The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
This week in the local news, another negative story regarding funeral services and funeral directors was broadcasted. This type of negative publicity gives funeral directors and funeral services a damaging reputation. Not all funeral directors are dishonest and unprofessional. Most funeral directors are caring, compassionate, understanding and available to help you through your darkest hour.
Funeral Directors are licensed professionals who must graduate from an intense two-year program. While enrolled in this program, they are sponsored by a licensed funeral director and under that director’s supervision and guidance. Experienced mentors support apprentices through the daily tasks and responsibilities of funeral services. Funeral services cannot be properly taught without this element.
As mentioned above, CBC reported about a family receiving an empty urn. This situation would be heartbreaking and devastating and should never happen. I apologize on behalf of all ethical funeral directors. My heart goes out to this family, who now must deal with the unknown. Unknown, meaning once they did receive cremated remains, were the cremated remains actually those of their loved one? Unfortunately, that is a question the family is asking themselves as they have no real answers nor closure from this situation.
To avoid a traumatic and devastating experience like this from ever happening to you or someone you love, ensure to take the proper precautions:
1) Use a reputable funeral home that owns and operates a crematorium. Continuity of care is so important in this industry. When the funeral home/ alternative you are working with does not own and operate a crematorium, your loved one’s body is subcontracted out to a third party for the cremation process. The funeral home/ alternative you originally trusted is not in control and you are now putting your trust in an unknown provider. You do not know this third party and are unaware of their business practices, morals and ethics. The bottom line is that they are not the funeral home/ alternative you trusted in the first place. Did you know that some funeral homes/ alternatives go as far as driving your loved one’s body three hours outside of Winnipeg for cremation? Do not become a victim to funeral homes/ alternatives who cut corners at your expense. Winnipeg has many professional and reliable funeral homes that own and operate cremation facilities.
2) Ask many important questions. You have every right to know the truth. Ask questions such as: “Exactly where is my loved one being cremated or embalmed?”, “Are there any hidden costs, above the quoted price?”, “Do you own the crematorium that will be used for the cremation?”, “Can I witness the cremation process?”, If yes, “Is there an additional cost for family to be present?”, “Do I need to buy a casket for cremation?”, “Is it mandatory to do an identification viewing?”, “Do I have to purchase an urn from the funeral home?”, “Am I able to provide my own urn?”, “Are you a licensed funeral director?” and “Is it mandatory to place an obituary in the local paper?”
3) I recommend avoiding funeral homes and/or cemeteries that employ high pressured sales staff. Sales staff are usually not licensed funeral directors, and in my opinion should not be dealing with grieving families. They are highly trained individuals that use the latest sales tactics available, and unfortunately are credited by their employer to pressure you into purchasing items that are not required nor mandatory.
4) Do not fall victim to “bait and hook” tactics. For example; Free Will Kits or Free Estate Packages that are provided to families, are used to obtain your personal information and then passed on to highly trained sales people of the establishment. Sales calls then start to your home, as well as unrequested emails and multiple letters via Canada Post follow shortly after.
5) Whether you request a phone call or not, funeral homes/alternatives that reach out to you, should not be aggressive in any way. Your questions should be respectfully and informatively answered. Suggestions should be provided without leaving a family feeling pressured. Appointments in your home or funeral home of your choice, should be offered only at your request and most importantly, without a single obligation. Do not sign any documentation if you do not feel comfortable.
6) It is important to know that you are not obligated to use the funeral home located on cemetery property. The fact is, for example, you are permitted to use the full range of services provided by Voyage to conduct a burial – traditional or cremation at any cemetery of your choice.
Voyage is proud to offer a new exclusive online service for Simple Cremation. For those who prefer to do arrangements in the comfort of their own home, this is an inexpensive alternative at only $1,395.00 without sacrificing the professional services or continuity of care of your loved one. By engaging this service, you are using a well-established funeral home who owns and operates their own crematorium, and are provided the professional services you can rely on and trust. We guarantee your loved one is in our care 100% of the time assuring peace of mind. For those uncomfortable with online arrangements, Voyage can arrange for one of our directors to meet you in person at one of our four locations.
Voyage Funeral Home and Crematorium is family owned and operated. Since day one, my priority has been to be honest, compassionate, and caring. We are empathetic, with strong values and morals. A family using the professional services of Voyage, would never be taken advantage of. Voyage offers no hidden costs, no surprise, no pressure and no obligation. We completely understand that no two families are the same. Each family Voyage serves is treated as if they are the only family we are serving. Our families are treated with the upmost compassion and care. This has been my vision and objective in this industry since day one. Our vision incorporates tradition, compassion, cultural sensitivity and cost options to meet the needs of every family. We truly believe in treating your loved one as we would our own.
As a funeral director, I cannot take death away nor can I take away the pain. I do however have empathy and will do my utmost best to carry your family through the most difficult experiences caused by death. I promise to be honest, loving, caring, understanding and most of all have the greatest compassion, respect and dignity for your family, regardless of your situation.
- Hespeler Location
220 Hespeler Ave,
Phone: (204) 668-3151
- Pembina Location
1577 Pembina Hwy,
Phone: (204) 284-7500
- Selkirk Location
713 Greenwood Ave,
Phone: (204) 668-3151
- Newest Location
472 Kirkfield St
Phone: (204) 888-7001