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Five Things Your Funeral Directors Want You to Know

Posted on October 07, 2015

A funeral director is someone you will need to work closely with at the time of a loved one’s death.  We meet with many families throughout the year, and have encountered a variety of situations.  There are a number of things we wish our families knew.  Here are a few things you should know about: before, during and after the service.

We have a wealth of knowledge in the industry, ask for help if you have a question.

We are honored to be making sure your loved one’s funeral is exactly as you want it to be. So if there is something you are curious about or don’t understand, please ask us. Our job is to help you through this time.

Yes, while we are a business that charges for funeral expenses, it doesn’t mean we don’t care.  In fact, if you ask a funeral director, the profession was most likely a calling, rather than a way to pay the bills.  We enjoy helping others and truly want to make the funeral as seamless and comforting as is possible for you.

We do not take this time in your life lightly.  Please, let us know if there is something we can help with and you can bet we will make every effort to assist you.

Focus on grieving, let us do the planning.

We see it all too often, families are so focused on planning the perfect service that they often forget why they are at the funeral home.  There are plenty of families who are interested in planning and directing the services themselves, which is a perfectly acceptable way to handle a funeral.  However, if you have chosen to have the funeral home take care of all the details, please let them do so.

We know how to plan a funeral for any size of family in just a matter of days.  We can contact the minister, order the flowers, contact the caterer for lunch, and compassionately prepare your loved one.   Of course, you will be involved in picking out everything from the casket to the food at lunch, but we can place all of the necessary calls for you.  Spending time with your family and friends can be your top priority.

The funeral service isn’t necessarily just for your departed loved one.

While you want your loved one’s wishes honored at their funeral, we encourage families to consider what they would like to see at the service, as well.  This is your time to grieve and remember your loved one.  How you choose to honor them should reflect your personality and wishes, too.  

If your mom didn’t specify what kind of music she would like at the service, consider songs which would be of comfort to you, rather than what mom might have liked best.  If your brother didn’t have a preference on whether or not he wanted his service to be in a church, think about what is right for the family.

Consider how your family would like to best remember the loved one who has died.  This is your time to say good-bye and the service can be how you imagine it.

 

 

The funeral home can help AFTER the service.

The funeral services are over, but the grief continues.  We believe in Continuous Care, which is a free support service provided by our funeral home for the weeks and months to come.  Not all funeral homes offer a service such as this, but we believe this fills a need within our community.

If you are struggling with grief or just feel the need to talk with others, you are welcome to join our monthly and quarterly support groups. These groups are led by our Continuous Care Coordinator, Judy Mulock.  Judy has been in the area of grief and crisis support for many years.  She began her career as a teacher, and later became a pastor in the United Methodist Church in the Dakotas.  Judy also received training and certification in the Association of Professional Chaplains from the Avera St. Luke’s system in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  With nearly 25 years of experience in hospital chaplaincy in various medical centers, including Covenant Medical Center and Sartori Memorial Hospital, Judy is familiar with grief. She became a Presbyterian clergy in 2000 and offered teaching, preaching, and spiritual care within Waterloo/Cedar Falls and the North Central Iowa Presbytery.

Her background with healthcare, critical care, and crisis debriefing in the area of death and grief support provide her the experience and deep desire to work with individuals and families following the death of a loved one.  If you are needing support following a death or would like more information about meetings times, please contact Judy at judy@kearnsfuneralservice.com or her private cell phone: 319-505-3048.

Advanced planning not only helps us understand your wishes, but is a benefit to you, too.

There are many things in life we plan in advance, but funeral arrangements are rarely one of them.  However, funeral arrangements should be among the many details you plan in your life. 

Advanced planning will relieve some of the stress your family will feel when the time comes for your services.  Advanced planning gives your loved ones a plan for honoring your life.  As Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  Do you want your family to fail in honoring you or another family member?

Pre-planning a funeral should be among the many details you plan in your life; however, it often doesn’t happen out of a number of fears or concerns.  We are here to help with your planning. There are a few ways to get started:

· Pre-planning — the informal discussion you may have had with your loved ones about cemeteries you prefer or music you like.

· Pre-arranging — this includes help from a funeral home recording your biographical information, contacts, plans and special instructions for your service.

· Pre-payment — the mechanism for setting aside and protecting funds meant to pay for funeral expenses.  There is no obligation to pre-pay, and it certainly isn’t for everyone.

It is a difficult subject to talk about with family members, but having this talk of a lifetime benefits you, your loved ones and the funeral home.  You may have started this process or maybe you want nothing to do with it.  However, we assure you that no matter where you are in the planning stages, meeting with family members, a funeral home, or preferably both, is beneficial in the long run.

For more information on having the talk of a lifetime, please go to www.talkofalifetime.org.  There you will find helpful advice on how to start the conversation with ones you love.

 

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  1. Moira Blythe | Mar 20, 2018
    My mother has always loved funerals, because they are celebrations of a person's life. I appreciate your advice that pre-planning a funeral is a good thing since it helps out your family. If your family knows what you already want, who you want to say/do what, and where you want to be, it makes it so much easier!

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