How are Meierhoffer Farwell Services different than other funeral home services?

Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory has improved the way we help families dealing with a loss.  The Farewell Services provided by Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory 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.


As you can imagine, there can be a great deal of confusion, uncertainty and even mis-information when families begin the process of planning a funeral.


Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory understands this dilemma and has instituted a seven-step intentional plan to guide families through the decisions they face to help their family begin healing from the moment the staff touches their lives.


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 family’s 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.


Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory offers three distinct Farewell Services – Healing Farewell, Simple Farewell and Natural Farewell.


Farewell Services encompass all three of the offerings.  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 life.  Whether it is family alone, or family and friends together, people come together to express this need to say “Farewell”.


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.  The Healing Farewell may end with either burial in a cemetery or cremation.  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 often includes up to twenty Healing Support Services.


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 sixteen 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. 


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 Farewell’s and sharing this in the obituary friends and the community can understand the nature of what the family wishes and the terms in which they are inviting the public to participate.


As with any change in language or title, people may ask themselves many questions.  Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory has adopted these three Farewell types and the names to clearly communicate with the public the direction and path each family has chosen to begin healing. 


Those who choose a Healing Farewell are openly inviting their extended family, friends and the community to share with them in their loss.  Public events such as gatherings and formal or informal events at the funeral home, church or other location provide people with an appropriate time and place to gather, connect, reflect and celebrate.  The Healing Farewell provides families and the public with the most opportunity to meet their needs. The Healing Farewell provides members of the community with the same healing opportunities as the family.


When choosing a Simple Farewell, the family is communicating a different message.  In the Simple Farewell the family is expressing their desire to say “Farewell” to the remains of their loved one privately.  The Simple Farewell also signals to friends and the public the family’s openness to share in events where the living gather to connect and reflect without the deceased present.  The Simple Farewell meets some of the needs the family experiences.


Families who select the Natural Farewell indicate their desire to not include their extended family, friends or the public in the loss of their loved one.  This most basic way of saying “Farewell” provides the immediate family with a time and place to take leave of their loved one in a safe and sacred environment alone, without public participation.  The Natural Farewell helps the family with their most basic needs, at a time of loss.  The Natural Farewell is a way for the family to help with just their basic needs.


When people understand the level of engagement the family desires, they can be more attentive to their needs and share in meaningful ways to help the family and they heal.  The Healing, Simple and Natural Farewell names take an important step in de-mystifying the world of funerals and helps everyone understand how they can be a part of the healing process in the right times and at the appropriate places for each family.


Not to be overshadowed by the healing mission the Meierhoffer staff has for its families are the ways in which the staff brings these opportunities to the greater community.  Through our Healing Support Services the Meierhoffer staff brings the healing opportunities it offers families to every person who steps through the doors of the funeral home.  Family members and the funeral director work together to determine how and when to provide these Healing Support Services.  There are over twenty different Healing Support Services.  Each is closely linked to one of the seven needs families face in the first hours and days following a loss.  Healing Support Services are designed to educate, engage, empower or transition every person touched by a death.

Healing Support Services are also offered at many different times in the months following a death. 


Two of the Healing Support Services families find exceptional value in is the “Family Farewell” and our special children’s program.  During the Family Farewell our staff prepares family members for receiving the public during a gathering.  Practical issues such as staging memorabilia and photos to help tell the story of their loved ones life, as well as more personal instruction and encouragement on how to share stories, how to invite others to share and preserve these memories and what to expect from the public who come to share.  Our staff even discusses how to handle those moments when words simply won’t come.  These are just part of what occurs during the Family Farewell.  Realizing that different generations have different roles during this time, our staff focuses on how to best prepare to tell their loved one’s story.


Our children’s program answers questions children have following a death, introduces children to some of the words they may be hearing for the first time such as casket, procession and pallbearers, and prepares them for viewing the deceased during a story-book activity.  The program delivered by trained bereavement workers, includes a special way for children under the age of 13 to participate in the gathering.


The funeral arrangers and staff of Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory see the difference these improvements make in the lives of families every day.  When families understand not only “what” they can do, but “why” each decision they make is important and how it can help their family heal, they make the best decisions for their family.


Saying “Farewell” to a loved one in a way that satisfies the needs families face following a loss is powerful and leaves a lasting imprint on the lives of those who carry on.  The mission of Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory expresses our wish for every life we touch – “Begin Healing”.


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