How Involved should you get with a funeral?

How Involved Should You Get Helping With Your Loved One Who Just Died?

That title ↑ seemed to go on forever.  Hopefully what follows explains it all.

How involved should you be with a funeral?  Not the funeral service as such, but more with the person who has died.  In other words, how “hands on” do you want to be?

Do you even want to see them or would you want to be as involved as much as you can?

There are those who don’t want any involvement.  They have said their farewells while the person was alive.  They don’t want their last memory to be of the person in a coffin. 

Then there are families who want to be involved much more.  When I started SDF, I wanted families to have the freedom to be involved as much as they wish.  For some, helping may be to assist in transferring the person from their bed to the stretcher.  Other people may want the person to remain at home until the funeral.  There have been families who wanted to be at the hospital morgue when I collected someone.

How much people should be involved in this process has been a learning experience for me also.  In the early days I was guilty of doing what I did without properly explaining things to the family. 

Some people wanted to help and then afterwards they were upset with an aspect of the process.  This could be covering their face when taking the person to the hearse.  It could even be moving the body.  But these are very rare occasions. I make sure to explain carefully what is happening and how we are going to do something.   No rush, no panic.

The truth is that most people rarely, if ever, have had anything to do with a dead person.  Death was always something other people did.  There was the time when the person was basically whisked away and the family didn’t see them until the funeral or perhaps a viewing for a few minutes at a funeral home that felt a little eery.

So an important aspect of SDF is to remove a lot of the unfamiliarity and apprehension people may feel with death.  I want to do this because death is the one reality all people will face.  A few of my earlier blogs speak about facing death.

I remind people (especially if children are there) that the person is still their nana or papa, mum or dad.  They aren’t going to do anything scarry, like you might see on the movies.  Maybe too many zombie movies haven’t helped lately.

Again, let me be clear – being involved in the practical side is not for everyone.  A lot really comes down to a person’s personality.  And so, there is never ever any pressure for people to do what they don’t want to do.

Just as seeing someone in the coffin is extremely important for some people.  It is just as important for others not to. 

So how involved do you want to be?  In the end, it’s your decision.  With some businesses, your opportunity to be involved will always be quite limited.  With SDF you do have a lot more options, which is a little odd, being a small operator. But we do have more discretion to work with families as they choose.

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