One of the most difficult life events to face is the death of a beloved parent. When it occurs, grief overcomes even the strongest person. However, in the midst of grief and pain, there is also the need to ensure the perfect send-off; one that will have peace, dignity and the emotional gravity to celebrate a life well-lived. There are many different funeral homes out there that offer different services and options, but how do you determine which one will be for you and your parent? Let’s take a look at the top five qualities to look for in a funeral home after the death of a parent.
When you’re relying on a funeral home, such as, for the right arrangements for a beloved parent, it’s important that you trust them completely. After all, you will be leaving your parent behind in the care of the home’s staff between death and burial or cremation. It’s important to know that your loved one’s remains are being treated with care and kept with dignity until burial or cremation. Do your research to review their policies and procedures, look at online reviews, and spent time speaking to the undertaker or curator to have them answer specific questions.
When a parent dies and you put them in a funeral home, there is a need to know that they are being kept with the respect that you always accorded them when alive. The best funeral homes are those where the dead are given every bit of respect. Respect is conveyed on many levels from the cleanliness of the facilities, the demeanor of the staff, and the organization of the funeral service.
It’s important to choose a funeral home with the professional skills needed to deliver your parent’s final wishes. If your parent’s wish was cremation, then you need to look for a funeral home where the cremation is handled by professionals who are certified in cremation, have the correct handling permissions, and are aware of the correct processes for cremation. If there will be a burial, the staff must be experienced and skilled in the processes of embalming and making your parent look their best for the viewing.
If you have kids, you might want to choose a funeral home which allows children to visit and say goodbye to their grandparent. Funerals can be complex affairs for children, but not bringing them also creates childcare issues and other challenges. Find out how a funeral home addresses the child issue. For example, do they have a separate space where a family member could watch children who might be fussy or overwhelmed?
One of the qualities of a good funeral home is the level of involvement that they allow the family to have. For the memorial service, you might want to have the setting with your parent’s favorite flowers, pre-chosen casket, and methods of sympathy expression. The right funeral home will plan the service for you, but they’ll also take into account your wishes and requirements and keep you in the loop. This gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing everything for your parent.
About the author: Erica Jones is a bereavement counselor who helps families navigate difficult choices after losing a loved one. She’s based in Chapel Hill, NC and frequently writes about these issues for online publications.