Douglas Familia Discusses the Value of a Funeral Director for Grieving Families

By on July 28, 2020
Funeral director

Losing a loved one is never easy under any circumstances. Planning a funeral service seems impossible during this period of grief in which you may be overwhelmed with emotions, sadness, and inner devastation. For grief-stricken families, a funeral director can be a huge help to assist family and friends get through these difficult times and ensure that the deceased life is properly celebrated.

Douglas Familia, a funeral director in New York, outlines the various responsibilities that his fellow directors do to ensure the family members that come to them are taken care of properly. 

Transportation of the Body

After death, one of the immediate priorities is to contact a funeral home to commence the transfer of the deceased to the funeral home, Douglas Familia says. Funeral directors, often on-call, are prepared to transport your loved one, whether it is from the hospital, a home, or a different country. As bereaved families have their worlds turned upside down when a death occurs, a funeral director is there to assist you any hour of the day or night.

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Funeral Arrangements

At the funeral home, preparations for the service can begin, another aspect of the arrangements that require the expertise of a funeral director, Douglas Familia affirms. Scheduling a time to discuss the service, families can work with the director to determine when and where the service will be carried out, what type of funeral services are desired, the option of graveside services, and share any wishes that the deceased may have had regarding their own funeral. Generally, the funeral home will offer to serve as the location for most services, but the director is capable of finalizing arrangements at a separate place of worship or event space.

Overseeing the Details

Having finalized all of the necessary arrangements, the funeral director strives to guarantee that all of the planning is perfectly executed, Douglas Familia states. They will coordinate every last detail, including the location, time specifics, musicians, photo boards and mementos, service programs, flower arrangements, and catering. While the funeral itself is ongoing, they are constantly nearby, answering questions and pointing people in the right direction.

Preparing a post-funeral gathering

Funeral directors can also help with the organization of a gathering after the service, either with your guidance or by putting you into contact with venues and professionals who can undertake the work. Many funeral homes possess the necessary facilities to host a repast and can take the burden of having to handle such an event away from the family, saving the stress of hosting visitors in your own home.

Emotional Support

All families struggle to cope with the death of a loved one, so it is comforting to know that a funeral director will be there for you, listening, empathizing, and demonstrating sensitivity for one’s loss. Also, they can provide you with references to grief support resources that can be extremely helpful in navigating life after the loss of a loved one.


If it becomes too emotionally strenuous for someone to write an obituary for their loved one, the funeral director can put the written farewell together with the information that is supplied, Douglas Familia notes. Additionally, they are willing to submit the obituary to local newspapers and printings in other areas where the deceased once lived, as well as posting the information on the funeral home website.

Procure Paperwork

As a family experiences a whirlwind of emotions leading up to and following the service, a funeral director takes it upon his or herself to obtain all relevant paperwork. First, there is the delicate task of securing the death certificate, which will be crucial in settling a loved one’s affairs. Notifying the Social Security Administration is another responsibility that the funeral director sorts out for a family, while many insist on helping to resolve insurance claims, the transferring of any pensions or annuities, and applying for a veteran’s funeral benefits when possible.

Douglas Familia on Potential Pre-Planning

Death is the all-too-real proof of life’s fragility and if your family comes to the realization that setting up a funeral in the aftermath is unbearably painful, then you can work with a director to plan a service in advance. It might be for yourself or another loved one; regardless, you can establish the location, body disposition, and all other primary concerns together with the funeral director. You will spare friends and relatives the uncertainty that you recently endured in planning a service. Because of these preparations, the surviving family can celebrate the life of their loved ones without the burden and strain of planning the funeral services and the pressure of having to pay an unexpected expense, says Douglas Familia.

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Douglas Familia Discusses the Value of a Funeral Director for Grieving Families