Life Working at a Funeral Home – Figure it Out!
When you have more than one person who will be making funeral arrangements, meaning more than one family member is involved in making all decisions, make sure that you all GET ALONG! If you do not all get along, please figure out how you are going to handle making the arrangements BEFORE you come to the funeral home to see us! DO NOT expect the funeral director or staff to get involved in family issues. We WON’T! It is not our job or to be honest any of our business. Don’t call us ahead of time and “warn” us that there will be “problems” either. When you do “warn” us, we think “great, ‘one’ of “those” families”! Put your differences aside for a bit and have respect for the deceased! Also, do not think that once the funeral arrangements are made that if the “other” person calls us and says something like “ya know, I was there a bit ago with my family making arrangements for so and so, and I am really not happy with what the decision on the casket, vault, church, etc selection is, and I want to come back in and pick something else, or change the times of the service, etc….” Because whoever is the “Informant” on the file is, that is the ONLY person we will let make changes. We ask who the informant will be when you come for the arrangements so that there are no issues later on. If you say, well, my sister and I are the informants, then we will say “ok, so if either one of you decides on something or wants to change something the other one will have to accept that and we will take no responsibility for those changes then”. If you have used our funeral home in the past and something happened that you did not like don’t wait 4 years to let us know about it either. Why would you wait that long to let us know? If your family has used our funeral home for everyone in your family that has passed away, that doesn’t entitle you to a discount! It’s not like McDonald’s where you get a punch card. Get 5 punches on your card and the 6th is half off! Cuz I have had so many families ask me/us that question. Well, we have had 4 other of our family members here in the past 4 to 6 years is there a possibility that since we are returning customers we get a discount on something? Uhhh, no. Oh, and another thing, please don’t bring us a folder filled with a bunch of life insurance policies and the all the paperwork is just shoved in the folder. If you don’t feel like sifting thru all this crap, what makes you think I do?!? Just bring in the policy itself with a phone number. I/we will take it from there. There are also privacy laws, so not all insurance companies will tell me/us what the policy is worth! So, when one of us tells you that YOU will have to call the insurance company to find out the policy value, don’t say something like “oh, thought you people were suppose to take care of this so I didn’t have to worry about it?” Well, yeah, we are taking care of it for you and we have even offered to accept an assignment on this policy for payment of funeral services, but if we are unable to get the value than we do not know if it will cover the funeral bill! And ONLY the Beneficiary will be able to get that information. I don’t care if you have power of attorney or not, I am telling you that ONLY the Beneficiary will be able to get that info! And just for those power of attorney know it alls……Power of Attorney ends at time of death! So put that in your pipe and smoke it! Which brings me right back to where I started. Just because you “had” power of attorney over your loved one, it does not give you the right to make all the decisions and sign ALL the paperwork! Especially when it comes to cremation! I don’t care if you haven’t spoken to your brother/sister in 5 years. I don’t care if it’s been 30 years. If your parent passes away and your other parent is already deceased, yes, you are the next of kin (the oldest child), however, in certain States there are LAWS, and in my State, we MUST have the ‘majority’ of signatures for a cremation! So, if you only have one sibling, you must do everything you can to contact him or her. If you have 2 other siblings, then you must make every effort to contact BOTH of them, however 2 signatures will do. If you have 3 other siblings, same thing, you have to make an effort to contact EACH of them, but 3 signatures will do. This isn’t a joke. When it comes to cremation, that’s it. There is nothing you can do after it is done. Even if your parent or loved one has stated they want cremation, we still must get the next of kin signature. Please don’t lie either and say that you are the only child. This will land you in plenty of HOT water if your brother or sister does find out and actually gives a shit. Because that authorization you are signing states that you are the only LEGAL next of kin. So….be fore warned. Also, if your mother or father remarried that person they remarried is their LEGAL next of kin! Just because you don’t like him or her doesn’t matter. They have the right to know that this person has passed away (meaning extended family, step siblings, etc).
On to what is going to piss me off this week. We have been really freaking busy the last 2-3 weeks. We have visitation after visitation and funeral after funeral. So, this is what I see in my near future. Me trying to carry extra chairs into the chapel for those who are standing and people just staring at me as I struggle to inch my way between people because no matter how many times I say excuse me NO ONE freaking moves the HELL OUTTA MY WAY! I am bringing these chairs in for your fat asses so MOVE! Because after 3 or 4 times of having to say to the same people “excuse me” and them not moving, I stop bringing in chairs. Guess what happens next…………..go on guess. When the Priest/Pastor/Reverend stands up and begins prayers I am going to have a bunch of assholes looking around for someplace to sit. I am going to have a bunch of them come to me and the other staff and say “There is no place to sit! Do you think I could get a chair!?!” You wanna know what I want to say or do? I want to say “well, you see I did try setting up extra chairs, but you and or the other ignorant, rude, self-absorbed assholes wouldn’t get the fuck out of my way, so if you want someplace to sit, go right on over to that douche bag and push him/her right out of their seat, because I asked them several times to move so I could get thru with more seating, but he/she wouldn’t move for me or YOU wouldn’t move for me, so looks like your fucked!’ What I want to do is just stare at them like they don’t even exist, like they did to me when I was trying to bring in extra chairs. Or when they ask me just say “nope”. Same thing with the damn flowers. Listen folks, the flower arrangements that come in don’t magically appear in the room! They are usually heavy and awkward to carry. So scoot your ass outta my way!
When you set up visitation and lets just say your visitation times are 1pm to 2pm for FAMILY ONLY (also called the family hour) and then 2pm to 9pm for everyone else. What time do you think you should arrive? 1PM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO, you don’t need to come in an hour early to set up FOOD! or picture boards or anything! It takes 2 minutes to set up a picture board on an easel and if you have to bring in that much food that you have to arrive early for, then you shouldn’t be bringing in that much food! I HATE families that bring in that much food. You arrive at 1pm for the family hour and that’s that! If you do happen to arrive early chances are that the room is not going to be ready anyway. Oh, and if you have family that will not be able to attend the visitation or the funeral because they are leaving town or who knows what, NO, they cannot come a day earlier. Had that happened not too long ago. The family had not even chose a freaking casket or viewing days or times yet and we had a few family members calling and showing up INSISTING on see this woman. It takes time to get a person ready! We can’t just throw them in any ole casket just because you want to see them. And when you are being a dick head or a bitch about it, we certainly are not going to go out of our way to appease you!
So….I’ll update on what my week is like in a day or 4…..