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Many people don’t realize that in most states they are not legally required to use a funeral home to plan and conduct a funeral. However, because they have little experience with the many details and legal requirements involved and may be emotionally distraught when it’s time to make the plans, they find the services of a professional funeral home to be a comfort.
People often select a funeral home or cemetery because it’s close to home, has served the family in the past, or has been recommended by someone they trust. But limiting the search to just one funeral home may risk paying more than necessary for the funeral or narrowing their choice of goods and services.
Comparison Shopping for a Funeral Home/Provider
Comparison shopping doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if it’s done before the need for a funeral arises. Thinking ahead can help you make informed and thoughtful decisions about funeral arrangements. It allows you to choose the specific items you want and need, and to compare the prices several funeral providers charge.
If you visit a funeral home in person, the funeral provider is required by law to give you a general price list (GPL) itemizing the cost of the items and services the home offers. If the GPL does not include specific prices of caskets or outer burial containers, the law requires the funeral director to show you the price lists for those items before showing you the items.
Sometimes it’s more convenient and less stressful to “price shop” funeral homes by telephone. The Funeral Rule requires funeral directors to provide price information on the phone to any caller who asks for it. In addition, many funeral homes are happy to mail you their price lists, although that is not required by law.
When comparing prices, be sure to consider the total cost of all the items together, in addition to the costs of single items. Every funeral home should have price lists that include all the items essential for the different types of arrangements it offers. Many funeral homes offer package funerals that may cost less than buying individual items or services. Offering package funerals is permitted by law, as long as an itemized price list also is provided. But you can’t accurately compare total costs unless you use the price lists.
In addition, there’s a trend toward consolidation in the funeral home industry, and many neighborhood funeral homes may appear to be locally owned when in fact, they’re owned by a national corporation. If this issue is important to you, you may want to ask if the funeral home is independent and locally owned.
When choosing a funeral it is important to consider how convenient the funeral home is to the family. When we say convenient we are not just talking about proximity to the family’s location but flexibility in making accommodations for the family. A huge factor that contributes to the flexibility of the funeral home is whether or not the the business is owned by a local family or run by a large corporation. There is a difference and it can affect your wants being satisfied.
Over the past twenty years publicly-owned corporations have been rearing their heads in the funeral industry. They are on a mission to consolidate the funeral business under the guides of making things easier and more affordable for families. It has become quite clear that families are letting these corporations know that bigger is not always better. Corporate- owned funeral homes have repeatedly failed to give the personalized service that is expected and received from smaller family owned funeral homes. Due to this the industry is going back to it family owned roots.
The benefit of family owned funeral homes is they have been in their communities for decades. This presence gives them a clear first hand understanding of the needs of that community. When dealing with such a crucial event as a funeral it is important for these families to have a Funeral Director whom they trust and know. Having direct relationship makes a world of difference. Families can also expect to receive superior professionalism that only generations of work can develope. Family owned funeral homes strive to give personal customized attention. They do not run on cookie cutter corporate agendas. They also have the availability to give families the added caring and follow-up needed after the funeral is over.
Please give us a call if you have any questions about how we can help you, at (619) 286-0011
I am not a morning person and I am also not a mourning person which is why I am writing a blog about mourning. The five stages of grief are so deeply embedded in our culture that no American can escape them. Well, that actually is not true since I am American and I had never heard of the five stages of grief until I decided to research the topic of grief and mourning. All I know is that every time I have experienced a loss my relatively at ease demeanor appears to cause dis-ease in others. Friends and relatives question me as if I am some sort of emotional alien. It’s as if the only way to show you have lost someone is by completely losing it.
Before I go into some other views on grief and mourning let’s quickly review the alleged five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These stages are listed in the order in which we are to experience them. For example, initially, a grieving person may deny a loss has a occurred. This denial is a coping mechanism aka the first stage of grief. Then at some point, the person comprehends the loss and enters the second stage of grief which is anger. In my opinion, the purpose of labeling the stages of grief was an attempt at explaining how and when we can expect to recover from a loss and which emotions would be involved. Here is the kicker, with deeper analysis many, myself included have come to the conclusion that there is no validity to these five stages of grief. The concept about the five stages was proposed forty years ago by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. In The Truth About Grief, Ruth Davis Konigsberg shows how the five stages were not based on real science at all. She along with many of her colleagues and scientist proved that the five stages of grief are more myth than fact. It is believed that these stages were adopted by many grieving persons including grief counselors as an attempt to try and make order out of perceived emotional chaos. However, further research and science confirm that we are hard-wired to deal with loss effectively in most instances on our own.
When dealing with a deep loss, many people feel overwhelmed and devastated. Some can even become hopeless and decide to just give up. The passing of a loved one can cause a bleakness that is indescribable. The five stages of grief gave grievers a short – term solution with hopes of providing a light at the end of a very long tunnel. The problem is that humans have a tendency to turn guidelines into rules. Some people wanted a manual for dealing with grief themselves and also for helping others deal with grief. Unfortunately, not everything fits into a nice little package. When we start dealing with emotions with defined regimented reactions things can get rather complex.
Psychiatrist Ruth Davis Konigsberg wants us to forget the five stage grief choreography and grieve like a toddler dances, do it freestyle. Dr. Davis Konigsberg also states that cultural influences and mass media have played a huge role in representing a picture of appropriate or normal grief. I agree that with the televising of celebrity funerals and the rampantness of social media platforms people feel more pressured to behave in a certain way even if it is contrary to how they are actually feeling or even more importantly how they want to feel. The truth is there is no right way to grieve and there is no set time frame. Research and our own hearts have shown that grief is real and it is a process. A process that if approached with a healthy mindset can be the basis for bettering ourselves. Am I actually saying that grief can make you a better person? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Emotions are wonderful indicators that could cause us to pause and take a deeper a look, a deeper breath, and cause deeper, connection with ourselves and others. When it comes to grief do it how you feel, for how long you feel. Don’t feel forced to cry or forced to suppress a laugh, do what comes naturally to you.
There are very few people
In this world I liked
I found with my eyes closed,
My mind shut tightly,
YOU silence my senses.
YOUR very own breath kept me alive,
YOU were my heartbeat in a heartless world
There were very few people I liked.
YOU were the one I loved.