Arranging a funeral can be a very emotionally trying experience. However, you can make the process a little easier by choosing the right funeral home. Here are some of the factors you should take into account when making this decision.
The funeral director
Few things will have more of an impact on the funeral process than your choice of funeral director. They will have a long list of responsibilities; in addition to arranging for the body's removal and handling all of the associated legal documents, they may also be tasked with the preparation of your loved one for a viewing, liaising with the florist, doctor and (in some cases) the priest, arranging transport of the body to the cemetery or crematorium, and of course, hosting the funeral service itself.
As such, it's important to base your choice of funeral home at least partially on your opinion of its director. Do not make your decision after a brief conversation on the phone; instead, visit the funeral home and have a discussion with the funeral director in person; this will give you far more insight into their expertise and demeanour than a phone call ever could.
The funeral director should try to make you feel at ease right away and be happy to provide detailed answers to any questions or concerns you have. If they offer short, unhelpful replies or seem disinterested, then you may want to consider continuing your search for a funeral home elsewhere.
In addition to having excellent listening skills, they should also show a willingness to accommodate your needs. This is especially important if you require modifications to the service which are not typically included in a traditional funeral. Additionally, if the service you're arranging will be a religious one, make sure to inquire about the funeral director's knowledge of the customs associated with that religion; ideally, they should already have some experience carrying out the type of religious ceremony you want to hold.
The location of the funeral is also crucial. Funeral homes which are situated in busy city centres are likely to be difficult to reach during peak traffic hours. This could cause problems on the day of the service, increasing the likelihood of guests either arriving late to the funeral or missing it entirely because they got stuck in traffic.
If the funeral home is located in an area of the city where parking spaces are limited, this too could cause problems, as some guests may not be able to find anywhere to leave their vehicles. Such issues could add a lot of unnecessary stress to an already difficult experience.
The last thing you want to worry about on the day that you're saying goodbye to a loved one is whether or not the other guests will be able to reach the service on time. As such, it's important to choose a funeral home which is in a convenient location and which has enough parking spaces to accommodate the guests who will be coming by car.