Do All Funeral Directors Come To The Family Home?
Q :: Do All Funeral Directors Come To The Family Home?
A :: No, it's very rare.
In our work as Funeral Directors we meet a wide variety of people, all of whom have different circumstances.
Last week we were sitting with a family, planning a particularly painful funeral ceremony.
Our meeting was held in their garden, and throughout, the family dog sat beside the husband whose wife of almost 60 years had died 3 days prior, leaving him completely broken.
The comfort and the anchor that dog gave his master was beautiful to see.
I wonder how this gracious and dignified man may have felt if he was shipped out to a Funeral Directors office to talk about his wife in a glass cubical office with bleached white walls and uncomfortable meeting chairs?
When compared to the relaxed comfort of his shady garden and the family dog by his side.
Which of these setting will be best for him and his overall wellbeing?
The death of someone we love, even when their death has been expected for a long time, brings with it very natural feelings of shock and trauma. We think we are prepared, and then it happens, and we realise that nothing can really prepare us for that aching finality.
And on top of that, we need to think about funeral ceremony arrangements - to answer questions that can seem infuriatingly unimportant, such as what music to play? What flower arrangement? Will there be a wake?
The meeting at which the funeral arrangements are discussed is already weird enough. We try to soften it just a little, by meeting families in their own home, at a time that suits them and when other family members can be present, if that's helpful.
We often meet in the evening, to accommodate work commitments and perhaps young children and we are always willing to travel, because we know how much difference it makes for families to meet us on their own turf, so to speak.
We find that most people are exhausted and emotionally drained. This may limit the ability for people to remember everything little detail that is discussed or decided, so we always follow up with a detailed summary of the funeral arrangements via email.
People in grief can be vulnerable and may not be in the best emotional state to make important (and costly) decisions. So it of great importance that the Funeral Director does not lose sight of that, making allowances for it and offering clear, informed and unbiased advice on the available options as well as the associated costs.
Sometimes we will gather only the most essential information at our first meeting and will then talk again a day or two later for the less pressing matters (this is either by phone or can be in person again).
When we offer support with kindness and understanding, listening carefully to what a family tells us, we can feel confident that we are meeting our families at the right place, both emotionally and physically.
At home is usually the place where people feel most at ease.
Thoughts can be clearer, and decisions made with that clear thought will ordinarily be the right ones.
Meeting grieving families in their homes makes such a difference to their wellbeing too, they feel comfortable to express the emotions they need to rather than suppress their grief and "carry on with the stiff upper lip".
Home is a familiar place where they feel comfortable and at ease to speak freely.
There's no real comparison.
Home. Or an unfamiliar, sterile meeting room in an unrecognizable place.
Home is usually safe and caring. That's what we want our families to feel when working with us.
That's why we come to you.
Every person is unique. Every family is different.
With us, every Funeral is Individual.