Without question, we have improved the way our staff helps families deal with a loss. The Farewell Services provided by Meierhoffer go far beyond what has been the standard in funeral service for generations and attend to the various needs of the survivors as well as those of the deceased.
The average number of funeral services that an individual is directly responsible for planning in their lifetime is about two services; often for a parent and then for a spouse. It is not uncommon for a span of twenty or more years to pass before the average American enters a funeral home to plan a funeral; and this often occurs on what may be one of the worst days of their lives.
The term “Farewell” is used to express the reason why family and friends gather. We gather to be with the people we care about and to say “Farewell” to a special person who has touched our lives. Whether it is family alone, or family and friends together, people come together to express this need to say “Farewell”. The phrases “Healing Farewell”, “Simple Farewell” and “Natural Farewell” are far more descriptive indicators of what the family is planning and intending than the industry catch all title “Service”. By choosing one of these three distinct Farewells and sharing this in the obituary, friends and the community can understand the nature of what the family wishes and the ways in which they are inviting the public to participate. We offer three distinct community farewell types.
The Healing Farewell service is one in which the body of the deceased is present for a gathering and/or a public event which may include ministers or celebrants, scripture, prayers, eulogies, music and stories among other things. A Healing Farewell provides all who participate with the most opportunities to engage in meaningful ways to support and encourage each other. These opportunities are called Healing Support Services. A Healing Farewell includes sixteen Healing Support Services and satisfies all seven steps of the Acute Loss Period.
The Simple Farewell Service is a service type that provides the family with the opportunity to gather privately in the presence of their loved one before the deceased is cremated and then includes a gathering and/or memorial service for the public without their loved one present. This service type provides closure for the family as well as a public event or events for the community to be present to support the family. It is called “Simple Farewell” because that is exactly what people ask for, a simple way to say goodbye. A Simple Farewell often includes twelve to fifteen Healing Support Services.
The Natural Farewell is the service type that families choose when they do not wish to invite the public to share in their loss. The Natural Farewell includes private time for family only to say “Farewell” in the presence of their loved one. In this service there is minimal preparation of the deceased, so there are no chemicals and no casket. A photo video is included in the Natural Farewell to give the family touch points to reflect on as they gather together. There is no public service with a Natural Farewell and cremation follows. Up to ten Healing Support Services are included in a Natural Farewell.
One of the first things the Meierhoffer staff shares with the families in their care is a detailed educational presentation that assists the family members in understanding what is happening in their lives and how they can build a plan to address the various needs they, their extended family and the community will experience following the loss. This discussion often surfaces unspoken needs of the family and assists the Funeral Arranger in exploring ways to guide the family.
The next step is to assist the family in selecting the type of Farewell that will best meet the their needs. Traditionally this is a point where many families become confused with the overwhelming myriad of different types of services that a funeral home might provide. Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory has simplified the choices to make it very clear and understandable what each service includes, and more importantly how that service meets the needs of the family.
When these important decisions are made we will turn to the issue of how you wish to care for the physical remains of your loved one.
Whether you choose a Healing Farewell, Simple Farewell, or Natural Farewell, we provide Healing Support Services that attend to the emotional, relational and spiritual needs of your family and friends. Each of these farewell services provide the opportunities and experiences to help your family heal, no matter whether you choose burial or cremation.
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