Need help dealing with Funeral Homes.
Oct 19, 2008 at 9:39 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

RYCeT

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Hi guys, a close friend of mine just lost her son. He's only 16 months old. We've given his body to a Philly city agency to be autopsy tomorrow. We need to arrange for funeral homes.

Most likely I will help her the best I can which meant I will have to deal with the arrangement for Funeral Homes. It's unexpected, we aren't prepared for this. I need help on how to deal with funeral homes. So,

What kind of questions should I ask to the Funeral Homes Director?

What should we prepare for?

What kind of thing that I should watch out or take more precautions?

What kind of service should I expect from the funeral homes?

Any help will be appreciated. Thank's guys.
 
Oct 19, 2008 at 9:56 PM Post #2 of 8

AlanY

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I've only had to deal with funeral homes twice. I wasn't price-shopping, but in both cases I found the funeral directors fairly easy to deal with. This is their business, they're pretty good at it.

The difficulties I had were with elements unassociated with the funeral home. If you're planning on having a reception afterwards, it's very challenging to book a reception hall on short notice. Some funeral homes have reception areas/rooms though neither of the ones I dealt with did. Also, if the family was not a regular attender of a religious institution, it can be hard to get a religious figure (minister, priest, rabbi, etc.) there for the service. The one I managed to get was very unprofessional. If the family is not very religious I'd recommend just going with an informal service run by family or friends.
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 2:14 AM Post #3 of 8

Wmcmanus

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I have no idea what to suggest. I'm from a small town in Illinois, and all of our family funerals (one both sides) have been arranged by the same funeral home, which is a family business that has been around forever.

So I guess the main reason for my post is to express my condolences, both to you and to your friend for the loss of her toddler. I'd imagine these will be very difficult times for you, but I applaud you for standing strong for her in this time of need.

Whatever you manage to do on her behalf in terms of making the funeral arrangements, I'm sure she will appreciate it and remember you forever for your kindness.

As AlanY mentioned, funeral directors are fairly easy to deal with. They tend to be very kind hearted and are professionally trained to provide comfort even in the most grim situations.
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 6:22 PM Post #4 of 8

ronnielee54

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Be prepared for an expensive ordeal. I was shocked when I helped my mother arrange my fathers funeral. I never realized it cost that much money to bury a person. They tug at your heartstrings to sap every penny they can out of you. "This coffin is only guarenteed for thirty years aginst leakage, but this one will never leak" and "You only want the best for him" is the kind of stuff we had to listen to. Made me decide to go for creamation when I die.
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 8:08 PM Post #5 of 8

funniecow

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Um when I had to deal with it the list was:

Can we bring a religious figure in, and how accommodating it is for them?

Is the room big enough to house everyone attending?

How safe is it, if the place were to catch fire are the bodies safe?

Would there be enough parking?

Is it easy to find so people won't get lost and regret not showing up on time or at all?

Are they trying to sell you an overpriced coffin?

A really good question that you should take into account is: Where to bury, and is there enough plots around for the mother and others if they choose to be buried next to the child. Because buying these plots on the fly, you tend to get gouged by pricing. People tend to buy 20-50 plots then sell then for a profit. Which would be you the buyer.


The main point is that it's not just the funeral that is taking place, if you're a certain type or religion you would have to have several ceremonies with the body present. Also some funeral homes DO gouge you for money by preying on your "it's what's best for them".

A really good question you should ask is, what type of headstone or marker you'd use. Since some cemeteries use heavy lawn mowers that can crack certain types of stone. It can cause a break down by the family if they show up to pay respect and the stone is chipped or cracked.

Well, good luck to ya. That's an task that none of us would want to face. But at times like this most of us wish we'd plan ahead just so our surviving kin doesn't have to go trough all of this trouble. IDK if I should say this but if there was a mistake by anyone hospital or otherwise, think carefully before you tank legal action. Would the family or mother be able to bear the added stress and the reliving of the loss of the child. If you don't decide to take legal action right away would the mother or family become self loathing. These are very fragile times, remember to think your actions out fully and don't act brashly, regret is a bitter potion that lasts forever.
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 9:58 PM Post #6 of 8

Rock&Roll Ninja

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RYCeT /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What kind of service should I expect from the funeral homes?


The funeral home will help you arrange the service around your wishes. If you want a direct cremation (without a viewing of the deceased), a viewing followed by cremation or viewing followed by burial. Services during the viewing (or directly before the burial) are determined by the families church (ie. a Catholic service is traditionally a viewing at the FH, followed by a church funeral mass, followed by a burial. Your religion may vary).

Children's caskets are not a terribly price-gouging option, there are no solid bronze caskets that I am aware of.

Burial vaults (a cement or metal box the casket is placed in)are a legal matter. They are required by the state to prevent ground collapse.

Your friend's family has my condolences.
 
Oct 20, 2008 at 10:46 PM Post #8 of 8

LeftyGorilla

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Seriously look into the options, including dealing with the body and burial privately. That means no funeral home. Most states have actually rather loose laws about dealing with the deceased, and most funeral homes are invasive, predatory, and extremely expensive.

Crossings - Caring For Our Own At Death

lots of misinformation out there, for example burial vaults are not required by law.

Man, that's hard stuff to deal with. You are a great friend to be there.
 

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