When a loved one dies, it is up to those left behind to make the arrangements. Unless the deceased made arrangements prior, planning a funeral can be tough for any grieving individual. Death, after all, is not an easy subject to broach.
One of the major choices to be made is which of the many funeral homes in the state to contact and hire for the service. More than being an institution to embalm, display, and bury the dead, a mortuary must also be able to provide the service that you and your deceased deserve. Providing the apt funerary rites is, after all, the last service you can give to your loved one.
To help you make this decision, here are some questions that you need to answer:
1. How much are you willing to pay for the service?
Whether you like it or not, death also has its price. Some people are willing to go the full mile and splurge on their loved one’s funeral. This is, after all, the last form of love you can render them. But what about those people who can’t afford sealed caskets, bodacious floral arrangements, and catering services?
Funeral homes will usually have packages ready for what you need. Give these a browse, and see what you can get for your budget. But if you think they’re still expensive, some homes could arrange services that are customized for your budget.
When it comes to finances, you will also have to determine how long you will be holding the wake. A three-day viewing is obviously cheaper than a five-day one. But if you have relatives living out of state, or if the deceased has friends from abroad, you will have to work this into the funeral budget.
2. What are your loved one’s wishes?
This is why it is important to discuss the inevitability of death. When it strikes suddenly, as is the case with vehicular accidents and heart attacks, relatives are often left hanging as to what funeral arrangements are to be made. Along with their grief, they will have to figure this out also.
Wishes like where he/she wanted to be buried or if he/she wanted to be cremated instead are important topics to talk about. For example, if the deceased wanted to be buried out of state, contacting funeral homes near that area would be most ideal to minimize cost, as compared to holding the wake where you live and moving the casket to another state later on.
Some mortuaries today also offer a variety of services, such as personalized viewings. For example, a deceased golfer could have his/her equipment displayed during the wake. If a specific theme is communicated by your loved one to you before they passed, it is imperative that you work this out as well with the funeral home of your choice.
3. Can they accommodate your religious/cultural traditions?
Christian services are available in most, if not all, funeral homes, but for people of other faiths, it might not be as easy. This is why it is important to incorporate this, as well, into your arrangements. Look for a mortuary that is willing to accommodate your culture/religion’s practices.
Honoring your family member’s wishes, genealogy, and beliefs is, after all, one of the best ways to give them the respect and love that they deserve, even in death.
4. How can they help your family deal with the tragedy?
Having a death in the family is burdensome and tragic. Arranging the funeral service adds to the stress.
To alleviate this problem, look for a funeral home that can assist you from start to finish – from the procurement of the death certificate, through the viewing and burial, and down to the claiming of insurance and other benefits.
Funeral homes, after all, are still service-oriented institutions whose main goal should be to help families deal with their grief effectively.