Funeral Questions

When asked to do a funeral service, whether an interment or a full scale ceremony, there is some information that I will need to know, so that I can personalize the service. Anyone who can read can perform a cookie cutter funeral, but I prefer to give each one a personal touch. To do so, I need some questions answered, obviously.

The first set deals with the deceased person, and some other basic information. This covers the ceremony’s date and time, the full name of the person, their date of death, and your information (phone and address). I will also ask for information about which funeral company you went with, as there are some in Thunder Bay which have chapels there (which will save you money if you want a full ceremony held there) and which cemetery they are being interred in. All funeral packages that you pay me for will include an interment, but not all cemeteries locally are open seven days a week, so that will tell me whether I will need to take a day from my full-time job to perform the interment (which will affect the price that I must charge).

Also covered are such tidbits as the type of service requested (religious, semi-religious, or humanist) and the deceased’s belief system (because I wouldn’t want to do or say something inappropriate for their beliefs). Did they have any special nicknames, and what name did they commonly use? (I’ve had friends that commonly used their middle name, rather than their first name). What were their special interests and achievements? I will also ask them to be described in 5 words or less, which makes you think a bit, but makes it easy to incorporate into the service a distinct feeling that the person was being described accurately.

I then get into the contents of the chapel service (if there is a full ceremony or celebration of life), and other details related to that, such as the number of people expected (family and others), who the pallbearers are (honourary or otherwise), and anything else that you would like to have happen, or be said).

Next the committal is dealt with. When will it happen, and will there be any special considerations (for example, military families can request a military salute or flag, which require consideration in terms of time). Are there any special requests in terms of what is said, etc. Obviously, if the only part of the ceremony is the interment, it will be longer than the interment following a full chapel service will be.

Finally, other logistical considerations will be dealt with, just to make sure that I can help as much as possible to make things run smoothly.