Scenario: You’re in room full of people. They console you, as you walk grudgingly towards the front of the chapel. They brush your shoulders with gentle touches, frowning to say: “I’m sorry”, “I feel your pain” and “I hope you’re okay”. Honestly, all you can hear right now is tinnitus, stinging back and forth in your ear drums. There is a place-card with your name typed in bold, but all you can see are 5 blurred letters with little meaning to you. As you continue to lose all your other humanely appropriate senses, you fall to the ground and sob uncontrollably.
This is only one of the many scenarios that you will face after the death of a loved one. Imagine having to manage all the administrative and funeral planning in this period of grieving. This is where funeral homes come in to lighten the load off your shoulders.
It’s true. As much as love is satiable to our life, it has the exact same potential to destroy it.
Funeral homes are a centralised platform to arrange services that seek to fulfil the last wishes of the deceased loved one. They are equipped to meet the needs of all the clients ranging from a variety of particular demands and needs. Every funeral home offer their own unique set of resources towards faciliating the grieving and healing process of their clients after a loss. It is important to find one which caters more specifically to your values and customs. There are over 500 funerals homes in a state, so it is most viable as the first step, to keep searching until you have a comfortable attachment with one.
Why is it important to hold a proper funeral?
Funeral homes approach funerals as an event to celebrating the life of an individual. To commend their achievements in life, acknowledge their loss, and encourage the notion of moving forward.
Ian Cowling, the general manager of France Family Funerals speaks from experience:
“All too often, families discount the value of ceremony after the death of a loved one. What they don’t know is that a funeral or memorial service is an important part of the healing process.
Bringing family and friends together at a time of loss is common; most of us long for the comfort of companionship during life’s difficult moments. A ceremony, uniquely designed to celebrate the life journey of your loved one, is the first step in healing for your circle of family and friends. There are many ways to honour one’s life. In fact, your choices are limited only by your imagination.”
How a Funeral Home can help?
- Booking an appointment: This step is crucial as it is the first point of contact. At the meeting, you should implode the Director with all your burning questions. You will be asked to guide the director through your requests, either religious or ethnic requirements, which will ensure their understanding of the services they can offer for you. At this stage, you should also ask about the options of cremation or a straight burial. After considering all the options that the Funeral Director has laid out to you, don’t be afraid to take your time in deciding whether or not they are most compatible with you. Don’t forget that there are hundreds of other Funeral Home options that may suit you better.
- Selecting arrangements: Once you’ve selected your desired Funeral Home and Director, it is time to make decisions. Every Funeral Home has their own partnerships with suppliers of the necessary funeral resources so variety will vary accordingly. Caskets and floral tribute ranges will be displayed and chosen to your discretion. You should also decide who writes the eulogy and who you would like to co-ordinate the day, place and time of the ceremony with the availability of important family members as well as the venue.
- Planning the procedures for the Funeral Service: It may be chapel or even at home – regardless, keep in mind that the place of the funeral ceremony is supposed to be a space for quiet reflection to celebrate the life of a loved one. It is an alternative to a church or crematorium service. A full range of funeral arrangement will enable necessary and appropriate procedures and offer consolidation throughout the day. The amount of arrangements will be contingent on the type of service that you request whether it be a small or larger gathering, and whether it be a structured or an improvised ceremony. It is important to consider how your deceased loved one would have liked their funeral.
- Arranging the Burial: Buying a burial plot can be difficult, costly and time-consuming. Perhaps you may opt for an urn with ashes, kept for ancestral keepsake. There are even more options you can explore – an ‘eco-friendly’ funeral by planting a tree over their ashes, or even the distribution of ashes at the deceased’s favourite park. However, more traditionally, the burial will take place not long after the funeral ceremony. The size of the plot will depend on whether the body was cremated. Be mindful about your final decision. It goes without saying that there is no turning back after a cremation.
- Organising a Car Fleet: Travelling to and from the cemetery is a morbid ordeal, so you can organise for modest and respectful looking vehicles can be arranged for standby. Depending on how important the funeral operations are to you and your family, this step may not even be necessary.
Why Should I Pre-Plan My Funeral?
The beauty of funeral home services is embedded in its intricate and prepackaged planning. The ability to customise a funeral within a structured format enables the potential to plan creatively, even in a time of distress. This generation of funeral homes is starting a push for people start pre-planning their funerals.
There are several reasons to why one should do so as stated by Asha from Grace Funerals:
- Customise the service to your in the way to which you would like to be remembered
- Remove difficult decisions from your family
- Paying at today’s price before inflation
- Pre-paid funerals won’t affect pension entitlements
“Pre-planning a funeral can be beneficial in a number of different ways. The first one is that you are able to take your time and without the emotion of grief being at the forefront of your mind it is possible to do some in depth research on what type of funeral you would like, pick a suitable funeral director and meet with them to get a feel for who you are dealing with, and plan the budget that you have for the funeral.
When you are planning a funeral at the time of a loved one’s passing, typically you may only speak to one or two funeral directors, this means that you are not necessarily finding the director that is the right fit for you. In addition to this you might not be looking for accreditation with industry bodies such at the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA) which ensure that the funeral directors in their association have passed the proper accreditation processes and are not a fly by night operation.
When you meet with a reparable funeral director to discuss a funeral, they should give you a detailed quote of how much the services will cost (at the current prices); this means that you are able to fully budget for a funeral and understand where the costs lie. If you would like to then pre-pay this funeral it means that all of the prices are locked in at today’s costs and then when the time comes, there is a solid contract with your preferred funeral director to conduct the funeral in the way that you have asked for. In the case of Grace Funerals, we then invest these funds to ensure full security for you and your family.”
Consider what you can do for yourself and your family before it’s too late.