Two Things You Need to Know About Funerals

Two Things You Need to Know About Funerals

Courtesy Dannel Funeral Home

We only get one chance to plan a funeral that honors our loved one and supports our family. We must make approximately 300 decisions about services and disposition, all in a matter of days. According to surveys, the three most difficult and uncomfortable challenges for many of us are: discerning what our loved one would want, knowing how to meet the different needs of family members, and having no idea how much everything will cost.

When arrangements are done well, there is an enormous sense of relief that we did the best we could. Perhaps there was laughter, as well as tears. The tribute was meaningful and relevant; and individual family members received comfort and support.

Charles Dannel, owner and fifth generation funeral home director at Dannel Funeral Home in Sherman, shared the two things that can make it somewhat easier for families.

The first is thoughtful guidance from an experienced professional who helps decision-makers through the process with absolute transparency and a focus on the well-being of family members. “People struggle with making the ‘right’ choices that reflect the wishes of their loved one and bring comfort to the family,” says Dannel. “Individuals deal with death differently and it’s unrealistic to expect that all members of a family will have the same expectations or needs. It’s also important to understand available options because arrangements don’t have to be ‘either/or’––they can be ‘yes/and.’ Some are worried about financial aspects. I’ll be up front about all costs associated with options. My primary interest is to be sure families’ emotional and spiritual needs are met.”

The second thing you may want to consider, now, is the benefit of preplanning. It is one of the most profound gifts anyone can offer to family members so that arrangements are made before the need arises, relieving those left behind of the uncertainty around difficult decisions. “When there are no prearrangements, loved ones will never know whether they did the best thing, or if they did what the deceased would have wanted,” says Dannel. “Having a preplanning document in place relieves an enormous burden, allowing families to focus on one another.”

Making prearrangements is straightforward and can be done using a brief planning guide at home, or with the helpful assistance of a funeral home counselor. The document contains not only preferences for services and burial or cremation, but data needed at the time of death, such as birthplace, military service, level of education, and social security number––all required for the death certificate. It often surprises people to know that with preplanning, they can set up payments over a period of time. The document is editable so adjustments can be made to fit changing family needs. Additionally, the plans are nationally transferable.

“There is a reason we have funerals,” says Dannel, smiling. “It gives families the best possible beginning to healing, so they can move forward. We want people to know that we’ll take care of everything. We’ll listen. We’ll present options. We’ll help ensure that the service reflects the families’ wishes.”

With a long history of caring for Texoma families, the Dannel family provides an environment where people can catch their breath in the midst of an intense emotional experience.

“You might say I’ve been preparing for this profession all my life,” says Dannel, who admits that when he was in the first grade at Wakefield Elementary, they had a career day and he drew a picture of what he wanted to be when he grew up. With construction paper and crayons, he drew himself greeting guests in the family funeral home. “I am honored to be the owner of Dannel Funeral Home, a legacy passed down from generations before me,” Dannel says. “I want people to know that everything I do comes from my heart. My goal is to help make one of the most difficult events in people’s lives a little bit easier. I don’t say we bring closure, because that’s a long process. But we can help create a positive path to healing.”

If you have questions or would like more information, call Charles Dannel at 903-893-1171. He’ll be happy to assist you and your family, as his family has been doing for over 100 years.