There was a time when death was handled in the home, and people took care of their family members’ remains before the burial or cremation. With the advent of the twentieth century, however, death was taken over by private funeral homes, where the remains are embalmed and laid out for the services.
However, the early nineties have seen the emergence of chain funeral homes, and this does not mean something positive for those who need funerary services. Consider the many reasons why you might wish to leave your loved ones in the hands of a small family-owned business rather than a chain.
Many chain funeral homes tend to have rotating staff. This means that the people who service you are not necessarily dedicated to their work, and they are not necessarily even familiar with everything that needs to happen. A family-owned funeral home is going to be able to offer your consistent and personal service from the beginning of the process until the very end.
When you are grieving but still trying to show respect to your loved one, it is far simply and preferable to deal with a single person rather than a rotating series of people.
As distressing as it is, death is a business, and while a family-owned funeral service will of course need to stay functional, a large chain is in it for the profit margins. That means that when you go to a funeral home run by a chain, you are going to deal with constant upselling. This might mean that the funeral director pushes you for a longer service, more space and a better casket.
Caskets are one of the chief ways that funeral homes make money, and some chains seriously push the more expensive caskets in an inappropriate way. They will use tactics like guilt and shame to convince you to buy a more expensive casket, even when it serves no purpose.
Sense of Community
If you are going to a family-owned funeral home, you are doing your bit as a part of the community. Some family-owned funeral homes have been a part of the community for generations, and they are a part of the fabric of the place. When you spend your money with them, you know that it is going right back into the community.
On the other hand, when you spend your money with a large chain, you will find that you are dealing with a situation where your money leaves the town, and likely the state as well. If you are someone who places a high value in community, you’ll find that keeping it local is for the best.
Though some people tend to think that going with the chain will always net them the better deal, this is not the case. Many family-owned services in the funeral business actually offer lower prices because they are dealing with local businesses and with local resources.
The chain versions of the funeral homes are actually much more expensive because the prices are standardized across the board, often without any consideration for local expenses. The thing that chain funeral homes are depending on is that most people do not comparison shop when they are distressed, and they are more than willing to use this to their advantage.
A chain funeral home might have several funerals going at once. If you would prefer a ceremony where your loved one is the main focus of attention, a family-owned funeral home is what you need. When you want to feel as if your loved one’s death and life matter and that the funeral home itself understands this, choose a private provider.
When you are thinking about the rituals of death and what need to be done, it is always important to remember that you have choices. Understanding what different funeral homes are like and how they function is an important part of the process.