Having trust in your funeral director is important
I recall being a young boy and my father looking my way and saying “Trust me …” while getting on my first roller coaster. With my knees knocking and tears nearly coming down my face, the coaster started its decent from a long slow ride into the sky. And seconds after the descent … I never looked back and continue to enjoy roller coasters with my own children today. Dad was correct. “Trust me, you will enjoy this ….”
This level of trust is something that needs to come to the forefront with cremation in the funeral industry today. According to National Funeral Directors Association, a small percentage of funeral homes actually own a crematory, yet 100 percent of them offer this service. So this brings up not only the question of “Where is my loved one going?” but also “How can I be assured those are the ashes of my loved one?”
The scary reality of this is most people use the same funeral home over and over again, and therefore the level of trust is never questioned. With ownership, staffing and industry changes, it’s critical that we question the funeral firm of choice and their involvement in the cremation process.
One can only shake their heads with disgust that in an industry solely based on trust, cremation negligence still occurs. Fortunately, there are questions we can ask our undertaker to be sure cremation will be done in not only a legal fashion, but more importantly a dignified and professional manner.
The “go to” questions before a funeral firm is selected should be: Do you own the crematory? What identification process do you have in place to ensure I receive that of my loved one? And the most important question: Who is overseeing the cremation?
Do you own a crematory is something that really gets my goat. If a funeral firm is going to provide cremation, then they should own a crematory. Shouldn’t it be that simple?
We need to be sure that when that undertaker comes to bring my loved one into their care that they never, ever, leave that firms care. Today we find undertakers meeting with the families while their loved one is being transported by a third party to a different company to do cremation, who in turn does cremation for many funeral homes in that area. Rather than risk any negligence, we must be sure that the funeral firm we work with 100 percent ensures our loved ones never leave their care.
The identification process is something that we often never think to ask that undertaker. If an undertaker cannot provide this in a written form, than we may want to consider going elsewhere. From the first time the deceased comes into the firm’s care to the time that their cremated remains are returned to our family, a well-documented identification process should be apparent. I.d. tags, metal cremation discs, log books and much more must be in place before considering using that firm for cremation. Any knowledgeable and transparent cremation service provider will be able to provide this to us easily. This in turn provides the assurance that the cremated remains being returned are in fact that of our loved one.
The last question is one that we would think is a nobrainer. But when it comes to cremation, not all crematories have Certified Cremation Licensed Funeral Directors overseeing their cremations. Be sure that the funeral firm you work with has oversight that includes a licensed funeral director who is also a Certified Crematory Operator to ensure that things are done both professionally and ethically.
Trust is a powerful word. We are trusting a lot today and it almost seems everywhere we turn our trust is broken. When it comes to cremation in the funeral industry, we need to be sure that we choose a provider that can be trusted. When that undertaker says “Trust me …” we need to feel comfortable enough to simply answer with a “thank you.” Although my nerves said differently when my father lead me onto that roller coaster, I walked away with the best feeling ever, not just knowing that I now enjoy the thrill of coasters, but that I have someone that is truly looking out for me and one that I can trust.