What Should I Look for When Choosing a Funeral Home?

Choosing the right memorial park and mortuary is crucial, whether you're planning your own funeral or a loved one recently has recently passed and you're organizing their final resting place. A good funeral home doesn't simply provide a physical space for the deceased but also offers an affordable funeral service, help with planning, and additional merchandise and resources.

In fact, the best funeral homes can provide you with everything you need to plan and execute a funeral. If you can, visit the mortuary ahead of time and speak to the employees to make sure that they are friendly, compassionate, and helpful. You can also have a look around the memorial park and pick out a location for the deceased. Let's have a closer look at what some of the best funeral homes have in common.

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Funeral Home? 

Every family is different, so it's hard to put together general guidelines for selecting a final resting place. While some people prefer an ornate and colorful grave site, others would like to be placed in a quiet location that doesn't attract any attention. Similarly, some people benefit from traditional service, while others prefer a vibrant celebration of life without any religious components.

Good funeral homes offer affordable services, a wide variety of options to accommodate people from all walks of life, and comprehensive resources that help people to deal with their grief. The staff are friendly and compassionate, and they offer assistance during the planning phases. There are also opportunities for honoring life and creating permanent memories, such as books, videos, or websites, that people can refer to whenever needed.

An Individualized and Affordable Funeral Service 

In the US, the average funeral costs almost $8,000, and the average cremation costs almost $7,000. However, you can design a personalized experience at any price point. A good funeral home will offer various options, ranging from budget to elaborate. Here at Sunset Hills, our basic cremation package, which doesn't include a viewing or a service, costs just $1,350.

In contrast, the traditional burial package costs $7,435, and the traditional cremation package costs $7,400. These options are much more comprehensive, and they might include viewings, chapel service, a beautiful funeral coach, and clerical services. When you come to speak to us about holding a funeral at Sunset Hills, we will ask you about your budget, so we can plan a beautiful ceremony that doesn't break the bank.

Multiple Options 

In the past, most people's funerals were very similar, and they involved a religious ceremony and often a viewing. But nowadays, there are many more options, and you can choose exactly the kind of service that fits your family the best. To make sure you have a good experience, a high-quality funeral home will involve you in the planning phase and offer you plenty of options.

For example, some people prefer to celebrate their relative's life without a religious ceremony. Instead, they might choose a certain theme or incorporate the deceased's favorite hobby in the celebration. More and more people are asking their loved ones to wear bright, cheerful clothing instead of traditional funeral attire. A good mortuary will be able to accommodate a wide variety of ceremonies.

Compassionate Staff

Planning a funeral is almost always a taxing endeavor. If you're setting up your own celebration of life ahead of time, you have to confront your mortality, and if you're planning a ceremony because one of your loved ones passed away, you're still grieving. That's why having the support of a compassionate funeral director is crucial.

Your director will speak to you about your circumstances and preferences, and they will help you select an appropriate service and final resting place. The easiest way to find out whether the staff of a funeral home is compassionate is to visit in person and talk to the employees directly. Make sure they answer all your questions and are responsive when you contact them over the phone or via email.

A Service that Fits with Your Beliefs

Fifty years ago, the majority of the population believed that a Christian religious service was an integral part of a funeral. Nowadays, only around one-third of the population is of this opinion. More and more people are choosing a celebration of life that is separate from religion. Additionally, the population has become more diverse, and multiple religious groups are represented in most communities.

The services and options offered by a good funeral home should reflect and accommodate this change. If you have certain religious preferences, don't hesitate to speak to your director about them because there might be options tailored to your needs.

Help with Planning 

If you've never planned a funeral before, you might not know where to start. You'll have to make countless decisions, including whether to cremate or bury the body, where to set up the final resting place, what kind of coffin to purchase, what kind of vehicle to use for transportation to the burial site, and what type of celebration is best for the family.

Without any assistance, this can become overwhelming. A good director will help you browse through the list of affordable funeral service options, and they can show you examples and photos of each. That way, you can make the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones without having to spend hours researching the possibilities.

Opportunities for Honoring Life 

At Sunset Hills, we believe that the funeral ceremony is crucial because it allows families and friends of the deceased to come together and say their final goodbyes. However, grief doesn't end once this day is over, and many people enjoy having tangible reminders of the deceased. That's why we offer a wide range of opportunities for honoring life and creating permanent memories.

For example, you can compile the best photos of the deceased and their families and put them in a book, which you can pass out to close relatives and friends. Alternatively, you can put together a short film, or you can set up a website where everyone can share their memories. There are also garden memorials, memorial jewelry, and tribute blankets, which can be a beautiful daily reminder of the loved one you have lost.

Additional Resources 

Losing a loved one can have a profound effect on well-being and mental health. One of the jobs of a good funeral home is to support you through this challenging time and provide you with resources that can help you to cope. For example, we have a grief support guide for bereaved people and those supporting them. There are also daily email affirmations and further resources available, such as online and in-person communities.

Another important service we offer here at Sunset Hills is grief support for children. Young people who lost someone they love often feel confused, abandoned, and alone. In partnership with Mourning Sun Children's Foundation, we help children and their families to access peer support groups.

Should I Plan My Own Funeral? 

More and more Americans are choosing to plan their own funeral, often decades ahead of time. So, why is this becoming a trend, and is it something you should think about doing? The answer is that participating in funeral planning can help take pressure off your family during a difficult period. When you pass away and everything is already arranged, your loved ones can focus on grieving and healing rather than worrying about planning an event.

When you set up your own funeral, you can also reduce financial stress because you'll have already paid for everything. Because assets are often locked away after someone passes, this can be a relief for your family. Finally, being involved in the planning process can ensure that you get a funeral that suits your preferences and beliefs. You can pick the music, any poems or pieces you'd like to be read, and even the faith leader or celebrant.

What Happens During Funeral Planning? 

The first step is to contact a funeral home and ask for an in-person visit. When you meet the staff and walk around the memorial park, you can evaluate whether this is a place where you would like to hold a celebration of life. If so, you can set up a meeting with a funeral director, who will explain the various options to you and help you select something suitable.

You can either plan your entire funeral on your own, or you can get your family involved and ask them about their wishes. Since this day is about helping them to cope with their grief and come to terms with your passing, making decisions as a team could be a good option.

The best funeral homes offer a comprehensive and affordable funeral service that includes help with planning the celebration of life and permanent memorialization. The best way to find out more about a mortuary is to visit in person and speak to the staff. Call us at Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary to find out more about the services we offer and to start planning your own or your loved one's funeral.