The arrangement conference is your family’s opportunity to meet
with a licensed funeral director (or funeral arranger) and discuss how you wish
to honor your loved one’s life. Your
family’s funeral director will take the time to answer your questions, learn
more about your loved one’s life and share the choices available for memorialization.
Whether your family decides to plan a traditional funeral
service or a more informal gathering, the funeral director will guide your
family through the planning process.
Items discussed will include the venue, merchandise, music, published
tribute and/or final resting place and any financial concerns. During the arrangement conference the funeral
director will also collect personal information about your loved one, which is needed to
complete legal documents.
The arrangement conference may occur at the funeral home or the
funeral director may come to your home. While it is nice to have an in-person
discussion and tour the funeral home, especially if that is where the service
will be held, you can also make arrangements by phone or email. Some funeral
homes offer online arrangement conferencing.
An arrangement conference can be as brief as a half hour or as
long as several hours. The length depends on a variety of factors, including
your level of emotion and grief, the number of details involved in the service
and the decisions you are prepared to make at the time. It is perfectly
acceptable to request a break during the meeting or reschedule for another
day. It is important to take care of yourself during periods of loss and ensure
you get plenty of rest. Remember to stay hydrated in addition to eating regular
meals and snacks. Your funeral director will likely offer you refreshments
during the arrangement conference.
A death can be an emotionally and physically exhausting
experience. Your funeral director works with grieving family members and
friends on a daily basis and recognizes the arrangement conference may be a
very difficult process. He or she understands that you may need to take your
time and that tears – sometimes even anger - are common. Expressing grief
as well as other emotions is a natural part of the process and your funeral director
is prepared to lend a caring and sympathetic ear.