From: The Lady at Death’s Door
We are not your nosy neighbour who hovers over lukewarm coffee behind the kitchen curtains, hoping for a juicy piece of gossip.
We are not therapists, detectives or reporters. We are Funeral Directors and we are here tosuch, we ask only the questions necessary to ensure that your loved one and yourself are cared for with the utmost respect.
We ask you questions because we care. We ask you questions because we believe in our heart of hearts that every, single, human being deserves to be cared for with dignity after they have died.
A number of people come in to a funeral home feeling sad, fearful and angry about the death of their loved one. Yes, a few come in relieved; perhaps because pro-longed suffering is over or even because the deceased wasn’t so very nice.
Many people who come in to make arrangements are irritated, tired, and find the arrangement process rather difficult.
It’s not easy, especially for those who have been providing care for days, weeks or months.
When a family calls the funeral home to seek funeral services, there are a number of questions that the Funeral Director asks. We refer to this conversation as a, “First Call”.
I would say that at least 50 percent of the time the person calling gets a little irritated with some of the questions we ask. “We’ll talk about it when we get in there!”, I’ve heard shouted in the background by overwhelmed family members.
But we ask for a reason. We don’t get a kick out of asking you things like telephone numbers, age, whether or not you have pre-arranged funeral plans, or whether you’ve considered what type of service you would like. Especially in the city, knowing where and when you want the service ensures that we get on the phone to the church, temple or hall in time to book your preferred time.
Before you step through the doors, a true professional wants all of the information necessary to begin the very detailed, sometimes complicated, behind-the-scenes-planning that they are being paid for.
A lot of people snicker when we ask about the deceased’s height or weight. There is no snicker however, when Funeral Directors show up at the door and the deceased is over 300 lbs. Everyone wants to treat the deceased with respect and the questions we ask help make that happen.
When we ask questions about relationship to the deceased, we do this because we have a legal obligation to ensure that we are taking direction from the proper legal authority; the executor/executrix.
The practical reality of information gathering is this; The government requires A Statement of Death be registered along with a Medical Certificate of Death in order to be issued a burial permit. Without this permit, we are unable to bury or cremate someone.
Funeral files and records have been used throughout history for genealogical purposes, and health tracking.
We know this is a difficult time for you. Many of us have had to make funeral arrangements for our own loved ones.
When you walk through the doors of the funeral home to make arrangements, accept our offer of refreshment; coffee, tea, water. Exhale, and know that we are here to help, and yes, we will ask you a lot of questions.