Although it may not be something you’ve wondered often, it is understandable that you might be curious as to what goes on in a funeral home. You may have visited a funeral home before, whether it was a Gateway Funerals branch or another funeral director, or you might be looking to prepare yourself for a visit.
What is a funeral home?
A funeral home is a place where professionals look after the deceased, prepare them to be laid to rest and manage the planning and execution of funerals. Funeral homes come in all shapes and sizes, with some housing big teams with lots of functions and others serving as a link to the local community.
Within a funeral home, there are lots of useful rooms and spaces used for various purposes. There are comfy lounge rooms which we use for meeting with families; whether to plan ahead or at the time of need. It’s important to make you feel at home, particularly during what can be a difficult time, so we have plenty of comfy sofas and chairs to sink into, whilst you enjoy a cup of tea.
We have quiet rooms dedicated to paying your last respects, called the Chapel of Rest. If you come in to visit your loved-one during their time in our care, this is where you will come to see them. Again, these rooms are comfortable, private and can be prepared to meet your requirements – usually adorned with candles and flowers, to help create a peaceful atmosphere.
You may not see the rest of the funeral home, but there’s lots going on to make sure we can provide the best care to everyone who comes through our door. We have an extensive garage to house some of our vehicles, including limousines and hearses in various colours.
There’s lots of office space to ensure our support staff can process all the paperwork required to keep track of everyone and make sure everything happens when it’s meant to. It takes lots of organisation and knowledge to make a funeral happen, so our team spends time behind the scenes to ensure that we can provide the best send-off for your family member or friend.
Finally, we have the mortuary which we use to carefully accommodate any descendants that are entrusted to us. This is a dedicated area that we can use to keep them in a safe place and prepare them for their final rest – this includes washing, dressing and hygiene treatments, carried out by our team in a dignified private area.
Who works in a funeral home?
Funeral directors are one of the first jobs you think of, when you think of a funeral home. It’s an important job which requires a lot of knowledge of not only how to arrange and lead a funeral, but also all of the other processes required before we even get to the funeral.
They are proficient with paperwork, have a keen eye for detail and are typically a pillar in their local community. It’s important for funeral directors to be a trusted member of the local community due to the sensitive nature of their job, so we know how important it is to be transparent and helpful.
Funeral Service Operatives do a lot of different jobs, this includes looking after the overall building, vehicles, transport and managing the logistics of manoeuvring caskets and other items needed within the process. They also act as drivers and bearers during a funeral procession, supporting the family with the transportation of their relative, in a respectful manner.
Finally, there is a wealth of support staff who work tirelessly to make everything else happen, from accounting to marketing, we need a lot of skills to make everything happen. Our support staff work across the whole process, including returning ashes to families, ordering memorial jewellery, being a primary contact for doctors, coroners and other medical professionals, arranging funerals, ordering resources required and more. They are a knowledgeable and very helpful group of people who you will likely come into contact with a number of times when using our services.
What can we do for you or your loved one?
We all want the best for those we love, that’s why it’s important, even posthumously, to ensure the utmost respect, care and dignity for everyone who comes into our care.
There are lots of things we can do for your loved one, including; dressing them in their preferred or favourite outfit or alternatively, selecting a gown for them to wear, making castings of hands or fingerprints for memorial pieces and jewellery, taking snippets of hair for keepsakes, ensuring their makeup is attuned to how they would have done it with the support of reference photos and putting poems, notes or letters into caskets prior to cremation or burial.
All of this means that you can rest assured that your friend or family member will receive the best care and send-off, that is bespoke to how they lived their life and a celebration to be proud of.