What to Expect Before, During and After the Funeral
Whether you are visiting to make funeral arrangements, would like to know more about what to expect during the funeral service, or wonder how life will be after the funeral, this section of our website will help.
If you still have any questions, call us at (801) 405-7444.
What to Expect Before the Funeral
It's a common enough experience; a loved one dies and now you've got to face something you've never ever done before. You've got to go to a funeral home to make their funeral arrangements. Now, not only are you emotionally affected by their death, you're anxious and really need to know what to expect when you arrive. So, let's talk about that for a bit.
You should know that we've taken great pains to make your experience with us as easy as possible. Here's how:
- We've put a lot of work into making our funeral home a pleasant place to spend time. That means our interior design is easy-on-the-eye, the rooms are spacious yet cozy, and the furniture is comfortable.
- Our staff is both professional yet personable. We believe that when you leave, you'll consider us more than funeral directors; we'll be well-on-our-way to being friends. Friends you can really trust to compassionately care for your loved one...and for your family.
- We've streamlined the funeral arrangement process. Since we've been making funeral arrangements with families for a very long time, we've had ample opportunity to learn the easiest, most efficient way to get through the process. Believe us when we say; it won't take as long as you think.
- Our team is trained to handle all the details. And we do mean all of them. From filing insurance, social security or veterans administration paperwork; to greeting and bidding farewell to your guests—and everything in between.
Exactly What Happens at the Funeral Home?
While we can't speak to every situation, we can tell you the bare basics of what to expect on your first visit to our funeral home.
When you come through the front door, you will be greeted warmly by a staff member. Names will be exchanged, and hands shaken in cordiality. Some words of comfort will be offered.
Once informed of the reason for your visit, you will be directed to the funeral director's office or arrangement office.
Before the funeral arrangement conversation goes very far, you will be given a copy of our General Price List, Casket Price List, and any other appropriate price-related documents. This is done to ensure compliance with the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule.
The funeral director will then ask you a number of questions. Think about it this way: your conversation is intended to do two things:
Share accurate biographical details of the deceased to assist the funeral director in completing relevant paperwork, And come to an agreement about the plans for the funeral, memorial service, or celebration-of-life.
Clearly State the Facts
When it comes to properly completing death paperwork, and writing a detailed obituary, accuracy is everything. So, when it comes to the first task, that of sharing your loved one's biographical details, you'll want to bring as much documentation of the following as possible:
The deceased's full name
Their Social Security number
Spouse and children's names
Maiden name of mother
History of military service
Hobbies and interests
A list of organizational and club memberships
A recent photograph
Naturally, if you're unable to bring any of this information, you can always call us later to share whatever is missing.
Planning for the Funeral Event
The second step in the funeral arrangement conference, that of planning a meaningful ceremony to pay tribute and celebrate the life of your loved one is really at the heart of what you'll be doing that day. In order to facilitate things, we ask that you bring:
Pre-arrangement papers, if applicable
Clothes in which to bury or cremate your loved one
Cemetery property information, if applicable
A list of preferred charities for memorial donations, if applicable
A list of pallbearers, if applicable
Desired musical and readings selections
There are really two more things to bring: your memories, and your heart-driven creative thinking. After all, we will be guided in planning your loved one's funeral, memorial service, or celebration-of-life by your stories, personal perceptions, and insights into their character and lifestyle.
In the End
Our time together will take only as long as you need it to take. Not only that, while the time you spend with us on your first visit can be very intense and emotionally draining; you'll be among people who really care about your welfare. We'll support you throughout the funeral arrangement process, in any way you need us to; and we believe you'll find that when you leave, you've really had very little to be anxious about. But if you still have any questions or concerns, call us today at (801) 405-7444 to learn more about what to expect when you come to our funeral home.
What to Expect During the Funeral
Much like any other social event, a funeral service can present us with unique challenges–especially if we don't know what to expect. Here's a short list of things you can expect during a funeral:
We do our best to provide adequate parking facilities. Yet, parking may be hard to find, so do your best to arrive 10-15 minutes early.
Depending on the location of the funeral, your entrance may be governed by protocol. Often, guests are asked to remain unseated until the family has taken their seats. Sometimes ushers are provided to escort you to your seat. If you're unclear as to what's expected, just watch others for your cues--or ask the funeral attendant.
Again, depending on the location, the ceremony may be officiated by a pastor, minister, celebrant or funeral director.
Remember that the front seats are intended for immediate family members, so choose a seat near the middle; or if you didn't know the deceased well, sit near the back of the room.
You may receive a copy of the funeral order-of-service, which details what will happen during the ceremony. It will tell you exactly which hymns will be sung, and specifically names the prayers to be read. It's like a program at a theater or symphony performance: the funeral order-of-service is a very handy thing to have. If you're given one, hang on to it.
Depending on what's in the order-of-service, you will have the opportunity to participate in various activities. You may be asked to stand to sing a hymn or kneel in prayer; only participate to the degree you feel comfortable.
If the service is less traditional and more a celebration-of-life, you may be asked to close the service with a release of a balloon. Or you may find yourself requested to place a flower in the casket. Some families ask their guests to write a note to the deceased and place it in the casket. We suggest doing only as much as you feel comfortable doing.
Will People Cry?
Even at weddings and baptisms, people cry. Just like at a funeral, these pivotal life moments are very emotionally-charged. That means you can certainly expect to find people crying at a funeral. It's always helpful to remember to bring a travel pack of tissues with you; however, the funeral home staff will also have access to tissues if you—or the person seated next to you—has a need to wipe their eyes.
But, here's something you should also know: people laugh at funerals too. A funeral is a rich bittersweet mixture of sorrow and joy. In fact, when we're at a funeral (which is fairly often) the behaviors of guests remind us of the well-known remark from Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss: “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”
You'll see tears, and you may hear some laughter. Without doubt, emotions run high at funerals; sometimes there's even a demonstration of anger by one or more of the survivors. Expect people to be on their best behavior, but also know that anything can happen.
How to Leave the Funeral
The funeral officiant will make it very clear that the funeral service is over. They will invite the immediate family and close friends to leave the building first. Unlike at the end of a theater performance, people don't simply stand up and walk out. Instead, they wait for the rows in front of them to empty before stepping out into the aisle.
Guests and family may collect outside the location for some quiet conversation. If you are now ready to leave, do your best to say a sincere goodbye to the bereaved family.
If you choose to follow the hearse and casket to the cemetery or crematory, you'll be given clear directions by members of the funeral home staff.
If you choose to leave at this point in the funeral, make a quiet, discreet exit. Make a note to yourself to contact the bereaved family by phone in the next week or so. Offer them some time to talk about their loss; and if you're willing, make a few suggestions about chores and other things you could do for them. Know that even if they decline your offer, they'll be delighted to know you're thinking of them enough to call.
Call Us to Learn More
Whether this is your first funeral service, or your 100th; it can be an unnerving experience. If you've got specific questions about what to expect during a funeral service, give us a call at (801) 405-7444. We'll be privileged to assist you.