Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How does your selection room work?

Drew Edwards,
General Manager,
Sunset Funeral Home
At Sunset Funeral Home, we focus our time with the families we serve on the life of their loved one. And, at some point, we begin to finalize the funeral arrangements. So, before entering the selection room, we always try to educate the family on the purpose of a burial vault and explain everything they will see behind the doors. As funeral professionals, we must remember that a selection room is scary and overwhelming for families. Especially, if it is their first time planning a funeral.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet the family of a 91-year-old
gentleman that passed away. He and his wife were married for 65 years. While meeting with her during the funeral arrangements, she told me many stories. She went on and on about his experiences in the military and could tell me minute by minute of his time in WWII. She showed me pictures of him during the war, and even of his life as a farmer. Very little time was spent arranging the funeral. Instead, we spoke mainly about her husband and all of his experiences. This, to me, is how a meeting with a family for an arrangements conference should be.

When we entered the selection room, the gentleman's wife immediately gravitated toward an Aegean® burial vault that we have on display in the middle of the room. Then, she noticed the graphic on our wall with the military emblem on the vault and the American flag flying proudly above the vault display. She turned towards her two daughters and said, “That is what I want for your Dad. He deserves it.” She walked out of that room so proud of her decision and not once did I have to “sell” her anything.

Two days later, we stood at the cemetery with a beautiful Aegean burial vault, an American flag flying high above the cemetery tent, army emblems proudly displayed on the sides of the hearse, and a fine bunch of military comrades that were proud to give their brother his final salute. As taps began to play and a lump formed in the back of my throat, it was at that moment that I realized how fortunate we are to serve these families in their time of need.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

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