No one can deny that death in the family is a bitter pill to swallow. Shock is the ruling emotion of the day when we hear the sad news. After shock comes plenty of confusion, and among the more pressing matters to be settled are the questions about funeral arrangements. Even those of us who have had the sad duty of organizing funerals in the past can still be mystified by the options presented by a new death.
Proper funerals should allow for both grieving and celebration. The point of the exercise is to recognize the loss to friends and family but also to celebrate the life of the departed. Putting together a funeral that achieves these goals is an enormous challenge, and nobody can fault those of us who rely heavily on the assistance of good funeral and burial services in Melbourne.
Funeral homes and funeral directors add much-needed expertise and sound advice to the funeral planning process. Most of us go into the funeral home with open eyes and fairly realistic expectations; we understand that this is an expensive process. For many people, it’s simply the only effective option, though. Good funeral directors tailor their services to the needs of the family while respecting any wishes left behind by the deceased, resulting in a fitting and cathartic ceremony.
You have to bear in mind that although the funeral director is the authoritative voice of experience, he or she is not in charge. You retain responsibility for the choices that go into shaping the funeral. At many funeral homes, you’ll be steered to the “premium” (i.e. pricey) options when it comes to caskets, venues, catering, transportation and other related burial services. You’re under no obligation to accept the director’s first suggestions, and you shouldn’t be afraid to inquire about less expensive alternatives
Funeral Homes Defined
A funeral home is a profit-oriented business designed to provide post-mortem care to the dead. They’re also called mortuaries or funeral parlors. Most funeral homes handle a comprehensive range of services including burials and memorials; the goal of the funeral home is to meet all of the needs of a deceased individual’s friends and family following their death.
Typical services offered by funeral homes include the following:
* Personal pre-planning of the funeral. Some people make peace with their impending death early and choose to take a hand in planning their funerals. Most funeral homes are happy to work with individuals to plan his or her funeral arrangements. This is often a great way to relieve your family members of the burden of funeral planning after you pass away.
* Documents and record-keeping. A dead person leaves behind some important paperwork. Funeral homes can help prepare death certificates, Social Security papers, and other important documents following a death.
* Services and memorials. Many funeral homes have the facilities to handle memorials on-site. Other common choices include graveside services, services in a place of worship, or alternatives such as gardens and parks.
* Merchandise. Beyond the obvious items to purchase (e.g. caskets, urns, vaults, monuments) many funeral homes can provide keepsakes for those who attend a service. These may range from funeral cards to necklaces embossed with the deceased’s fingerprints.
* Cremation costs. The actual cremation process is handled by a crematorium. Funeral homes provide the necessary intermediary connections if cremation is your choice.
* Body preparation. Funeral homes are capable of embalming the deceased’s body, although this is not a requirement. If you opt for an open-casket service, a skilled mortician will work with you to explain the requirements and options involved with embalming.
* Transportation. Besides handling the transportation of remains from the memorial service to their final resting place, most funeral homes can also assist you with longer-distance transport if you need it. Taking a body or ashes across state lines requires special considerations.
* Clergy arrangements. Not everyone feels up to the task of picking out clergy in the aftermath of a death. Funeral directors can step in and make this choice for you.
* Receptions and dining. Since funerals draw together large crowds, a reception, and a meal are often laid on. Funeral homes can point you towards suitable venues. Be aware that they’re often biased by commission arrangements, though.
* Composing obituaries. An obituary requires a fair amount of detailed information regarding the deceased. A good funeral home will help outline the necessary information so that you can gather it. If you don’t feel up to the task of composing the obituary personally, this can be done for you.
* Floral services. Funerals typically require the services of a good florist, or even multiple florists. Unless you already have a specific company in mind, the funeral home can provide you with a list of suitable firms to choose from.
If you have lost someone close to you and you’re finding it hard to think straight, then let the experienced and compassionate Greenhaven Funerals take care of the funeral arrangements so that you and the rest of the family can grieve in peace.