Losing a loved one is always a difficult experience whenever it happens, even more so if it was sudden and unexpected, and can be as very stressful time for everyone concerned. Very few of us have a funeral director’s details close at hand, but finding one is now going to be at the top of your list of priorities. Funeral directors appreciate that you are involved with a task you would rather not be doing and are accustomed to being very sensitive to your wishes. Should you decide at any point that you are unhappy with the initial one chosen and prefer to use another, it is highly unusual for them to do anything other than be totally cooperative, without a single word of complaint. They more than any other, have total respect for the deceased.
The Initial Meeting
The first meeting with a funeral director can be a time consuming and painful experience, with numerous details to be worked out, such as when and where, burial or cremation, type of coffin, make up for the corpse and amount of vehicles required, just to name a few. The funeral directors have much experience in this and understand that you are already in emotional turmoil and would probably rather be doing just about anything else, other than be where you are right now, and will try to be as supportive as possible under the circumstances. Visiting the funeral directors offices can be quite difficult, as you can almost feel like you are walking in to stare death right in the face, so you may want to ask for them to come to visit you, either at home or in comfortable surroundings, to make the discussion a little less painful.
Many people like to have a permanent place of remembrance for the deceased, a place they can go from time to time, to talk to and remember the departed, or bring some flowers as a mark of respect, making memorial headstones a popular choice. It is traditional to have the person’s name and dates of birth and death recorded with a small inscription. This is often something along the lines of some words of endearment from the family, though some have used the opportunity for something lighter. The comedian Spike Milligan for example had written on his, “I told you I was sick.”
The Order of Service
Getting everyone in the family to agree to how the service is going to run can be a fairly considerable challenge, but it is important to try to reach as good a consensus as possible. A good suggestion is to try to have the service reflect who it is that has died, so possibly something quite formal for an older person who was very formal themselves in life, or a touch more exuberant for a younger person who lived life to the full.
One of the hardest decisions is going to be who will read the eulogy, an incredibly difficult task. In five minutes, while standing next to the coffin, they need to try to sum up a person’s life, under very emotional circumstances. A funeral directors wisdom and experience across the board, can be very helpful in making the right decisions, in ensuring the best possible send off for your loved one.