9 Ways To Support Families After The Funeral ServiceJanuary 14th, 2014
In funeral service, you’re in the business of healing. That means creating healing opportunities for your families is the biggest contribution you can make in their lives.
But let’s admit it, once the funeral service is over, it’s not easy to get families to visit your funeral home to receive that extra level of care. So how can you help your families feel like they’re not alone days, weeks and months after the service – WITHOUT being too overbearing?
Here are 9 ways you can start helping families heal after the funeral service:
1. Host your own grief workshops
If you or anyone at your funeral home is a certified grief counselor, why not get your families and community together for a weekly grief workshop? It doesn’t even have to be a workshop, either…
2. Actually, host your own anything
Who says a funeral home can’t bring people together? You’ll be the only funeral business in town who can get people together for the greatest cause of all… healing. You could host a movie night, book club… or anything! Get creative and remember, it’s all in the name of healing.
Sunset Funeral Home gets really creative by hosting monthly photo contests at their funeral home. To view their live website, click on the image.
3. Create a grief book library
If you don’t have the budget or time to create a workshop or newsletter, why not buy a book shelf and put some of your favorite grief and healing books on it? All you need to do is figure out an organized way to keep track of where your books are going, and voila, you have yourself a grief and healing library!
4. Send families home with a grief book
As an alternative (or addition) to a grief book library, you could send every family you serve home with a grief book. Thanks to Amazon and other websites, you can find these books for cheap. Think about the ROI of a $5 book… not only will families be pleasantly surprised, but they’ll appreciate your effort of going above and beyond where other funeral homes might not.
5. Help them find grief support groups
Sometimes the hardest thing to do when you’re mourning the loss of a loved one is step foot outside your house. You can help your families stay social by encouraging them to attend in-person support groups, meetings, conferences, and more. There’s a few ways you can do this:
– Provide a link on your website to your favorite grief support networks.
– Create a pamphlet with different grief support groups to attend and give to every family you serve.
– Promote different grief support events on your funeral home’s social media channels.
French Funerals lists all of their most trusted grief resources for family in an engaging way on their website. To view their live website, click on the image.
By helping families find grief support groups, you’re making it much easier for them to begin their journey of healing. And no one can argue that value of that.
6. Offer interactive grief videos
It’s not very realistic to hire a grief counselor to chat with every family you serve… or is it? Some funeral website solutions offer interactive grief videos that are tailored to the type of grief your families’ are experiencing. These are helpful because families can get through their grief journey from the comfort of their own home. The best interactive grief videos will be specifically tailored to the different types of grief your families may be facing. Visit BC Bailey’s website to view a these interactive videos.
7. Deliver daily email affirmations
What if there was a way you could communicate with families every day for an entire year after the service? With daily email affirmations, you can. Offering a daily email solution to families is a great way to help your firm maintain a positive relationship with the families you serve.
There are two options to create these emails, you can either: 1) Create your own or 2) Ask your funeral home website provider if they offer built-in grief support resources.
Obviously, the second route is much easier because it requires literally no effort on your end. However, if you decide to create your own, here are a few tips:
– Create a mix of different types of emails. You can include videos you’ve found on grief, inspirational stories, poems, tips, quotes, photos, grief tips, etc.
– Keep it simple. At the core of these daily emails is grief support, so there’s no need to hire a designer to design these emails. Just plain ole’ content will do just fine. Plus, if you use a platform like MailChimp, you can design your emails for free!
– Put them to use. The good news is once you create your email affirmations, you can use them as social media statuses, in your newsletter, or you can even put them all together into a grief and healing book, written by your funeral home. The sky is the limit!
– Hire a writer you trust. Or, even better, have a grief counselor in your area write them.
– Find the right email marketing platform. There are a lot of affordable platforms out there that are really easy to use. Our pick? MailChimp. The best part? You can send up to 12,000 emails every month for free!
Here is an example of Schoedinger Funeral Service & Cremation’s Daily Email Affirmations, offered as a part of their f1Connect website by funeralOne. Click on the image to view their live website.
8. Invite families back to your funeral home
In my opinion, one of the biggest fears of losing someone is the fear of them being forgotten eventually. What if you could help this cause by bringing in all the families you’ve served in one year after the funeral service? You could have a memorial service in honor of each of their loved ones. And afterwards, you can spend time checking in with families to make sure they’re feeling OK. Not only could this be a powerful experience for them, but it also shows you truly care about them.
9. Send a personalized card in the mail
One of the easiest ways you can stay in touch with a family and send them your love and support is by sending a personalized card to them a couple of months after the service. It could in honor of a holiday, the loved one’s birthday, their death anniversary, or any day really. At the end of the day, it’s about making them feel like you truly care. Plus, sending a personalized card in the mail could be the one thing that keeps that family coming back to your funeral home for future generations.
Now that you know all of the different possibilities for supporting your families after the service, why not put them into action? If you don’t have the time or the resources to get started all on your own, consider getting your website provider involved. Many website solutions offer built-in grief support resources that you can use, free of charge. In the end, it’s about serving families… before, during AND after the service. And if you can do that, your families will never forget you for it.
To learn more about funeralOne’s free online grief support resources, click here or give us a call at 800-798-2575, ext. 5.
How do you support families after the funeral service? Share your ideas in the comments below!