(805) 772-7382
benedictrettey@yahoo.com
1401 Quintana Rd Morro Bay, CA 93402

Funeral Services

Most of us are not prepared to plan and carry out a funeral ceremony for someone we love. And so much of the information available on this critically important subject fails to focus on what is most important: having a personalized, meaningful funeral that helps families and friends begin the healing process of mourning after the death of someone we love.

While we are involved with death on a daily basis, we never forget that completing all the arrangements of a funeral service is a task most families face only a few times. Our intention is to help make every service personal and meaningful, and truly reflective of the life that was lived. While there are many different ways to personalize the service, here are some ways we can help:

Meaningful Funerals

Meaningful funeral ceremonies make a significant difference in how families channel their grief toward health and healing. During the funeral, the community comes together and responds to the reality that someone has died, and also to the reality that those remaining will need support, compassion, love, hope, and understanding. The funeral encourages you to think about the person who has died and to explore the meaning of their life and the ways in which they touched the lives of others.

The remembering, reflecting and choices that take place in the planning and conducting of the funeral service are often an important part of the process of grief and mourning. And ultimately, this process of contemplation and discovery creates a memorable and moving funeral experience for all who attend.

Why Have a Funeral?

When we experience the death of someone we love, a funeral service fills several important needs. First, it provides for the dignified and respectful care of the person and special tribute to their life. Equally important, the funeral service helps survivors face the reality of death, which is the first big step toward taking grief from the inside and allowing us to express it on the outside through mourning. Together,

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Meaningful Choices

This is a naturally difficult time, compounded by the fact that you are faced with many decisions that must be made as you begin to plan the funeral. You may feel overwhelmed by these decisions. When you are able to make informed choices, you are empowered with the important information needed to plan a meaningful funeral.

This is not the time to deny your need to mourn and embrace painful feelings of grief in the coming days. You may feel deep sadness as you plan this funeral and begin to acknowledge the reality that someone who you love has died. But when all is said and done, you will feel deep satisfaction that you helped plan a meaningful tribute or ceremony for someone who meant so much to your own life, and you will be on the path to a healthy grieving process.

After selecting a funeral home, you and your family will choose the type of funeral service to hold, what will happen to the body and where it will be laid to rest. How a body will be cared for after death is an important decision. Whether you choose burial or cremation, you can use elements of ceremony to honor the life of your loved one and to allow you and your family to say goodbye in a meaningful way.

Personalizing arrangements is what Benedict-Rettey does best.

Music: Some people prefer pre-recorded music selections. Select something that has personal meaning. Another option is to retain an outside musician. We can assist by securing a harpist, guitarist, pianist or vocalist. Bagpipe and bugle musicians are also available.

Memorial Table: Nothing reflects the life of a loved one more than a memory table. Covered with family photographs, plaques, trophies, quilts, flowers, artwork and other mementos, a memory table or memory board can be set up at memorial tribute or funeral service. We believe it is a privilege to help you design and arrange an appropriate memorial.

Speakers: The person who has died has likely touched the lives of many people. For those who knew the deceased, it is often viewed as quite an honor to be asked to speak at the funeral. The speaker need not have a professionally written eulogy but rather may write something personal or select a favorite poem or scriptural verse.

Additional Options: We hope you will feel comfortable asking us for other ways to make the service extra special. Items like our Treasure Memories Boxes, which hold mementos and keepsakes and are placed in the casket or cremation container are available. We can guide you in other ways too, such as personalizing the urn with an engraving or obtaining a unique family monument.

How do I ensure the funeral is personalized?

The funeral service you plan should be as special as the life you will be remembering. Here are a few ideas:

  • Write a personalized obituary.
  • Create a column in the guest book for people to jot down a memory after they sign their name.
  • Display personal items and hobby items on a table at the visitation.
  • Show a DVD or slide show of the person’s life during the funeral.
  • Select flowers that were meaningful to the person who died.
  • Use a lot of music, especially if music was meaningful to the person who died or means something to your family.
  • At the funeral, invite people to write down a memory of the person who died. Appoint someone to gather and read the memories aloud.
  • Create a personalized grave marker.

One of the most important reasons for planning a meaningful funeral is that it helps you and your family focus your thoughts and feelings on something positive. The funeral encourages you to think about the person who died and explore the meaning of their life and the ways in which they touched the lives of others.

The remembering, reflecting and choices that take place in the planning and conducting of the funeral service are often an important part of the process of grief and mourning. And ultimately, this process of contemplation and discovery creates a memorable and moving funeral experience for all who attend.

The funeral home and its staff play a critical role in the planning and conducting of a meaningful funeral. They are the people with the training and expertise you will rely on in the days leading up to the funeral. Their advice, compassion, attention to detail and willingness to personalize the ceremony will greatly influence your funeral experience.

What kind of funeral service should I have?

You can choose from a variety of funeral service types and formats. Some people think that funerals must conform to traditional ways, but there is no one right way to have a funeral. Just as grief has many dimensions and is experienced in different ways by different people, funerals are also unique. A funeral should simply be fitting for the person who died and the family and friends who survive. This is an opportunity to be creative and to share an honest expression of your most heartfelt values. There are no rigid rules that need to be followed, but there are guidelines that can help you if you are unsure how you might proceed.

Most of the rituals in our society focus on children. Unfortunately, the funeral ritual, whose purpose is to help mourners begin to heal, is often not seen as a ritual for kids. Too often, children are not included in the funeral because adults want to protect them.

Funerals are painful, but children have the same rights and privileges to participate in them as adults do.

Here are ways to appropriately include children:

Help explain the funeral to them – Tell children what will happen before, during and after the ceremony. Give as many specifics as they seem interested in hearing.

If the body will be viewed either at a visitation or at the funeral itself, let the child know this in advance. Explain what the casket and body will look like. If the body is to be cremated, explain what cremation means and what will happen to the cremated remains.

Find age-appropriate ways for children to take part in the funeral – grieving children feel included when they can share a favorite memory or read a special poem as part of the funeral. Shyer children can participate by lighting a candle or placing something special in the casket (a memento, a drawing, a letter or a photo).

Understand that children often need to accept their grief in doses, and that outward signs of grief may come and go. It is not unusual, for example, for children to want to roughhouse with their cousins during the visitation or play video games right after the funeral. Respect the child’s need to be a child during this extraordinarily difficult time.