare that person or (embalm) them for viewing and or place the body in refrigeration until such time is scheduled for the cremation, but that is no where near all we do! In fact, a funeral home helps the family from the minute their world is turned upside down from a terrible loss to the day the funeral ceremony is completed. Our funeral home also follows that family for up to a year providing them with grief support articles and opportunities to help make plans for their future. Funeral homes begin by educating a family on all the many, many choices they have and then help them decide the 100s of decisions that need to be made, usually in a matter of two days. They plan, meet with outside clergy and others assisting in the funeral and see that it is executed in a compassionate and respectful manner.
Without getting into the hundreds of details that we do and how we do it, I usually like to use an analogy. I might ask, “Well, what do you need a plumber for?” You can easily go to home depot take a class, what a u tube video, buy the parts and make that repair yourself? Right? Well, not exactly, there is a reason plumbers are around, had to obtain a license (just like a funeral director) and be trained to take care of your plumbing needs.
During a death, the time between when it occurs and the funeral is so very important for a family to be able to have a licensed, trained professional to guide them through the steps to begin the grieving process, funeral and get on the road to healing and their adjusted life.
We live in a world where everyone wants to be an expert at everything. I am guilty of this as well, the internet has helped us all find information that educates us in a way that is helpful, but leads us to believe sometimes that we don’t need to rely on others to help us. There are times when we need to step back and realize that we need to utilize the professional services others provide, they are here to serve and are valuable. My theory has always been if there is an expert leave it to them. I have had so many families, say they wished they would have allowed others to help, including the funeral home so that they could have been in that moment, been the grieving family and not had the hassle of trying to be an overnight funeral planner, a caterer or a host. You get one chance at a funeral, it is not something you get to do over. Don’t you think that its worth letting someone else see that its right for you and your family?