Most people don’t like paying for things they don’t want to buy. And most people don’t want to even think about their funerals let alone pay for one. That puzzles funeral directors. They know the great lengths they go to when putting details together for smooth-running ceremonies. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral cost $7,360 in 2016. Compare that to an average price of $25,449 for a new car, $35,329 for a wedding and $352,500 for a new home, and funerals start looking like bargain. But not to John Q. Public as demonstrated in the following exchange:
Public: My grandmother’s funeral cost a fortune!
Funeral Director: A fortune? How much is a fortune?
Public: About $7,000!
Funeral Director: That was too much to honor your grandmother’s life?
Public: Way too much!
Public: But what did we get for our $7,000?
Funeral Director: Quite a bit, actually. The funeral director performed over a hundred tasks to set up your grandmother’s funeral. They handled everything from creating a video tribute to your grandmother’s life to making sure that her gravesite was prepared.
Public: We could have done all that.
Funeral Director: Could you have washed and embalmed her body, dressed her, styled her hair and applied her makeup?
Public: No, but I didn’t want to pay $7,000 for someone else to do those things.
Funeral Director: How much did you want to pay?
Funeral Director: Like they say, you get what you pay for.
When families don’t know what options are available for funeral services, ceremonies or life celebrations, the discussion about funerals often stops at how awkward they can make people feel, the decision to cremate or bury, or how much they cost. The fact is, planning a ceremony, in whatever form, requires knowing what’s important to the deceased and how they want to be remembered. Only then can funeral professionals help families arrange an experience that will truly help families through a time of grief.
A funeral professional’s biggest reward is helping families create one-of-a-kind ceremonies that honor loved ones’ lives in ways they’ll be proud to remember. Isn’t that worthy of a serious conversation?
By Mark Allen
OGR Executive Director & CEO
Have you had a similar conversation?
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