The wrong time to find a funeral home is when you desperately need one. Far better to plan who will support you in your time of need when you are not actually needy. When your heart is breaking, letting your fingers do the walking (or the internet equivalent of trawling the Yellow Pages) is a very bad idea. You know how you don’t want to go shopping when you are hungry? The same principle applies when you are in grief, looking for funeral care.
When you are not stressed out, you’ll make a much better evaluation of funeral homes. But what to consider when you are doing this kind of careful pre-planning?
The number one criterion we encourage you to investigate is the funeral home’s reputation. What do your friends, family and neighbors have to say about their experience with a funeral home? Pinpoint who are the top three homes in town, and then do an informal survey of people you know. What was their experience?
With plenty of time to do your due diligence, you’ll come up with the most supportive place. Other factors you’ll want to consider are:
- Prices. It might seem crass to bring this up, but it’s practical. Funerals can be costly. Which funeral homes tell you their prices and don’t try to upsell you on every little remembrance? A caring funeral home will not be out for themselves – they’ll be all about YOU . . . and that includes caring about the financial impact this time will have on you.
- Empathy. Note we didn’t say sympathy. Find a funeral home director that is real and genuine. Some lay it on thick and are insincere. Which arrangement-makers have wide-open hearts and souls – and truly care? Go with them – you’ll feel so much better, even under the most trying of circumstances. A people person is what you want.
- Accessibility. Will children be allowed and welcome in the ceremony? Are there toddler touches in the waiting room? How about the elderly and infirm – can they be accommodated easily and readily? And, talking about free access – will you be able to reach the director after ‘normal business hours’? After all, death doesn’t take a holiday!
- Facilities. Do you feel comfortable in the funeral home when you visit? Is there a sense of grace in the place? This is hard to put your finger on, but you can get a ‘vibe’ when you enter a funeral home for the first time. Is it bright and airy or dark and forlorn? Are the furnishings soft and enveloping or severe and rigid? What is the color scheme throughout? Are there obvious caring touches you can make note of – a sanctuary away from the main room with Kleenex next to the sofa? A word of inspiration on a small card in the lobby – one that’s meant to uplift you in the days to come? Is there a focus on grief and healing from it naturally throughout the building? Or is there a ‘merchandising mania’ on display?
- Local. There’s a trend toward consolidation in the funeral home business. Corporations are buying the smaller, independent homes and becoming ‘mega-homes.’ If you are sensitive to working with your neighbors and like the homespun aspect of humbleness and the mutual respect that engenders, then ask if the seemingly small funeral home you are interviewing has a parent organization behind it. You may not like the corporate feel of a mega-home funeral.
At Goes Funeral we care. It’s even in our name. Goes Funeral Care. Call us when you are considering how you want to honor your loved ones when the time comes. We will be honest, forthright and have your interests at heart. Not our own.
Speak with Chris Goes at 970 482 2221.