4 Parts of a Funeral Families Take With Them When They Leave
Guest article provided by: FuneralOne
Whenever you work in a profession that is centered around an event ﹘ whether it’s putting together a beautiful wedding, hosting an extravagant party, or giving someone a grand send off for their funeral ﹘ you always want to make sure that everything centered around the event is perfect. You stress and prep and prepare in the days leading up to it, and then let out a big sigh of relief when everything comes to a close and is a big success.
For funeral professionals, everything we do is centered around some kind of big event – the funeral service, the burial, the memorial celebration. So we spend a lot of our time thinking of how we can make the funeral as perfect as possible for our families, and rarely think about what happens once they walk out of our doors.
But the truth is, funerals are not just a one-day event that families attend and then never think about again. They’re a big deal and they stay with them for a lifetime. It’s typically the last memory they form with their loved one. And the feelings and stories that are shared at a funeral are something that families take with them as they move forward through their grief.
As funeral professionals, it’s important to understand all of the aspects of a funeral that families take with them when they leave, because it may just alter the way that you help the families entering your funeral home ﹘ after all, how you interact with your families has a lasting, profound impact on their overall funeral experience.
1. The Comfort They Felt During The Process
Here at funeralOne, we share a lot of information with families about what they can do to personalize their loved one’s funeral. (For example, what type of music they could play during the service.) But the truth of the matter is, in 10 or 15 years, families may not necessarily remember what music was played throughout the funeral service. What they will undoubtedly remember is how their funeral director made them feel throughout the process.
Did you sit down with them one-on-one, take the time to learn about who their loved one was, and truly listen to their wishes? Or did you offer them your traditional funeral package, and simply switch out the name on the program that you always use?
Funeral professionals are often the first people that grieving families interact with who understand how they are feeling and what they are going through. You truly have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help them navigate through their feelings of loss, and offer them insights and advice for moving forward in a healthy way. Don’t let the stresses and chaos of your daily life overpower your opportunity to help the people who have come to you for guidance.
2. The Healing Effect Of The Service
Sometimes we get lost in the hustle and bustle of our profession and we forget about the value of the services that we offer. But when you get down to the core of it, funerals were created to help families heal.
Sitting down to plan the service gives them an opportunity to come to terms with reality of the situation, while many other aspects of the funeral planning process (bringing in important photos and mementos, writing out the obituary) help families truly reflect on the impact that their loved one made. And when you pair their personal opportunities to reflect on the life lived with the many stories and memories that will be shared by friends and family attending the funeral, it’s easy to see how funerals have really become the ultimate healing experience.
3. How They Felt When They Saw Their Loved One For The Last Time
One of the biggest things that funeral professionals do to help their families is give them the opportunity to see their loved one one last time. Depending on the circumstances of the loss, many family members do not often get a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones before they are gone forever. And even for family members that may get a chance to say their goodbyes in a hospital or hospice center, it’s very unlikely that they are seeing their loved one in the way that they want to remember them – without the invasion of tubes or hospital equipment.
However, when families choose to have an open casket at a funeral service, they are giving themselves an opportunity for closure… and they are giving funeral professionals a chance to make an invaluable impact in one of the most significant moments of their lives.
4. The Stories and Memories That Are Shared
There’s a reason that many funeral services are open for all friends and family to attend. Not only are funerals a great opportunity for a family to see just how big of an impact their loved one’s life had on the people around them, but it’s also a chance for them to revisit happy memories and even hear new stories of their loved one’s life that they have never heard before.
Every single story that is shared at a funeral – whether it is a new story that is shared for the first time, or an old memory that is stirred from a photo or Memorial Video – is a chance to build on the story of someone’s life. It adds new depth to who they were as a person, and brings out the chance for more laughs and cries, even once the loved one has passed.
Photos and videos help a loved one live on long after they have gone, and sharing these important elements at a funeral help everyone in attendance build a more complete picture of their loved one than the one they had when they walked into your funeral home.
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