3 Things to Talk About When Helping Families
Listening to the families you serve -- just listening -- is surely one of the most important tasks of a funeral director. When a family member shares stories with a funeral director, he or she is giving testimony to a life important to them and processing the acute loss. By listening, you show respect and validate their feelings.
Engaging in the conversation not only shows that you care but also provides information that might be relevant for the obituary, to include in a service or eulogy, and to guide their memorial product choices.
We thought we'd share some of the most effective questions we've heard to support families in their remembrances.
- Tell us about your loved one. Ask the family who their loved one was and what they were like. What kind of personality did he have? Were there any notable milestones or moments in her life? Military service, career moves, birth of children, special trips or vacations, volunteer or community involvement, etc. How would they want to be remembered? Listen carefully and take note. This open-ended question lets them share what is foremost in their mind.
- What were some of his/her interests? What did he/she care deeply about? Did the person love to fish? Maybe she liked flowers or a specific sport. How about personal causes or important values? These questions may lead to charity choices mentioned in the obituary or finding a memorial product that is more meaningful to the family. With the many available products at Reflections Urns & Memorials, there is an urn for each unique individual. In addition, we have many ways to personalize the urn with our in-house engraving. With a flat $15 engraving fee that includes artwork, a family’s options are endless. You can see our artwork here.
- How would you describe his/her style? In addition to their loved one’s personality and hobbies, families may want to incorporate his/her style into memorial programs, music, and flowers. A loved one might have a traditional style where a stately wood urn and hymns reflect him best. Another person may have loved the color green where an urn in that color is an instant reminder of her style. Asking questions about personal style may allow you to discover small things that can be integrated in memorial plans to make the service memorable to all.
When families see that a funeral home has taken the time to listen and truly understand who their loved one was as a person, they are more satisfied and happy to have had the chance to work with you.
For additional tips and ideas, check out some of our other blog posts.