Making Sure Your Family Has the Grief Support It Needs

As you create your funeral pre-plan, one consideration to have is that the funeral home has adequate grief support for your family. After you pass away, your family members may respond to their loss in a number of ways. The grief support services in the funeral home will help them through their loss. Investigate what your chosen funeral home offers for grief support and decide whether it is sufficient for your family. Here are some of the ways that grief support can be handled by a funeral home.

Professional Grief Counselors on Staff

Some funeral homes hire trained grief counselors as full-time staff members. These grief counselors work out of the funeral home and offer a number of services, such as

  • educational programs to help the public understand the grief process and how to manage it
  • support groups where people affected by the loss of a loved one can share their experiences of moving through the grief
  • individual sessions for those people who prefer one-on-one counseling rather than a group setting

These counselors are there to focus on the needs of families using that funeral home.

Contracted Grief Counselors

A funeral home can also use the services of grief counselors from outside of the funeral home. These counselors offer some of the same services as noted above, but they will often work out of their own offices, which requires your family to go to a different location for help. The counselors also maintain a private practice and see other clients, which may make it harder for your family to schedule time with the grief counselor.

Referral to Grief Support Organizations

Smaller funeral homes may not directly offer grief services. Instead, they may help your family to connect with organizations in the community that offer support. This may be a good option if your family responds better to a more specific type of grief counseling, such as

  • support by religious organizations that do counseling within that particular belief system
  • counseling by professionals trained to work with children or people with special needs

The Need for Grief Counseling

Everyone processes grief differently. Your family may find that the support they give each other is enough to help them move through the process. But when grief becomes a deterrent to a family member's daily activities, they will need the additional support that the funeral home may offer. Make sure that you are comfortable with the type of assistance the funeral home can give your family. Then you'll know that you are leaving your family in good hands.