Dear Funeral Director:
How can I feel comfortable and be reassured that I picked the right funeral home?
This is a difficult question to answer because it really comes down to what a family is looking for and their personal preference. It’s more difficult to answer if the families are “transplant” residents and recent members of a community or if they haven’t attended funeral services at funeral homes in the area. I say this because if you’re new to living in an area chances are you’re not very familiar with the local funeral establishments in the community. You may see funeral home names on the obituary page of the local paper or on the Internet, but the only funeral home you have any experience with is the one back home where your grandparent’s services were held 25 years ago. This makes choosing from personal experience near impossible. Also, on average, families are faced with the task of caring for a deceased loved one approximately once every 16 years or so, which means that they don’t have much interaction with funeral service providers. In fact, many people I make funeral arrangements with are doing so for the first times in their lives, and they simply do not know what they do not know. This is why it’s more important to feel comfortable and reassured with the funeral director as much as you are with the actual funeral parlor. Don’t get me wrong, the ambience and feel of a facility IS very important. So are location, pricing, convenience of parking and whether or not the funeral home is a corporate or family owned entity. All of these factors definitely matter, but none of them are more meaningful in determining a funeral home than the person who is helping you. If you are caring for a loved one who is nearing the end of life, I would recommend that you do your due diligence and pay visits to the funeral homes in your area to meet and speak with a funeral director and look at the facility. During this preliminary visit you’ll have the opportunity to assess the feel and flow of the facility, get a detailed pricing estimate for the services you select and, most importantly, see if how you feel about the funeral director and how it would be to work with him/her. You will intuitively know who you feel comfortable with if you follow this advice.
Thank you for asking this question.
Gerald R. Bosak Jr, LFD