The role of a funeral director is to make the funeral planning process easier on you, even during a difficult period of grief. But if you’ve never had to organize a funeral before, you might be wondering more specifically what they do during the planning process and on the day of the funeral.
In this blog, we’ll briefly go through some of the specific duties of a funeral director and how they help you through the entire process.
Transporting the body
The funeral director will collect the body from its current location, whether this is the person’s home, a hospital, or elsewhere. We will do this for you at any time of day or night. We then transport the body to the funeral home.
We can also notify anyone who needs to know about the death. This can include family members and close friends as well as the proper authorities, so you don’t have to have those difficult conversations if you choose not to.
Handling the paperwork
The funeral director will prepare the death certificate and provide copies of these needed to file with insurance companies or for the purpose of benefits. They will also handle any other necessary paperwork for these processes.
Prepare the obituary
Some people prefer to write an obituary themselves for their loved one. If you choose not to do this, as many people do, the funeral director will prepare an obituary and submit it to the newspapers of your choice. You may give input on this if there are specific details you want mentioning.
Preparing the body
The body will be bathed and embalmed in preparation for the funeral service. If the body is to be viewed during the service, then it will also be dressed and made-up to look as they did during life.
Other funeral arrangements
The funeral director will assist the family with other funeral arrangements, such as selecting the casket or urn for burial, purchasing the cemetery plot, and scheduling the burial or cremation. If a church service is being held, then they will also coordinate with the clergy on this. And they can arrange transport for the family and a police escort if necessary, for traveling to the funeral or cemetery.
Prepare flower arrangements
We can order flower arrangements, funeral sprays, and anything else needed for the service. If loved ones choose to send flowers to the funeral home for the service, we will also receive and prepare these.
We will support you throughout the planning process and the service to help you through this difficult time. We also have recommendations for grief support services to help you after the funeral.
If you need support with organizing a funeral or making pre-arrangements for your own future, then contact Hayworth Miller or visit one of our funeral homes in Winston Salem, Kernersville, Rural Hall, Advance, and Lewisville.
It can be difficult to know what to say and how to act when you go to a funeral. Whether you were very close to the deceased or they were just an acquaintance, it can be a difficult and even an awkward experience. If you struggle with knowing the correct etiquette of funerals, here are some tips to help you through them.
What to wear to a funeral
You should try to dress conservatively and formally for funerals out of respect for the occasion. Generally speaking, you should wear dark colors like black or dark blues and grays. Occasionally, a person may specify in their will or pre-arrangements that they want attendees to dress in bright colors to make it a happier, more celebratory affair. But only do this if it is specifically requested.
Arriving at a funeral
Do everything you can to be on time to a funeral, or even arrive early to be safe. Enter the church or hall quietly and respectfully. You may be seated by an usher or member of staff. If you can decide for yourself where to sit, then you should only sit in the first few rows if you are a close friend or family member. Make sure you turn off your cellphone or completely silence it, and don’t use your phone during the service.
What to bring
Some people bring gifts or flowers to a funeral or memorial service, although you are not obliged to do so. If you want to show your sympathies in this way, then you can have flowers sent to the funeral home beforehand so that they are there for the service, or you can bring flowers with you. As an alternative, a sympathy card is a nice gesture for showing your condolences, as is a token gift in memory of the deceased. Providing homecooked food for the family of the deceased can also help them through this difficult time.
What to say
Nothing feels like the right thing to say to someone who is grieving. A simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is a nice way of expressing your sympathies. You may want to share memories of the deceased if you know them well, but be aware of the person’s response to judge whether they want to talk or be left in peace. Try to avoid expressions that try to make sense of the death, such as “there’s a reason for everything.”
If you feel uncomfortable attending funerals, remember that most people in the room are probably feeling the same way. Contact Hayworth Miller if you’re preparing for an upcoming funeral.