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…..


8 Responses to “Life Working at a Funeral Home – Figure it Out!”

  1. Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • Hi…thank you for stoppin by…hope you continue to read my blog.
      I’m no professional blogger but my suggestion would be to just blog about whatever it is that you like or dislike…something that means something to you. What in your life are you passionate about? Is there anything you want to get involved in…you could blog about your experience with it. Or…just start writing about whatever is on your mind.
      good luck!!

  2. Hi… I am just a girl with a morbid curiousity and too much free time on google. I just wanted to say that I love your personality. You not only tell the truth about people, but you do so hilariously.

    I just went through the process of planning a funeral for my own mother. It’s so interesting to see what it’s like through the eyes of those at the funeral home.

    • Hi!! Sorry its taken me so long to reply…for some reason I have lost a few comments. I am sorry to hear that you had to plan your mothers funeral…hope that it went as good as something like that could have went…
      Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog…hope you keep coming back. I try to add as much sarcastic humor as i can…when you are in this business you really do have to keep a sense of humor…and i just happen to be sarcastic so it works for me.
      Again…thank you!!

  3. Have you ever had people walk into your funeral home trying to contest the deceaseds’ will and saying that they need it fixed because nothing was left for them, even though funeral homes aren’t the ones sorting out the will (as if you don’t have enough paperwork and assholes to deal with, right?) I’m sure people think seating at a funeral is like seating arrangements at a wedding when they ring up saying a specific person is going to be trouble and please don’t put them with aunty jo or great aunt nanna or whatever. Funerals are a case of, if it’s in a church/chapel, close family sits up the front, the rest sit in the back whatever seats left, and shut up!

    • We had a situation similar to that a few months ago. An elderly man who had never married and never had children passed away. Within a few days, some of his nieces and nephews started calling us wanting to know about his house, who was getting it etc… These are the same nieces and nephews who never visited him, never called him, never even bothered with him. When they didn’t get any information from the funeral director (he told them we weren’t the ones to call) they called the elderly man’s executor (his lifelong friend). He later told us that the reason the elderly man made him the executor because his relatives didn’t bother with him.

    • thefuneralbizz Says:

      I haven’t had anyone try to contest a will…….YET! However I have had people come in and say matter of factly “I have power of attorney, so “I” am the one who will be making the decisions and signing anything”. Usually they say this with that matter of fact attitude, like they know what they are talking about and somehow since their loved one died they suddenly became a funeral director! Others who do have power of attorney who when we start on, for instance, the cremation authorization, will nicely say, “I have power of attorney does that make a difference”? Those people are far and few! But, when you get the snotty ones, I always enjoy saying, “well, power of attorney ends at time of death”. They don’t like to hear that! Of course I get the “well, she/he made me power of attorney for a reason! I know what they want and they told me what they want!” Well, thats fine and all, but the law is the law and there is NOTHING you or I can do about it! I didn’t make the law, my boss didn’t make the law, as a matter of fact, I have no clue who made that law, all I know is in my State it is the LAW! as far as the seating goes, we do get the families who say I don’t want so and so here, or so and so is not allowed at this funeral! But again, we are NOT going to stand at the front door and wait for this person to show up, that is not our job! And for one, we have no idea who this person is, so I don’t really know who your talking about! If you do not want this person here, it is up to you to tell them! We do not get involved unless fighting, screaming or yelling start and then we will tell them to please leave the funeral home until you can act civilized. If it is really bad and they are physically fighting or won’t listen to us, then we will call the police. At church for the funeral service, it is that way, the closest relatives do sit up front. Same if the funeral service is at the funeral home or starts at the funeral home. We have a couch up front with two chairs on either side and immediate family sit there. But, again, if someone who isn’t suppose to be sitting up there, then it is up to the family to tell them to move. We don’t ALWAYS know if a person is immediate family or not. Someone who is immediate family may have not been at the arrangements or not have been able to attend the visitation for whatever reason, so they may have just been able to come for the funeral. People are strange, especially at a funeral!

  4. Been there, done that, regarding family members interferring wtih the arrangements. We had a family once who got mad because we didn’t include a limo in the service. But here’s why. The decedent’s sister was handling the arrangements. She was the informant, her name was on the contract, she was paying the expenses. So the FD handling the family suggested to the sister to eliminate the limo since all the services (visitation and funeral) were going to be held at the funeral home. He was trying to save her some money. She was very agreeable to it. Well, on the day of the visitation, one of the decedent’s brothers got wind that no limo would be picking him up and bring him to the funeral home for the funeral. He threw a fit and blamed us. He carried on about how it was unprofessional etc… His sister apologized to us for his behavior but because of him they never came back. I felt bad for the sister. She was nice. We’ve seen other family members obituaries in the paper. No great loss because we didn’t have to deal with him again.

    My boss, as a general rule, simply tells family members that try to interfer with arrangements or try to get the funeral home involved in family feuds, that we are not getting involved. The person whose name is the informant has final say on all matters and we aren’t getting in the middle.

    We had a family that came in to make funeral arrangements not long ago, who kept the FD in the arrangement room for like 4 hours. Why? Because rather than call other family members and friends to tell them about their loved one’s death prior to coming to the funeral home, they did it in the arrangement room. They spent so much time on their cell phones calling people “Oh hey, we’re at the funeral home, Aunt Jane died. We’ll let you know when the arrangements are final” The woman had died over the weekend and the family came in on a weekday to make the arrangements. Couldn’t they have called people over the weekend??

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