You’ve probably heard that home funerals are on the rise. But, what exactly does that mean and why are they becoming more popular? And what should funeral directors do about it?
Don’t worry, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions about home funerals that cover the basics of what funeral directors need to know about them.
What Are Home Funerals?
According to the National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA), a home funeral is when the family cares for the deceased at their home. However, this isn’t a new trend. The NHFA shares how it was a tradition for the family to handle the funeral preparations until around the 19th century. And, it’s still legal in the U.S. to have a home funeral, although the specific rules vary from state to state.
Although, some families may want to be more or less involved than others. While some families just want more control over the funeral planning, others may want to handle everything themselves — including caring for the body.
Why Do Families Want Home Funerals?
There are many reasons a family may choose a home funeral, whether it’s personal beliefs or other circumstances, such as:
- Personal connection, as being involved helps them feel more connected to the deceased
- More control of the funeral plans
- Not being religious, so they don’t want the funeral at a church
- Less expensive, so they can keep their savings or simply don’t have the funds
- Death positivity, as more people are openly discussing death and funerals
- Way to show love and respect for the deceased
- Healthy way to grieve and begin their grief journey
- Bring family and friends involved closer together and can grieve together
How Can Funeral Directors Still Be Involved?
Even if the family wants to be heavily involved in the home funeral, there’s still a need for funeral directors. You have an extensive knowledge of funerals and death that’s valuable to them and can’t be found elsewhere. So there are many ways to you can help and give advice to families so they make educated funeral decisions.
Below are just a few ways funeral directors can be involved in home funerals:
- Complete necessary paperwork, such as the death certificate
- Care for the body if the family doesn’t wish to do this themselves
- Plan the funeral itinerary, such as the visitation and service
- Find creative ways to personalize the funeral service
- Help preserve the body at their home
- Transport the body to the burial location
- Coordinate the burial or ash scattering
- Provide grief resources and counseling services
- Brainstorm meaningful memorialization ideas
- Organize a memorial service event in the future