At some point in our lives,
we all have to face the reality of losing a friend or family
member to death. The idea of losing someone we love, however,
makes most people feel uncomfortable, confused, and afraid.
Yet only when we face death can we truly understand the value
and meaning of life itself.
Roper & Sons understands no one grieves in the same manner,
and death rituals vary from culture to culture. We are honored
to assist in the celebration of your loved one’s life
and to help you find comfort during the planning of the funeral,
the visitation or wake, the service, and long afterward.
Why have a Funeral?
At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist
in making funeral arrangements for a family member or friend.
The funeral is an important ritual. As difficult as it may
be to face, most of us accept death as an inevitable part
of life. Today, a dignified funeral ceremony and opportunity
to say "good-bye" to the deceased remains an important
part of life.
Your funeral director will help you
create a meaningful funeral ceremony by discussing your options,
guiding you through
the arrangement process, handling many details and giving
you the information necessary to make decisions.
Unlike most consumer transactions, funeral arrangements
are often made at an emotional time. It is important to understand
exactly what kind of merchandise and type of service you
will receive for the price you pay. Make sure you ask questions
about options that are not presented, as your funeral director
will do whatever possible to help. No two funerals are exactly
the same, nor should they be. Personalize the funeral by
discussing with your funeral director how you would like
your loved one to be remembered.
Although the exact nature of funeral rites and ceremonies
can differ greatly from one culture or religion to another,
in many ways they have remained the same throughout history.
Benefits of Funerals
- Bring together a community of mourners
- Create an opportunity
for participants to offer each other emotional support
and talk about the life and death
of their loved one
- Provide a sense of closure
When Death Occurs
Nothing adequately prepares you for the initial shock of
a loved one's death. Feelings of panic and helplessness may
be overwhelming, but it's important to know you are not alone.
It is important to reach out to close relatives, friends
and professionals for the help, support and comfort you need.
In some states, a doctor must be present to declare a person
dead and state the cause of death. If the doctor isn't sure
of the cause of death, or if the death may have been caused
by suicide, homicide or an accident, the county medical examiner
or coroner may be called.
Call your funeral director and clergyperson right away, regardless
of time of day or location. Immediate assistance and guidance
from your funeral director will be extremely valuable to
you, especially if you are faced with the added difficulty
of making initial arrangements from a distance.
Family and friends should be notified. Call immediate family
members first—parents, grandparents, children and siblings
of the deceased. Again, do not worry about waking others.
Grief researchers say those close to the deceased feel left
out if they aren't told about death immediately.
It's not necessary or practical for you to call every family
member and friend. News of a death travels quickly. Rely
on others to make sure everyone is notified. Although it
may be difficult to do, telling others of a death is therapeutic.
By saying aloud that a loved one has died, the death is confirmed
in your mind—an important step in the grief process.
So Much To Be Done
The emotional impact of death often makes it difficult
to concentrate on the overwhelming number of details
with planning the funeral and taking care of the deceased's
estate. You will find your funeral director's assistance
extremely valuable as you move through all activities
associated with a death.
You and your funeral director will need to plan the funeral
carefully to make sure it expresses your wishes. Include
your clergyperson in the planning from the start. If
you don't belong to a church but want a religious funeral,
your funeral director will suggest a clergyperson to
Experts estimate funeral directors conduct and coordinate
more than 200 separate activities in just two or three
days in preparation for and during a funeral.
Services of Funeral Directors
- Transport the deceased person's body to the funeral
- Secure information for and file the certificate
- Meet with your family to discuss arrangement options
- Help you choose the place, type and time for the visitation,
service and other arrangements
- Help you select a casket, outer burial container, urn,
memorial stone, marker or other items
- Advise you about other decisions to make, such as choosing
pallbearers and arranging for flowers
- Help with necessary paperwork, including obituary notices
and a variety of government benefit claim forms
- Help you notify the deceased person's employer, attorney,
insurance companies and banks
- Arrange for aftercare services to help you through the
A Final Note
During the first few days after a death, you are surrounded
by family and friends. You are busy planning the funeral
and may not have time to think about yourself until later
when you are alone with your grief. After you've planned
the funeral, take care of yourself.
You can expect to experience a wide range of emotions.
Grieving is hard work, and you may feel tired and lethargic
without understanding why. Lighten your schedule if you can,
eat healthy foods and exercise to renew your energy. Take
time to be alone with your thoughts, but also spend time
talking to close friends about your loss. You need to express
Ask your funeral director about aftercare services available
to support your needs during this time.