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Content here represents the voice of SIGNATURE SUNSETS, an informational initiative designed to broaden and brighten horizons in the funerary domain.

The material is an outgrowth of a pre-planning reference book, Pondering Leaves: Composing and Conveying Your Life Story's Epilogue, written by the author of this blog.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CHOOSING A FUNERAL HOME

HOMEWARD BOUND

Funeral home operators have become increasingly accommodating.  Many have shed bygone constrictions of established ways.  Instead, they are more apt to absorb and actualize client requests.

When confronted with a need to choose a funeral home, typical habits come into play.  Consumers tend to follow predictable patterns.  Often they target an establishment based on proximity, previous experiences, or reputation. Nowadays, though, there are a number of variables worth considering.  A multitude of expanded factors offers the potential to optimize the funerary experience. 

Have you stayed abreast of the status of your neighborhood funeral home that’s conveniently located down the street?  Is it possible that the original proprietor has sold it to a corporate owner?  If so, operational changes may have occurred without your awareness. 

Beyond ownership, though, many funeral homes around the country have transformed their physical facilities as well as their manner of services and inventory of products.  Of course, some are more progressive than others.  But the point is, as a shopper you can be discriminating as you seek to orchestrate a positive experience that will address the objectives of a tribute coupled with a mourning mode.  You have choices.  And your selection may make a difference in the outcome.

Here’s a list that may help you identify your own goals when choosing a funeral home.   These are characteristics that might be deemed necessary or desirable.  Arrange them in order of importance to you personally.

Location
Reputation
Corporate or Independent Ownership
Recommendations
Previous Personal Experience
Ethnic and Religious Affiliation
Ethical Practice and Adherence To Federal Trade Commission Regulations
One-stop Shopping
Cost
Personalization Options
Physical Appearance
Facility Features and Size
Specific Services and Products
Advanced Technical Services
Website Quality and Optimization
Good Embalming Results
Adherence To Embalming Requirement For Visitation
Standard Operating Procedures Versus Flexibility
Authentic Compassion and Interpersonal Relations
Staff Personalities
Bereavement Support

Once you recognize the factors that are relevant and paramount for your situation, it will be easier to decide which facilities you want to explore. Perhaps at some point during your investigation you’ll suddenly realize that the process can be quite enjoyable.  Instead of making a beeline down the street, maybe you’ll pause to ponder the possibilities.  The death care industry is alive with them!
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