If a loved one has died, and you need to arrange a funeral that follows customs from an Asian country, culture, or religion, you need to be sure the funeral home can accommodate your needs. Most homes can, but sometimes the seemingly minor details are the ones that create issues. When looking for a funeral home, whether you need to arrange a funeral now or are merely planning ahead for yourself, ask as many questions as you can to ensure that your family can mourn as needed and does not suddenly find that they can't have the service they wanted to have.
What Arrangements Can the Home Help You With if the Deceased Is in Another Country?
If the deceased one was in another country when they died, what can the home do to help you bring the deceased's body back to Australia? It helps if you can find a home that has experience arranging for transportation from that specific country as each country, along with each airline, will have regulations regarding the transport of a dead body.
Does the Home Allow You to Have Your Own Religious Leaders Run the Service?
Some funeral homes have lists of contracting religious leaders who can come in and run services. This is very helpful if the deceased was not affiliated with a religious institution. But if the deceased was affiliated with an institution or part of a non-religious organization whose leaders you'd like to have run the funeral, will the home allow that? Many funeral homes will, but each will have policies about how to go about arranging this.
Can the Home, Cemetery, or Columbarium Accommodate Different Cultural and Religious Needs?
Does the funeral home treat every deceased person from one religion the same, or does it account for differences in how observant someone might have been when they were alive? What about differences between sects or between countries? For example, if your preference is for a basic, non-religious funeral, but the funeral home offers only heavily religious funeral services, that will lead to some uncomfortable moments. If you're planning to have the deceased cremated and the cremains stored in a columbarium, is the columbarium decorated in a way that would make visiting family members uncomfortable? Does the funeral home offer grave markers and tombstones in styles that are appropriate?
Keep in mind that if the funeral home can't arrange something themselves, you may be able to do it, such as arranging for a specific florist whose arrangements are more in line with what your family expects. Good funeral homes know that the types of funerals that each country, culture, and religion holds can have several variations, and they can help you plan a funeral that meets expectations.
Make sure you have what you need in order to have an Asian funeral.