Managing grief: 3 ways a funeral provider can help

The grief caused by the death of a loved one takes time to get over, and the process starts with the right support. Your funeral provider is an important part of that support system.

Funeral providers have specially trained staff who know how to guide the bereaved through a difficult process, and some, such as those in the Dignity Memorial® network, offer a range of services to make things easier, according to Andrew Knapman, Location Manager at Forest Lawn Funeral Home in Burnaby.  

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While people initially think they won’t need the extra help, many find it useful over time, he says.

“They’re not really thinking about the long-term effects of grief—that it’s going to take them many months and years to come to grips with the loss,” he explains.

According to Andrew, here are 3 uniquely helpful services to look for:

1.     Bereavement travel. Arranging travel to attend a funeral can add stress at a difficult time. The travel program through Dignity Memorial® connects families with bereavement travel specialists at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, who can plan every aspect of travel and know about special bereavement rates and other deals that can help with the cost. They look for the best rates for the family.

2.     24-hour compassion line. The helpline, run by Charles Nechtem and Associates Inc., is staffed by professionals with advanced degrees who are trained in grief counseling. Family members can call the line during the year following the loss of their loved one. While some people don’t expect to need the service, it comes in handy, Knapman says, particularly for people who find it hard to burden others with their troubles, or those who can’t sleep and need someone to talk to late at night.

3.     Grief management library. People process grief slowly, and require help at different stages and in different forms. The Dignity Memorial® Guidance Series offers books, pamphlets and DVDs that can help you deal with your grief. The libraries are on site at funeral homes such as Forest Lawn.

Whatever stage of grief you’re experiencing, the right people and resources can make the process much easier to bear. A good funeral provider offers help to those left behind.

For more information on the services available at Forest Lawn or Ocean View funeral homes in Burnaby, call 1-800-34-DIGNITY or go to the Forest Lawn website or the Ocean View website. Forest Lawn is at 3789 Royal Oak Ave. and Ocean View is at 4000 Imperial St.

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