by Keelia Carver
One of the things I like best when talking to people about caring for their own dead is discussing what you are actually paying for when you hire a funeral home’s services.
Because it can be hard to understand what you are actually paying for when you hire a funeral director (it certainly was for me!), it can help to break the list of tasks down and think about specific skills that you probably already have. It makes it possible to say “I choose to do this task.” Or “I don’t want to do this task, I’d rather hire it out.” Similar to when you hire a hair dresser, or tax preparer.
When I do presentations in person I invite people to raise their hands for tasks they know how to do. I then invite them to think about any items they can’t do and if they have a friend or family member who has the expertise or equipment to help with that task. As you read this post I invite you to do the same.
Skills you might already have in caring for bodies
Skills you might already have for transporting bodies
Skills you might already have for dealing with authorities
Skills you might already have to create ceremony
These are the skills that we are hiring out when we engage the services of a funeral director.
Each person is different in their talents, skills and values. I invite you to take a moment to think about what you would like to do yourself, and what you might like to ask family or friends to help you with. I hope that with thought and intention you can create something that feels right for honoring your loved one. Taking on some or all of these tasks is often called a “home funeral” – but it doesn’t have to happen at home.
Please use our Contact Form to let us know about other skills that you think this list is missing!
Read more about our family’s story, and how further education about the rights denied our family resulted in changes to a regional hospital’s family information sheet and body release policy.