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When a death is sudden and unexpected, such as an accident, homicide or suicide – it’s hard to know what to do first. Our brains want to make sense of what happened, put some logic to it and our hearts are shattered with sadness. So many unanswered questions and now we have to plan a Funeral?? The Coroner and/or Hospital may hand you a list of Cemeteries, Funeral and Cremation Services. It’s not uncommon to choose a Funeral Home that you have driven by that is close to your home or office.

This is where I may be able help you. I have worked with a number of Funeral and Cremation Services and know several of the Cemeteries in the Denver area. As an Independent Funeral Celebrant, I am not employed by or affiliated with any one particular Funeral Home or Cemetery. It is important that you are treated with deep respect and compassion at this difficult time.

One family told me that they walked into a Funeral Home after one of these types of deaths and the Funeral Director was talking with someone else. He saw them come in and didn’t even acknowledge them with a “Hello” or “Be with you soon”. They waited for ten minutes and left to try another Funeral Home. Fortunately, they were treated very well there so I have added this Funeral Director to the list of those that I recommend.

A Mother’s teenage son died completely unexpectedly and she selected the Funeral Home where her parents were buried 15 years ago. The Funeral Director was so impersonal, not even offering condolences. He whips out the Intake Form and starts asking questions needed for the Death Certificate. Of course, she is in shock and simply complies with his matter-of-fact questioning. Then, he starts to “upsell” her on “extras”. She felt that something wasn’t quite right with this. Yes, it’s shocking that this still happens! She asked if the service could be on a Saturday afternoon so his friends could attend. The Funeral Director told her that would be double the cost for a weekend and more people attend services held during the week. This is when she walked out and contacted me for guidance.

It has been my experience that attendance is greater on weekends than during the week and MORE people are drawn to alternative/outdoor venues for Celebrations of Life. Accommodating friends and families with these types of options also helps them cope with the untimely death.

Closing Thoughts

You have options! When something doesn’t sound right or feel right – you may not know it in your head, however, trust/listen to your gut. Whatever you want, whoever you want to officiate or wherever you want to have the Memorial Service – the answer should be YES! My services are requested all over Denver and up in the Mountains too. I am an advocate for YOU and it’s all about YOUR wishes!

Anita Larson Denver Funeral Officiant

Anita Larson is a Certified Funeral Celebrant® who blogs about her experiences with Life Celebrations. Providing uncommon ideas and encouraging her readers to "Think Outside the Coffin®" when a loved one departs from this earthly realm.

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