Families Deciding Together

Families Deciding Together

Courtesy Dannel Funeral Home

When a death occurs, families gather. Frequently, they must respond quite suddenly. Perhaps they travel long distances. In the midst of their grief, they must make approximately 300 decisions about services and disposition. Ideally, there are pre-arrangements that serve as an invaluable guide. So often, though, without knowing exact wishes, family members struggle with the right choices to honor their loved one and bring comfort to everyone else.

It is unrealistic to expect that all members of a family will have the same expectations or needs. People deal with death differently. What is critically important to one daughter may not hold as much meaning for another. Still, the opportunity to plan together can strengthen family bonds. Arrangements don’t have to be either/or. They can be yes/and.

Thus it is enormously helpful to have a caring professional who presents various options and offers assistance through the decision-making process. Choices may be a matter of religious or spiritual preference. Sometimes it’s a personal request, like having Aunt Hattie buried with the hankie she carried on her wedding day. Procedural questions may arise, as in having the deceased embalmed, in addition to cremation arrangements, so that relatives and friends can say good-bye. The number and magnitude of the decisions can be overwhelming.

Pat Dannel, owner of Dannel Funeral Home, reassures families that there is no one right way to do things. “First, we listen and then help create meaningful services that provide lasting memories,” Pat says. “That might include a mix of traditional practices along with a family’s creative input. We ensure that final tributes encompass personal preferences.”

Caring funeral directors bring experience, knowledge and an attention to great detail that often surprises families because of the burden it eases or the joy it brings. To hear a simple solution to a potential problem, to see memorabilia lovingly displayed, to be guided through a service with thoughtful and confident direction, to receive practical advice that relieves financial concerns. These are the kinds of individualized services that ease stress and initiate healing. For families who have come together in grief, the comfort of gentle expertise is a most welcome gift.

Pat Dannel welcomes the opportunity to answer any question you may have and may be reached at 903-893-1171.