Losing someone is one of the hardest things to get through, and if you have a friend who recently lost a family member or close confidante, you may be wondering how you can help them throughout the process. Funeral arrangements are complicated and costly, and handling these stresses along with grief can feel impossible. There are several things you can do to help them deal with all of the funeral arrangements and keep things going.
Funerals are incredibly expensive, and financial woes can make an already tremendously hard time even worse. The average funeral cost in the United States ranges from $7,000 to $10,000. This small fortune is designated to paying for services, cemetery burial, and the cost of a headstone. If you can’t personally donate the funds to put towards the services and know the family is in desperate need of assistance, consider using a site like Gofundme.com. You can create a fundraising page, and then share it on different social media outlets.
Talk to a Funeral Director
Planning a funeral is filled with details, and speaking with a funeral director is the best way to navigate through the choices that family members and loved ones will face. A good funeral director can help loved ones go through the decisions concerning funeral ceremonies, products, and the final disposition of the body. They will also be in charge of the paperwork, time scheduling, hearse rentals, and coffin purchases. Help the family choose the right funeral director for them to make the process as easy as possible. If you have been to previous funerals in your community that have gone as well as can be, consider reaching out to the relatives of the deceased and asking for advice. Always have a meeting with the funeral director before signing a contract. If the meeting seems off and you’re uncomfortable, consider looking for another funeral director in your area. Time is obviously of the essence, so be vigilant and get on top of this process as soon as possible. When you’re ready to sign the contract, ensure you realize the services that are included and those that aren’t. Common items to look out for that may require an extra expense are visitation times in funeral homes, the cost of transportation, and embalming costs.
Places to Stay for Visiting Family
It’s likely that many family members will be visiting from out of town to pay their respects and will be in need of a place to stay. You can offer to house as many as possible in your home, and find other willing family members and friends to open their doors as well. If that’s not realistic, consider calling the surrounding hotels and determining the best room rates. The last thing grieving loved ones need to worry about is those coming from out of town, and this will take some stress off of their shoulders and provide comfort to those traveling to be there.
Flowers serve as a beautiful tribute to honor those who have passed on, so make sure you have a company deliver thoughtful flowers to the funeral. You can also send flowers to the home of the grieving to serve as an extra source of your condolences. Whether it’s white orchids or a colorful spray to reflect a colorful personality, your gift will be appreciated.
The family may find it hard to keep up with daily routines and secure the essentials that they need, so step in to provide little ways of support they might not even know they need. Bring over groceries and prepared food to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need. You can also send fresh produce through a company like Farm Fresh To You. This way they’ll receive healthy vegetables and fruit to keep up their strength during these trying times. Other household essentials may also be pushed to the side in times of great grieving.
Provide Another Source of Help
Just as you don’t ignore the feelings of those around you who may be grieving, don’t ignore your need to grieve. A book filled with insight and coping mechanisms when facing a great loss will surely help you and any loved ones navigate through this difficult time without resorting to potentially harmful choices.