3 Things Wikipedia Can’t Teach You About Funerals

I don’t know about you, but Wikipedia tends to be my go-to resource for just about anything.

Want to learn the true story behind your favorite movie? Go to Wikipedia. Want to learn the common meaning behind the beautiful flowers that you buy? Wikipedia. Want to read about all of the unexplained disappearances to ever happen in the world, in what inevitably becomes a six hour spiral into a black hole of never ending stories? Of course, Wikipedia has you covered.

But as much as I love Wikipedia, both as an informational source and reliable time-suck, there is one topic where my trusted website disappoints me… funerals.

If you head over to Wikipedia’s funeral page, you will see a lot of detailed information: the different types of funeral customs and rituals, how funerals vary from country to country, how you can plan your funeral before you pass away, and much more.

But for all of the information that Wikipedia jam-packs onto their funeral page, they still manage to leave out some of the most important information that you could ever read about when it comes to this meaningful, moving end-of-life service.

So today, we’re filling in the Wikipedia gaps. Here are three of the most vital things that you should know about funerals and the funeral profession that Wikipedia can’t teach you…

1. How much funeral professionals care about what they do

Funeral directors have to be some of the most misunderstood professionals of all time. In fact, when most people think of someone who plans funerals for a living, they typically think one of the following statements: “That’s creepy.” “What kind of person wants to work with dead people all day?” “They must be gothic / vampires / a member of the Addams Family.”

But the truth is, funeral professionals have to be some of the most loyal, caring, passionate and empathetic people on the entire planet. In fact, these qualities are what drive most funeral directors to get into the profession in the first place… they have an overwhelming, innate drive to help people during life’s most difficult moments, and they sincerely want to offer their guidance and support.

Think about it — you have to have an insane amount of passion and dedication for helping people if you want to be a funeral professional, because that’s the only thing that could possibly carry you through your fourth straight 70-hour work week, your third consecutive middle of the night house call, or your second missed family Thanksgiving. That’s what the reality of being a funeral professional really looks like.

Unfortunately, too many people don’t get see this behind-the-scenes view of funeral professionals. Instead, they think of them as money-hungry, or as taking advantage of people during a time of loss. But those statements couldn’t be further from the truth.

Want to read more about what a day in the life of a funeral professional looks like? Check out this post → The Life Of A Funeral Director… From Head To Toe

2. How much value a funeral service can provide

Another aspect of funerals that’s often just as misunderstood as funeral professionals themselves is the services that that they provide. Sure, once upon a time funeral services used to be an essential end-of-life ritual that everyone participated in, because that was just tradition… when someone you loved passed away, you would call your local funeral director, pay whatever the default cost of the service was, and they would plan a traditional service and burial. No questions asked.

But somewhere along the line, the importance of funeral traditions faded. The truth is, today’s families simply don’t value things like religious rituals and age-old tradition like they used to, and they think that’s all that funerals consist of… tradition that doesn’t actually have any meaning to it. But that’s simply not true at all.

Whether you decide to have an elaborate funeral service with a visitation, service and a burial, or you opt for something more simple such as a memorial service for close friends and family only, the simple act of gathering and celebrating someone’s life can have more value you know.

Many of the core components of a funeral service — swapping memories and stories, visiting with friends and family who shared a common relationship with your loved one, getting to view your loved one for the last time — are some of the most valuable, and they have nothing to do with religious rituals or ancient traditions. These are moments that only get to happen once in a lifetime, and once the moment passes, they’re gone. So don’t discount the value and meaning that comes with taking an afternoon to celebrate the amazing accomplishments, moments and attributes that make up you loved one’s life.

Interested in learning more about the value that comes with sharing memories and photos? Read this post next → 5 Amazing Ways Videos and Photos Help Families Heal

3. What kind of funeral service you can have

Wikipedia is really good at putting the different types of funeral services into their respective boxes… if you are Hispanic, you should have this kind of funeral service; if you live in North America, you should have this kind of service; so on and so forth.

But as we mentioned above, most of today’s families and funeral professionals have thrown tradition and “cookie cutter services” to the wind. There are no longer any kind of rules around the type of funeral service that you should and should not have. Instead, the entire funeral profession has made a notable shift towards focusing on funeral personalization.

What’s this mean? Basically, that a person’s funeral service should be completely unique and personalized to who they are as a person. After all, a funeral is a chance to celebrate a specific, unique life… therefore, you shouldn’t have a fill-in-the-blank service that literally anyone could put together. You should have a service that is filled wall to wall with personalization, from playing your loved one’s favorite music, displaying their favorite mementos, and even holding their funeral service in a location that is specifically meaningful to them.

So whether you are pre-planning your own funeral celebration, or you are planning an amazing service for someone special in your life, don’t feel like you have to have the same ol’ funeral service that your grandparents and great-grandparents had. Get personal, think outside the box, and design a service that represents all of the important elements of the life that you are celebrating.

To get a better idea of the different varieties of options that are available to you when planning a funeral service, check out your local funeral home’s website. A great funeral home website should walk you through all of the amazing personalization options that are available to you, from a traditional service grounded in meaning and ritual, to a completely distinctive life celebration event that is as unique as the life that you are celebrating.

Want some more inspiration into the different ways that you can personalize a funeral service? Check out this post → 10 Personalization Ideas That Will Help You Create A Pinterest-Worthy Funeral Celebration

Are you a funeral professional who wants to learn more about how you can use your funeral home website to showcase your value to the families in your community? Click here to talk to one of our website success specialists today!

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