The Task at Hand
Death happens - and regardless of how, when, or why - the fact of death is absolute, irrevocable, and requires a well-planned response.
The particulars, of course, do matter, especially for those who must make the arrangements - even while beset with feelings of shock, grief, loss, or all of the above. Fortunately, much help is available: an industry grown large and learned through centuries of helping individuals and families through such difficult times.
If essential choices were not made before the death, then they must be decided soon after, regarding the disposition of the body, the funeral service, and the final resting place. These choices may be influenced by your religious affiliation or beliefs. For example, orthodox Catholics, Jews, and Muslims often adhere to the burial traditions of their congregations, wheras others may discover a range of options to consider, i.e.: whether cremation, full body burial, “green burial,” or other possibilities.
Who will make the arrangements?
Certainly this depends on circumstance; who passed, who remains, who volunteers. Often a son or daughter, but it could be anyone close to the deceased, and trusted by the family. This will be the person who makes the arrangements.
A Triangle of Support
The “Death Care Industry” is really an intersection of specializations, industries, and religious organizations. The great majority of funerals will include support from each of the following:
- A Funeral Home
- A Cemetery or Memorial Park
- A Religious Leader and/or Congregation
Who Do I Call First?
One of the many services provided by the Funeral Home is that of orchestrating the diverse elements of the funeral. Thus, your first call should be to the funeral home, where the Funeral Director will assist you with basic planning, and coordination of the services and professionals needed.
Religious leaders, cemeteries, chapels, and the funeral home itself – all have schedules that must be accommodated and coordinated, in order to provide the beautiful, appropriate, and error-free memorial service your loved one deserves – and the Funeral Director is uniquely qualified for this task.
If you have not pre-purchased cemetery plots and burial fees, you will also need to select a cemetery, and advise them of the Funeral Home handling your service. Cemeteries offer a wide range of products and services, and you will probably want to visit the cemetery to select a location for your loved one’s memorial estate. Cemeteries have rapidly changing schedules, so it is always a good idea to call ahead your visit, to ensure the cemetery representative will be able to devote full time and attention exclusively to your needs.