Why It’s Best to Work With a Funeral Director

Posted by: Erin Ward in Funeral Planning Resources, Funeral Advice, Funeral Homes | July 8, 2021

Planning a funeral? Let a professional guide you through the arrangements. A professional funeral director will ensure your loved one's funeral service goes smoothly, and will assist you with all the necessary arrangements.

For many people, the thought of organizing a funeral is a daunting and unwanted responsibility. When someone close to you has passed away, the last thing you want to do is worry about the details of hosting an event. Rather than deal with handling a friend or family member's final farewell on your own, you'll be much better off working alongside an experienced funeral director.

We All Need a Helping Hand

Funeral directors are experienced in not only seeing to the deceased's final arrangements, but helping those dearest to them cope. This is especially true of directors who have worked with a variety of people. As you're tending to the burial or cremation, you'll have someone to talk to about your loved one's life as well as how you're processing everything. While funeral directors are by no means therapists, they can most certainly guide you through this emotional time. They can help you to make sense of how you are feeling and any thoughts you have.

You may not be the best at comforting people during times of grief — and that's absolutely okay. A director can offer you suggestions for putting family and friends at ease so everyone is able to cope on their own terms and in their own time. With a bit of help from a funeral director, you can learn techniques to keep you from feeling helpless while watching your loved ones emotionally suffer.

Assisting You With Major Decisions

There's a lot that goes into planning such an important ceremony, and you might not be in the right frame of mind or have the knowledge necessary to tend to every single detail. Directors not only help you cope with your grief, they also assist you with the most essential decisions.

Such decisions include the following:

  • Whether your loved one should be cremated or buried
  • Arranging for catering
  • The time and location of the ceremony
  • Musical selections for the ceremony
  • Choosing floral arrangements
  • The person to lead the funeral
  • Drafting the eulogy

Funeral directors will assist you with everything from paperwork to choosing the right casket to hosting the funeral service.

Knowing you don't have to make these decisions on your own can reduce stress and anxiety, and conserve a lot of time and energy. It's important to know your limits, and exercise self-care in the aftermath of a significant loss. Assess your emotional resources, and determine whether a funeral director can help you.

Special Additions

For some funerals, there are special gestures that need to be made as a way for friends and family to say their final goodbyes. This could include releasing doves, playing a video of the deceased, or a religious send-off or rite. A director can help with this, making sure everything is done tastefully. They will also take care of any permits or permissions that might need to be handled beforehand.

All Necessary Paperwork

Paperwork is a significant part of taking care of a loved one's final arrangements. From burial permits and death certificates to Social Security reporting and military marker applications, you can quickly find yourself inundated with dotted lines to sign and forms to read over as well as legal language and terms to make sense of. Funeral directors will not only help you to understand such paperwork, but make sure you've gathered all the necessary documents and paperwork. Don't set yourself up for mistakes and frustration, which is the last thing anyone needs when dealing with a death.

Professional References

With experience comes knowledge. By working with a director, you'll have a wealth of information to help you decide on celebrants, religious or spiritual officiants, estate lawyers, insurance providers, flower shops, caterers and the like. While you can always do your homework yourself, you might find it's too much to handle on your own. Experienced directors know who's the best in the business and whom you should stay away from at all costs.


While this may not be the first funeral you go to, it might be the first for someone close to you. When death hits close to home (or right at home) rather than three streets over, it can rock you to your core. Funeral directors can provide you with a sense of stability and act as your anchor. Those who have been in their positions for a while have a better grasp of not only how you might be feeling, but steps you can take to feel more in control of your life and your emotions. Even better is the fact that directors can prepare you for emotions and thoughts you might have later on so you already have an idea of how to cope.

A Smooth Ceremony

Every funeral should go as smoothly as possible; a professional director can go a long way in ensuring this happens. During this time, the entirety of your focus should be on remembering and honoring the memory of your loved one. Hiring a qualified funeral director will ensure that all details are handled professionally, giving you the space you need to grieve.

Special Customizations

Depending on your religious or spiritual beliefs, there might be special considerations to make for your loved one's final send-off, special considerations that require equally special attention. By working with a funeral director familiar with your religious or spiritual beliefs, you'll have someone in your corner who knows how to be respectful and ensure those customizations are done properly. You're also sure to feel more comfortable and confident working with an individual well aware of your beliefs.

Product Availability

Just as funeral directors are a wellspring of information regarding references, they also know where and how to get everything you need for the ceremony. Again, this is something you can most certainly do on your own, but directors know exactly where to go and whom to turn to. Having easy access to such a resource allows you to have everything you and your loved ones need without the need to compromise or settle for second best.

Fair Market Pricing

It's no secret that funerals can be quite expensive, and not everyone has life insurance or a way to pay for their final arrangements so they don't leave the financial burden in the hands of their friends and family. Funeral directors can work to make sure you get not only a fair market price, but a fair market value as well. It's not unusual for two funerals that have the exact same casket and vault to have a price difference of a few thousand dollars. While you most certainly don't want to let price keep you from giving your friend or family member the final farewell they deserve and desired, it's definitely something you have to consider. After all, your loved one wouldn't want you to go into debt paying for her or his funeral.

Tending to the Minor, Yet Essential, Details

Besides the major decisions mentioned above, there are also several minor tasks and details to tend to. For instance, you'll need to have the deceased transferred from the place of death to a funeral home. You'll also need to work with the chapel, church, or venue that will handle the funeral to work out the logistics. Besides gathering and completing all necessary documents, you'll also need to make sure they're sent to the proper recipients and authorities.

You may need a hearse and a variety of other funeral vehicles, and someone will need to take care of the embalming. Funerals commonly have programs, cards, and various other mourning stationery, and you might need help making a selection. Those who aren't able to attend the funeral might like to view a recording of the ceremony so they can make their peace.

While funeral directors aren't therapists, they can easily put you in touch with grief support professionals. Counselors are trained in helping people with the emotional and mental aspects of losing someone, just like funeral directors are experienced in helping with the more physical aspects of the process.

If you've recently experienced the loss of a loved one, or if you're interested in making final arrangements for yourself to ensure all your desires are honored so there's no guesswork left for your friends and family, reach out to a funeral director. They are there to assist with arrangements, educate you, and help you properly tackle your grief head-on while tending to your loved one's final wishes.



Riverview Abbey Funeral Home

September 7, 2023

I appreciate you highlighting the crucial part funeral directors play. They truly deserve appreciation for their skill in helping us with the difficult process of saying farewell to loved ones. Your excellent post highlights how crucial their assistance is in making the required arrangements, offering consolation, and delivering a dignified and painless farewell. We value your thoughtful viewpoint.

Visit us at: https://www.riverviewabbey.com/



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