Losing a loved one or a family member is hard. It gets even harder when you start organizing everything surrounding a death and everything that needs attention after a death. When someone dies a lot of questions come to mind. The family must decide how the body is going to be treated. Mostly these things come naturally because of culture but in every case, there can be differences in how people want their loved ones last rest to be. Another part is the legal one. Everything has to be legally correct when someone dies. Belongings and fortunes, or even depts needs to be handled and that is not always easy when dealing with grief at the same time.
The funeral agency
A funeral agency is a professional business with people working with everything surrounding death and whose job is to take care of everything surrounding losing a loved one. The job varies since there are lots of options on how to treat the body or how to arrange a funeral. The most common ways are a traditional coffin with a burial in the ground or cremation and embalming. The undertaker can also handle the rituals, for example memorials and such. It is the funeral agency that can arrange for an undertaker to dress the deceased in appropriate clothes and make up if there is to be an open casket.
There has always been a need for handling the body after a death, for both cultural and sanitary reasons. The needs surrounding a death are as old as civilisation itself. This means that the role of taking care of dead people is one of the oldest professions there is. In ancient Egypt, they started to mummify bodies as early as 2600 B.C. The best-preserved mummies have been dated back to 1570 – 1045 B.C. At that time priests and special doctors could spend up to three months preparing one body. Unfortunately, only the rich could afford such a service. Mummification was seen, at this time, as an essential part to living an eternal life. Modern thoughts of preserving the dead to benefit survivors started during the European Age of Enlightenment. The work of the German doctor Frederik Ruyschs spoke to the people and legitimized post-mortem anatomy. The most important part of his work was that he came to the conclusion that if you injected different substances into the body you could prevent the body from disintegrating. In the 1700s there were mostly women doing this kind of work but in the late 1800s men started taking part of the profession, and today there is a larger part of men in the occupation.
It looks a bit different looking at the occupation depending on where you live in the world. The most common is that a funeral agency is managed as a family business. Many of the funeral agencies in America are owned by families and have been for generations. Most of the work is done in the home, called a funeral home, where the family has prepared a part of the house to use for the business. In Europe, it is somewhat the same but with the difference of the company renting a special house where they have the business.
A person can find all the help they need with these people that are working in what is one of the oldest professions in the world.