Life at a Funeral Home…………


Well……once again another family who for the Love Of God could NOT make up their minds! How hard is it really to decide what you are going to do? And if you are aware that there are other family members who will want to be involved in the funeral planning, well, then….I suggest you DO NOT proceed without them!! First off the deceased has been dead for almost 2 weeks now. The sisters of the deceased came in to arrange the funeral. At the end of the arrangements they said, we will let you know for sure by tomorrow if we want to do this. So, the next day they were suppose to call us. NOPE, no call. Then, the following day at 4:30pm, guess who shows up at the door! And guess who wants to look at the caskets………again………….and sit down and discuss everything they went over 2 days ago? And guess who was busy with another family? YES, me, I was with another family, so just another instance of what happens when you “just walk in” with no appt! Then on top of that, we have another family who will be having visitation starting Tuesday and they just showed up to meet some other family members at the funeral home, just so they could see the place. WITHOUT CALLING and letting us know that they would be coming in! ANYWAY……..so, I had to go over the same exact shit that we went over with them 2 days ago and let them look at the casket again. SO, they say, “OK, well, we have decided we are going to go ahead with everything and we will be in tomorrow to pay in full”. Ok, so I get everything on the contract and give them their copy, I call and let the boss know. I start on the file once the other people leave! So guess what happens the very next day? Go on, Guess! PLEASE, take a guess! They call. They say to me. “my brother just got into town, and he has decided that we are going to use another funeral home”. EERRRGGGHHHHH! Seriously! ? ! Fine, GOOD, thank the Lord! Better another funeral home deal with them. I am already tired of them!

Just FYI. Someone dies. There body is kept cool . It slows down the decomp. It does not STOP the decomp! Then the body is typically brought to the funeral home to be embalmed. Which again……..ONLY slows down the decomp. So, if someone passes on and you wait two weeks to make funeral arrangements, then when you do make those arrangements and then do not want the viewing for another week, well…..sometimes it “may not be possible” to have an open casket. It depends on the condition of the body, every body is different. For instance the family we have next week. This is their situation. The deceased is NOT in good condition and we told the family that. They became, lets say, a little irate with us. I really have no idea why they became irate with the funeral home…..? It isn’t our fault that the body is not in good condition. When we explained to them that they may not be able to have an open casket I thought they were going to reach across the desk and strangle the Director! Yelling and blaming us for not taking care of the deceased. Well, first off, the deceased has been at the Coroner’s office for a little over 2 weeks. How is that our fault? Then they threatened that if the body did not look good they were going to sue us and the funeral home will be in so much trouble that we will have to shut down! (i was laughing at that one, quietly in my office). But, whatever. When they just showed up the other day to show the other family members the funeral home, they were as nice as could be. Whatever……………We’ll see on Tuesday how they act. Still unsure if the body will be viewable or not, haven’t heard anything yet……..

When we do an insurance assignment for the family, we WILL use one of the certified death certificates that the family purchased. Why are we going to pay for a cert. death cert. to do an insurance assignment for the family? If the family were to do the ins. assign. themselves they would have to use one of the cert. death. certs. that they paid for anyway! I know I have said this before, but I just got bitched at the other day when this guy came to pick up the death certificates for his grandfather. He wasn’t too happy. Oh well……boo hoo……..do it yourself then.

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6 Responses to “Life at a Funeral Home…………”

  1. olive grenade Says:

    as a side note, after reading your blog, if i knew what state you were in and where you worked, etc. (and i’m not asking you to divulge that info), i’d more than likely go out of my way to do business with you and your company… (if, of course, somebody was ever crazy enough to put me in charge of funeral arrangements…)

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      thank you olive! i appreciate that, very very much! and you actually seem pretty sane, so whoever does decided to put you in charge of making funeral arrangements, picked a great person to do so. you would be surprised to see and hear some of the people who are in charge of planning someones funeral! that is why it is a good idea to pre-plan your own funeral! i’m not trying to sell anything here, but even if you were to just go to the funeral home of your choice and just have everything down on paper, everything picked out and what exaclty you want for your funeral it is so much easier! you don’t have to pre-pay if you don’t want to and the funeral home “should not” pressure you to do so!!! i have mine wrote down but not pre-paid. i don’t want anyone in charge of my funeral arrangements! i want a direct cremation and thats that! if my family wants to have a memorial for me afterward, thats fine. but i don’t want to be embalmed or have any viewing!
      sometimes i wish i could say where i am from, but i know i can’t. and i certainly wouldn’t want my boss to find out!!

  2. olive grenade Says:

    just out of curiosity…. how long DOES a body generally last?
    waiting 2-3 weeks for a viewing sounds kinda gross…. wouldn’t they rather look at a, um, FRESH body?
    like, after three weeks i would imagine the deceased are looking very…. deceased. skin discoloration, bloating… uhhh, the smell?

    first off, why would somebody disrespect a loved one by waiting three weeks to put them to rest. and second off, why would they even wanna look at someone they love that’s been dead for three weeks? it’s not gonna look like the person just died, and they’ll be mad because they won’t want to remember them looking like that.

    yuck.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      it depends on the body. but usually a body can last just about 3-4 weeks (embalmed), but we usually do not like to do that, just for the reason that we do not have refridgeration. i’m pretty sure that everyone thinks that ALL funeral homes have refridgeration. we do not. most do not. and yes, i would think that you would want to view someone who has not been laying around the funeral home for 3 weeks, i know i wouldn’t want to wait just because i would feel bad that my loved one was just hanging out in a funeral home with some employess. i have had cases where the body was at our funeral home for viewing but then had to be transported to another state or within the same state but hours away and we, the funeral home, are the ones doing the transporting. so we have had to ‘hang on’ to the body for a few weeks after visitation until time of burial out of state or far away in same state and here is this person in a casket just hanging out with us for weeks. typically we like to leave them in a chapel, however, if we get busy and need to use that chapel, well, that body gets moved around. but anyway, we would never hold on to an un-embalmed body for that long, ever. we would embalm asap. there is a 48 hour rule. if we pick up the body and bring that body back to the funeral home per the request of the family, we MUST embalm within 48 hours. regardless if the family wants it or not. and you are correct when you ask if the family will be mad if the deceased looks ‘bad’. we do ‘try’ to explain this to them but sometimes they just do not want to hear it. and then comes time for viewing and …… yep, they can’t understand why their loved one does not look ‘good’.

      • olive grenade Says:

        hahaha, i like how you worded that. i got a mental picture of a cadaver just chillin with some employees, weekend at bernie’s style, gettin rolled outside with them on cigarette breaks….

        it’s shitty that people can’t be more understanding. you seem like a really nice person, and it sounds like you do a really through job, you know everything that has to be done and you bust balls to do it. putting up with families from hell while remaining courteous and professional the whole time.

      • thefuneralbizz Says:

        ……well that is what it is like, almost! we do joke about it when it happens. we will say “oh, well hello Mr/Mrs. so and so, joining us for lunch today?”

        i tend to think i am ‘nice’ to those families that i work with. i certainly never go out of my way to be mean or rude! i also understand that there is alot that the family has on their minds so they always aren’t thinking clearly. especially those who have an unexpected death. i may go back in my office and close my eyes and take a few deep breaths and mentally rant for a few minutes! it just seems that no matter how hard you try to please certain people, it is impossible to do so. not every family of course, but some. we are here to help them! they came to US for help! so it just boggles my mind when some families just cannot be nice or listen to us.

        and thank you for taking the time to read my blog!! i appreciate your feedback and your comments. thank you!!

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