A funeral service is one last opportunity for you to say goodbye to your departed loved one, and to create a community where mourners can support each other. As such, choosing the right place for the service is crucial. Ideally, you want a funeral home that is convenient for all mourners, provides a supportive environment for your loved ones and has a good reputation.
When choosing a funeral home in Melbourne, here are some things to look out for.
When you have to plan a funeral, you want to make the process as easy on yourself and fellow mourners and loved ones as possible. As such, you should choose a funeral home that will make the process hassle-free.
The physical location of your funeral home in Melbourne is vital. Choose one located in an area that had significance to your loved one, such as the place where they lived, but is still convenient for your family and other mourners. Planning, hosting, and attending a funeral are exhausting. You shouldn’t add to that exhaustion by choosing a place that will require an extensive trip, particularly if older or frail mourners want to make the trip.
You should also choose a close location because if you are the person responsible for making funeral arrangements, you may need to make multiple trips to the funeral home. While some funeral home directors offer home visits, which can be convenient for gathering the whole family, sometimes you want to see the location for yourself or meet in a neutral location.
Besides the convenience of a close location, the right funeral home will offer additional assistance with the many logistics that are part of making funeral arrangements. The director and staff can help you fill out legal paperwork, choose out clothing, and arrange details for the ceremony to create a dignified service that reflects your loved one’s personality.
Standings in the Community
A reputable funeral home should have a strong standing in the community it serves. At the end of the day, funerals are community events, and if a funeral home is not helping a community mourn with dignity, then it is not doing its job properly.
One way to find out about the reputation that a funeral home has in its community is by looking up reviews. The Internet is a good place to start. Sites such as Facebook and Google are online platforms where people can share their honest opinions about the quality of a funeral home’s services.
If you have strong connections to the area, you can find people that have used that funeral home in the past and ask them about their experience. Connecting personally with someone and understanding their experience, including whether or not they have a similar family situation to yours, can help you gauge whether a funeral home is right for you and give you peace of mind.
In addition to the reputation that a funeral home has among the community, you should think about the real connections that the staff and director have created with the local community. Many funeral homes have the facade of a small business but are owned by large multinational corporations. Locally operated funeral homes are rarer, but provide a much higher standard of service.
There are many reasons why locally-owned funeral homes are so much better than corporate ones. One of those is the quality of service. Funeral homes that are small businesses tend to be family-operated and have staff that stay with the business for many years. This means that the staff have experience with funerals and have developed relationships that mean they care about providing proper service. By contrast, multinational corporations have much higher rates of staff turnover (often due to worse working conditions) and staff is less experienced.
Truly local funeral homes also tend to be family-owned, which means that the staff will have a more personal, compassionate connection with you and other customers. Smaller funeral homes are connected to the community, so they are often more flexible with their services as opposed to company-owned funeral homes that are hemmed in by company policy. A family-owned funeral home in Melbourne will be able to give you the space to mourn and adjust their services to meet your requirements.
Smaller funeral homes tend to be more flexible with their pricing. Corporate-owned funeral parlours often offer their customers pre-existing packages, which causes you to waste money on services you may not even want or need.
Staff and Service
One of the final, yet most important, things that you need to think about when choosing the right funeral home to serve as a location for your service is the quality of the staff. You want to choose a funeral home with experienced staff. Staff that have been in the business for several years can not only help you with logistical arrangements but also provide grief advising and support to you and other mourners.
One way to check the quality of the staff is to look at the funeral home’s website. Ideally, the funeral home should have profiles for each staff listing their skills and experience. Check that the staff has some years of experience and that they are multifaceted, instead of specializing in one aspect of funerary arrangements (you want to be able to communicate with only one person instead of needing to chase several different people just to plan a funeral). If the funeral home only advertises their director or location manager, that reflects poorly on the quality of the rest of the staff.
Planning a funeral involves many decisions and responsibilities. However, choosing the right location can help you manage your other responsibilities and gives you the space to mourn in peace. A locally-owned and located funeral home can be a convenient base for your family and loved ones to mourn while providing you with expert service and support to facilitate the funeral as smoothly as possible.
Read Also: 4 Types of Funeral Processes