Funeral Homes: What Can They Do for You?
A funeral home is a business that offers a variety of burial and funeral services intended to help families dispose of their loved one’s remains in the manner of their choosing. There are a considerable number of goods and services offered by a funeral home, but not all will be selected by individual families. Each family is unique, each death is unique, and therefore each funeral service is unique. The type of goods and services chosen by the family will also be unique, depending on the wishes of the family and/or of the deceased. Families can customize the funeral service according to their needs, choosing from a range of services that best honor their loved one’s memory.
The death of a loved one is a difficult time for families, and many people are unsure about the process of planning a funeral. Typically, the family will work closely with a funeral director, who will ensure that their loved one’s funeral services are planned in accordance with their wishes. The funeral director can help them choose the best services to honor their loved one in the most solemn, memorable and dignified way possible. Below are just some of the many services available at most funeral homes:
Retrieval and Embalming of the Body: The funeral home is responsible for retrieving the corpse from the place of death (hospital, house, nursing home, etc.) and transporting it to the funeral home. It is in the funeral home where the body will be prepared for proper disposition. The funeral director will explain all of the available options to the family, and help them in making the right choices for their loved one, including whether there will be a viewing of the body or whether the body is to be embalmed before the burial. If the body is to be cremated, the funeral home is responsible for transporting the body to the crematorium, if they do not operate one on-site, and retrieving the remains after the procedure.
Preparation and Handling of the Body: Funeral home staff are responsible for handling the body with the utmost dignity and respect at all times while your loved one is being prepared for the funeral. This includes not only washing and embalming of the body, but also preparing the body for viewing. Funeral home staff will perform such services as dressing the body, hairdressing, putting on makeup for a life-like look, and placing the body inside the casket for viewing and burial. The family needs to be assured that the deceased person will be handled with the utmost care and respect during this process.
Processing of Paperwork: Documentation upon the death of a loved one can be overwhelming to grieving family members. Death certificates, special permits, and authorizations are just some of the paperwork that needs to be completed and filed for the deceased. The funeral director will gather information from the family to prepare the necessary paperwork, and ensure that all the paperwork is filled out and duly filed with the appropriate authorities. As many members of the family may want a copy of a death certificate, the funeral home must secure the correct number of certified copies of the death certificate to be given to the requesting parties. It is also the responsibility of the funeral home to transmit obituaries to newspapers and other news media so that relatives, colleagues, and friends of the deceased will be aware of the planned funeral service.
Funeral Planning and Concierge Services: The funeral director will help the family decide upon the details of the funeral service, and ensure that all funeral details are carried out according to the family’s wishes. This includes arrangements for the where the funeral will be held, where the memorial service will be held, and whether the body or cremated remains will be buried, scattered, or disposed of by some other method. The funeral home will also assist the family in ordering the flowers needed during the service, the casket or urn to house their loved one, and other arrangements for the funeral service. Most funeral homes also offer a car service to pick up relatives at the airport and a concierge service to make hotel and restaurant reservations for the incoming family members.
Funeral homes provide a range of services that can help a grieving family make the right choices when planning their loved one’s funeral. It is important for funeral directors and staff to offer compassionate care and understanding to the grieving family.