If you're pre-planning a funeral, you may meet several of the staff in a funeral home. The director and their staff assume many roles when handling a person's funeral. Because you will be leaving your wishes with the funeral director as to how to organize your funeral, it's important to know who your family will encounter and how they will support your family after your passing.
Here are some of the various functions that the funeral home staff will take of for your family:
Managing the Deceased
There are a number of tasks that must get done in preparation for the funeral and burial such as:
- Transferring the body to the funeral home.
- Procuring the specified casket or cremation urn.
- Preparing the body for cremation or for a viewing which may include:
- Cleansing of the body.
- Embalming for the viewing.
- Restoring the body to a natural look for the viewing.
- Hair dressing and makeup.
- Assembly the clothing desired for the viewing.
- Positioning the body in the casket for the viewing and subsequent burial.
Preparing for the Funeral Service
These are largely coordination tasks with various people and businesses outside of the funeral home:
- Completing any city and state documentation as needed.
- Obtaining copies of the death certificate for the family.
- Putting together the obituary and posting it with local newspapers and online services.
- Contacting the desired priest, rabbi or other clergy members for the service.
- Coordinating with the church, synagogue or other facility in which the funeral will be held.
- Contacting the cemetery or columbarium to arrange preparation of the burial spot.
- Arranging to have flowers delivered to the service location.
- Arranging any music, singers or speakers to be at the service.
There are a number of other tasks that the funeral home staff may do to support your family after the funeral. Some of these you may request in your pre-planning instructions. Others may be at the request of your family.
- Directing your family to any grief counseling specialists.
- Assisting your family with veteran, insurance and social security claims filings.
- Returning items from the funeral service to your family such as cards, register book and donations.
Your Family's Responsibilities
Make it clear in your pre-planning what the funeral home will do for you and your family, and what are the responsibilities of the family. Some tasks, such as contacting family members and other people in the community, may be important for your family to do to get closure. The coordination tasks, such as arranging the service, can easily be done by the funeral home staff. The more you have the funeral home do for your family, the less burden they will have during this stressful time.
To learn more, contact a company like Thomas Funeral Chapels Inc. with any questions you have.