How to plan a funeral, whether for yourself or a loved one, is not something we are always fully aware of – so much to choose from, so many decisions to be made.
There are many details to consider; will it be a burial or a cremation? What type of coffin will it be – traditional or contemporary? Which cemetery do you want to use? Where do you want the service to be held? What music? What flowers? Religious or non-religious?
This all may seem overwhelming and you may not know where to begin and this is why most people tend to use the services of a funeral director.
Funeral directors can offer support and guidance and have a wealth of experience to help you through these sometimes difficult choices.
A funeral director will help co-ordinate all funeral arrangements, including preparation of the body.
They will also help you decide on which products or services you may need for the funeral service, burial or cremation.
It is important to remember that funeral directors are experts in their field. You employ them to help alleviate stress during the process of grieving. Having a good relationship with your funeral director will help create the best funeral or memorial service for your loved one.
What is the Role of the Funeral Director?
The staff at the funeral directors play a very critical role in the planning and implementation of a funeral – they are intimately familiar with the industry and the funeral planning process.
They are able to offer advice and assistance to grieving families who have difficult and important decisions to make.
Their fundamental role is to help you create a unique and beautiful service that fits your needs and values and celebrates the life of your loved one.
Funeral directors have extensive training, knowledge and experience. They are well equipped to help families understand various burial options and to explain the different products and services available.
Funeral directors assist the family before, during and after the funeral or memorial service.
They arrange for the removal of the body after the death, prepare loved ones for the viewing of the body, obtain all the necessary legal documents, plan the service, arrange final disposition of the body, provide the facilities for the visitation and funeral or memorial service and transport the deceased and mourners from the location of the service to the final resting place.
What is your role?
Whilst a funeral director is there to provide you with expert advice and to guide you through the many decisions of planning a funeral, your choices should be respected along every step of the process.
This includes decisions about body disposition, where the service will take place, the cemetery the interment will occur, choosing the main floral tribute and who will provide this service, choosing the pallbearers, selecting the officiant, what music, hymns or text will be included in the service, creating the order of service leaflets, and selecting memorial cards or programs.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all these tasks, you can ask the funeral director to assist you with your decisions. In some circumstances, this may be your best option.
It is therefore important that you select a funeral director you trust and feel comfortable with.
When you need to decide about coffins, cemetery plots, urns etc., simply trusting the funeral director may help to alleviate some stress during this difficult time.
Many people feel as though they need to make every decision in the funeral planning process. These are difficult decisions and it is an emotional time.
It is best to trust the expertise of a professional who works in the industry and has planned many funerals. At times people try to plan every detail of the funeral or memorial service and in the process become overwhelmed and indecisive.
This can lead to a breakdown in the relationship with your funeral director. It is important to trust that they have your best interests at heart.