Most people think funerals are too expensive. You may be one of them.
Another way of looking at this is to say that most people think a funeral offers rotten value for money. By this they mean that a funeral offers a low-value experience. What good, they say, does a funeral do, really? Many say they feel empty, the day after.
This is only partly the fault of funeral directors. Their job is mostly about dealing with logistics – organising and co-ordinating. They are practical people. The greater responsibility for making a funeral meaningful and memorable belongs to whoever is in charge of creating the ceremony. If that’s a minister, there’s little or nothing anyone can do.
But if it’s someone you choose – a celebrant, a family member, a friend – you have the opportunity to make sure the funeral achieves everything you want it to achieve. Because you are probably inexperienced at arranging a funeral, a funeral director with the emotional intelligence to be able to see where you’re coming from is a must.
You are unlikely to be able to arrange a high-value funeral if you outsource everything to professionals and play a passive part on the day. You need to get stuck in wherever you can. Because when it’s all over you need to feel proud.
There is no reason why those who look after the dead should not make a reasonable living from it; most of us couldn’t do without them.
And you don’t have to use one if you don’t want to.