Eulogy for a Funeral
How a Funeral Helps With Grief
Planning Luncheons After Funerals
Environmentally Friendly Funerals
How Afterlife Beliefs Affect Funerals
Funerals for Famous People
Funerals Around The World
Funeral Director Licenses
Guidance and Information on Dealing with Funeral Homes and Cemeteries
Alarmingly, statistics show that more Americans are afraid of public speaking than are afraid of death. “That means,” said comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, “that more people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy at the funeral.”
Still, the subject of funerals and funeral homes is not one that many feel completely comfortable discussing. Nonetheless, it is an undeniable fact of life; neither we, nor our loved ones will be around forever. There is a positive side to a funeral home however, that is all too little considered. It is a time to share fond memories of a departed loved one, to reunite with old friends and relatives not seen in years, and a time to consider the lessons of a life well lived.
For many a funeral home is also a place to consider eternity, and a belief that they will one day be reunited with their loved one in the hereafter. What is more, many take comfort in the belief that their loved one will also be reunited with friends and relatives who have gone on before.
The United States Military has long had a tacit assumption of an afterlife. “Old soldiers never die,” the saying goes, “they just fade away.” In the past several decades, funeral homes have also had to adapt to alternatives to burial. Perhaps a funeral that showcases a flag case with urn pedestal would be ideal to capture and honor the spirit of a true hero. This saying can also be applied to different individuals, especially whe considering their form of disposition. For example, there are many now who prefer cremation, believing that by spreading their loved ones ashes over a place, it will replenish nature, and thus renew the circle of life.
Another increasingly popular alternative is donating the body to the advancement of medical science, out of a belief that they could help to save a life. Perhaps families who do both consider their loved ones not to be truly gone.
Funeral homes, coffin makers, and headstone designers often work together, so that a funeral home can often point individuals to the others. The funeral home is usually non-sectarian and universal, usually open to people of all faith backgrounds, and can have services that are radically different. Often funeral homes will work with churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious organizations on their specific needs.
There was a time when the funeral home in which one was mourned, and the cemetery in which one was buried could be identified with your socio-economic class, background, ethnic persuasion, and race. This however is beginning to change with the times. Depending on its size, a funeral home service might also be more affordable than having a funeral at a religious establishment, and might provide a degree of closeness that cannot be found there due to the size.
Some funeral homes have also thrown in some special perks in order to appeal to the public. One curious example of note is in Palatine, Illinois where a funeral home built a golf course in the back. This may allow mourners a few moments to take their mind off of the grief. Another, Peoria, Illinois funeral home showed some creative ingenuity that is surprisingly common in the funeral industry when, according to the Peoria Star Journal, it hired an Elvis impersonator to appear there during their 80th anniversary.
Sad though this time is, there are also certain etiquette guidelines which one should be aware of when planning a funeral. First, it's always a good idea to call ahead to a funeral home rather than simply walking in (though most funeral homes will not object too strongly to a walk in inquiry). Second, it is always a good idea to know how much a funeral is going to cost before it occurs. Many funeral homes have had the unfortunate circumstances of a family holding a funeral, and then being surprised by how much it cost. Third, appropriate attire should always be a consideration. Neither funeral home employees nor friends and family will appreciate it if one arrives dressed too casually. This however should be left up to the discretion of those present, and there are no hard and fast rules to follow.
Finally, as hard as it is, funeral home employees, ministers, and mourners will all have huge respect for a family member of the departed who manages to maintain a friendly, and as much as is possible cheerful attitude. For both your presentation and for your individual well being, consider the funeral a celebration of a life well lived, rather than the loss a loved one.