When someone close to us passes away, many of us who are left behind not only have to deal with the grief, heartache and often shock, but we are also faced with the task of organising the funeral. This can be a daunting task for many, particularly if you have no previous experience of it.
In the past, families often avoided having open conversations about their funeral wishes. Many would have considered it a taboo or morbid topic to be discussed and very difficult for all concerned. Fanagans Funeral Directors, the largest Funeral Directors in Dublin, believe that this is certainly changing. They now find that when they meet with families following a death, that a lot of the decisions are already made and that the family knows their loved ones’ funeral wishes, sometimes in very fine detail.
We spoke to Jody Fanagan, MD, Fanagans Funeral Directors about this change and about the increase in Advanced Funeral Arranging. Jody stated: “When we meet with families following a death, we often find that a lot of the details regarding the actual funeral have already been openly discussed and agreed prior to death. Many people find it comforting to know that at the time of death, the burden of making decisions regarding their funeral is not left entirely to the grieving family members at such an emotional time. It has been compared to making a will, where one has time to consider the options and many people get peace of mind knowing that their wishes are expressed.
Some people have discussed their preferences in great detail which may include the selection of music, prayers and flowers. Some people like to have a contribution into the type of service and also their Eulogy, and have left a list of particular people they would like to thank. Often families have very definite views on a burial or cremation. There has been an increase in the number of cremations and now almost 30% of families in Dublin choose cremation over burial. In addition, some families prefer to have a non-religious funeral or a humanist funeral.
We have the expertise to facilitate all these requests and individual preferences. Some wish to have a removal to the church in the evening, followed by a Mass or Service the following day. Others have a preference for everything to take place on the one day.
Fanagans, Kirwans, Nichols and Carnegies Funeral Directors are all part of the Fanagan Group and combined they looked after 1 in every 4 funerals in Dublin last year. In each of their funeral homes they offer an ‘Advanced Funeral Arranging’ service, where individuals and families can meet with their dedicated teams who will give advice and guidance on all funeral options available so that each funeral is designed unique to the families’ wishes. These meeting can take place either in the clients own home or in one of their 10 funeral homes located throughout Dublin City and County.
Jody Fanagan understands that discussing funerals in advance in certainly not for every-one. “Unfortunately, there are also situations when families do not have the opportunity to have funeral discussions in advance, for example, in the case of a sudden and unexpected death. In such situations, we will advise on all the options available and organise a bespoke funeral all with the highest levels of professionalism, dignity and compassion one would expect”
Jody believes, maintaining quality service standards will always be paramount in their business. They make sure that the final journey, whether previously discussed or not, is managed impeccably. They put enormous effort and thought into looking after the family themselves who are left behind at this extremely difficult time in their lives.