Funeral Planning and Community Support
In an ideal world, funeral plans would always be a family affair. Siblings would come together from around the country to bury a parent. Friends and colleagues would pitch in to help a bereaved spouse struggling with finances. Entire communities would mourn the passing of a child. While these types of scenarios can and do happen all the time, that is not always the case. There are many times when one person is left dealing with funeral plans and loss all on their own—and they may need to find support to make it through.
No one should have to say goodbye to a loved one alone, which is why community organizations and professional services exist to help. If you find yourself struggling through funeral plans alone, here are a few places you can contact.
- Health and Human Services: Your county most likely has a health and human services (or social services) department that can help with funeral plans, community resources, and free support services. Contact your local health department if you are unsure who to call.
- Funeral Homes/Directors: No one is as well-versed in death and grieving than funeral directors. Contact the funeral home that took care of your loved one’s remains (or one that is simply nearby). Even if they cannot directly provide the support you need, they can likely direct you to services in the area.
- Hospice Organizations: Next to funeral directors, hospice caretakers and organizations see the most death. They are also very familiar with the emotional toll that death takes on the surviving family. Contact an organization in your area (either before death occurs or immediately after) to see what kind of support they can provide.
- Funeral Co-ops: It is a growing trend in larger cities for funeral co-ops to provide a community alternative to traditional burial. Instead of planning a burial with a funeral home, the co-op comes together to handle all the details. Membership fees and volunteer services are usually a part of this kind of co-op, but the sense of community that comes along with it is often worth it.
- Church Groups/Religious Organizations: If you belong to a church or other religious organization, now is a good time to reach out. If you do not belong, find one that shares your beliefs and get involved. These kinds of communities are often the best for emotional and spiritual support.
- Support Groups: Grief support groups exist both in person and online for situations just like these. Get a referral from any of the aforementioned groups or do a search on your own. Doctors and mental health counselors can also direct you to the best groups.
While you may not always be able to get physical or financial support for the funeral plans, there are people you can turn to for help. When you reach out to the right groups, funeral planning does not have to happen alone.