At our firm, we too often see death and how it affects the people closest to it. While survivors are left heartbroken and grieving, they are oftentimes having to pick up the pieces, take care of other family members and even plan a funeral to honor their loved one. We’ve invited Bradley Shotts from Forest Ridge Funeral Home to talk about the things you can do to ease the stress of planning the funeral after an unexpected death from a car or trucking crash.
How to Plan a Funeral After a Serious Car Accident?
As a funeral home director, I know this can be one of the hardest times anyone can experience. Death in itself is difficult enough, but when you lose someone close to you unexpectedly, it really turns your world upside down. You immediately go into shock and you are thrust into an emotional roller coaster that is impossible to remove yourself from for quite some time.
This is when your funeral director, someone who understands where you are emotionally, can be of great help to you. They will lead you and guide you through this difficult process and will help make this time so much less stressful.
In all my years working at a funeral home, I’ve learned the importance of having solid support around you. I suggest bringing someone with you to the funeral home when making arrangements. Oftentimes, you will need assistance in giving important information, making sound decisions, and remembering things. Bring a friend or family member who will be supportive and provide the assistance needed.
Planning a funeral under such conditions is overwhelming, no doubt, although I always tell my customers the importance of trying to not get too overwhelmed despite the circumstances. You will have so many things flooding your mind with worry, such as, finances, paying bills, insurance, social security, the house and cars; the list goes on and on. It’s good to just take one day at a time and know that everything cannot be done all at once. With supportive family and friends, and a great funeral director, you will have the help you need when you need it.
One note to remember is that most of the time when there is a vehicle accident that involves a fatality and the motorists involved are insured, there are usually death benefits within the polices, which will help the grieving family with expenses.
Planning in Advance
While no one ever expects to be killed in a car accident, there are some things you can do now that will make the process less stressful for the executor should a tragedy occur.
What type of service will you want? Burial or cremation?
This is probably the biggest decision you will make. If you choose burial, do you have a spot in mind? If you choose cremation, what would you like to be done with your ashes? You can let your loved ones know or you can write it in your Will. It’s best if you have a definitive answer to this so that some stresses can be avoided.
Who will be appointed to come in and be responsible for your final arrangements and final disposition?
Sometimes, due to family dynamics, it becomes important to individuals to appoint a certain person to be in complete charge of their final disposition. This can be done by simply executing a form and having it notarized.
Pre-planning your service ahead of time and executing a pre-arranged contract enables you the opportunity to lock in the cost of services. Once the contract is written and funded, all charges pertaining to your funeral service are locked in and frozen. You begin saving money immediately and it also gives you peace of mind knowing that everything has been taken care of. You also have the choice of making a monthly payment towards your pre-arrangement or you can pay for it up front. Either way, the cost of your service is locked in and will never increase.
What to Say to Someone Whose Lost Someone Suddenly
While you may be searching for the right words to say, it is also important to remember the things NOT to say.
People mean well but believe it or not, I’ve actually heard these statements being said to the immediate family.
- I know exactly how you feel! (No one really knows how another person is feeling)
- It’s okay, they’re better off or in a better place.
- In time, you’ll be okay.
I have had family members tell me that they are tired of everyone asking them “How are you doing?”
The best thing to say is, “I’m praying for you”, “I’m here if you need anything” or “Is there anything that I can do for you right now?”
The truth is, you don’t have to say a word; simply walk up and give them a hug. Sometimes in silence, we say what they need the most.
At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.