How To Help Out Of State Families Honor Their Loved OnesMarch 22nd, 2016
Family traditions have changed a lot since our parents and grandparents were kids. Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for families to grow up and live alongside each other their whole lives… grandma and grandpa living a few minutes down the road, siblings living two neighborhoods apart, and even your strange cousin always managed to be too close for comfort.
But somewhere along the line, the tradition of hometowns and true family living became less of a priority for Generation X-ers, wanting to stretch their legs and run off in search of the American dream. This created many cross-country families, like my own, who are separated by mountains, rivers and beaches… and consider it a truly unique occasion when they all manage to end up in the same state at the same time.
If my family wants to make a big family Christmas or Thanksgiving happen, it requires a lot of schedules, plane tickets, budgeting, plan-changing and vacation requests… and even then, some people aren’t able to make it. Try to make that same big family event happen with only a few days notice? It’s close to impossible.
Unfortunately, that’s just the scenario many families across the country face when it comes to a family funerals.
So how do you connect today’s transient families with an important can’t-miss-tradition taking place halfway across the world? Luckily, thanks to the web, it’s never been easier to connect people… especially when it comes to funerals. Here’s how you can help out-of-state friends and families honor their loved one:
1. Give Them A Place To Show Their Support
When news of a loss starts spreading among family and friends, many want to reach out to the immediate family right away to show their support. For those that live in the same community, that can mean stopping by to drop off food and comfort, or attending the visitation to make their support known. However, for those that may live far away, they may not always find out about the loss until a day or two later, when the family begins reaching out to let people know about funeral plans. And by the time they drop a sympathy card in the mail and it get’s to the family’s home, the funeral may be long over.
Today’s families need an immediate place that they can go to online to show their support, reach out to the family, and share any meaningful memories or photos they have of their loved one. Out-of-town family members also crave a place where they can have a conversation with others who are grieving, so that they can share their feelings and begin to heal.
f1Connect’s Social Memorial Pages are the perfect place for family and friends from all over the world to come together and share condolences and memories of their loved ones. On these personalized pages, people can upload photos and share specific stories from throughout their loved one’s life, they can light a candle in memory of the deceased, and they can stay up-to-date on funeral plans and memorial celebrations so they know when to send memorial gifts.
2. Let Them Attend The Funeral
Just because family and friends may not be able to travel into town to attend the funeral, that does not mean that they cannot participate in the event itself. Webcasting is becoming a top trend for many funeral homes across the country who want to extend funeral services to those who can’t be present at the service itself.
Posey Funeral Directors uses Life Tributes for their webcasting software, and have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the families they serve. (Nearly a quarter of their families decide to use webcasting when preparing a funeral.) “It’s not designed to replace folks attending funerals,” said Posey. “A lot of folks just don’t live where their family grew up and it’s difficult to get back and forth.”
With funeralOne’s Life Tributes Webcasting software, family members can watch the service right on the funeral home’s website from a private link, or even re-watch the funeral service at a time that is best for them right on their loved one’s memorial page, if they are unable tune it while the service is live.
To sign your funeral home up for a free 30-day trial of funeralOne’s Life Tributes webcasting software, just click here!
3. Help Them Send Comfort
Even if out-of-state friends and family were not close to the deceased or are unable to fly in for the funeral, many still want want to make a gesture of support towards the immediate family. Therefore, be sure to fill your website with helpful resources that will help people unfamiliar with your community find local florist and gift services.
The Sympathy Store is an invaluable resource for both funeral homes and the families that they serve. With this powerful website integration, your funeral home website can be a one-stop resource for family and friends wanting to send memorial gifts and flowers. This solution works side-by-side with the obituary information stored right on your website, so people will never have to search around for what time the funeral service is at, or where your funeral home is located. They simply choose a beautiful gift or bouquet that is put together by your funeral home’s favorite local florist, and the rest of the information they need is filled in for them!
Out-of-state friends and family can even deliver the comfort of delicious meal right to someone’s doorstep, with The Sympathy Store’s wide variety of delivered meals!
4. Bring The Memories To Them
Last, but not least – don’t let out-of-town mourners miss out on the incredible healing power that comes with watching memorial videos or reminiscing over old photos. We’ve talked time and time again about just how important and impactful it can be to relive these memories at a funeral service – (click here to read our article, “5 Amazing Ways Videos And Photos Help Your Families Heal.”)
However, people who attend the funeral service are not the only ones who can benefit from powerful memorial videos. With Life Tributes, funeral homes can not only create beautiful, Hollywood style tribute videos (without the Hollywood budget) for their families, but they can also make copies to send to family and friends who were unable to make it to the service! This becomes a great opportunity to bring the healing power of the funeral to those that live out of state, while also being a great revenue source for your funeral home.
If you would like to learn how funeralOne’s suite of solutions ﹘ f1Connect, The Sympathy Store and Life Tributes ﹘ can help your funeral home touch hundreds of out-of-state friends and family every year, click here to sign up for a demo of our solutions!
How is your funeral home helping to connect out-of-state friends and families to their loved one’s funeral service? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!