Is there such a thing as a nice funeral?


Recently, a friend’s brother-in-law died.  When I talked to her after the funeral service and burial, she said it was a real nice funeral.  I know what that would mean to me, but I was curious.  She is not in this business, and is not prejudiced

in any way.  All she knew was he was alive, then dead, then she found herself at the funeral.

I asked her what made it a nice funeral.  Her answer was pretty consistent with what I hear quite often.  She said that her brother-in-law, let’s call him Ted…she said that Ted looked nice.  In fact, he looked like the old Ted, the Ted before the “cancer” got hold of him.  She said the flowers and the photos and the video were all contributing factors to it being a nice funeral, but mostly she liked the feel of the place.  She said it didn’t feel like a funeral home.  There was food and comfortable chairs and sofa’s, and everything was on one floor.

She liked the idea that there was room enough for her to get with friends and family, in little groups, and remember the good times.  She loved the stories and laughter.  Ted being Irish and all, she said the funeral was, dare she say, fun except that Ted was dead.

The point of this story is that a funeral can be whatever you want it to be.  If you want it to be private and somber, quiet and full of respect, then you can design such a funeral.  If you want your final goodbye, or final hoorah to be a thing to remember, then you can arrange that too.

You don’t even have to have the funeral at the funeral home if you don’t want to.  You could have it at your farm, or church or public hall or private home.  People today want to be able to celebrate the life that was lived more than cry over a life that has been lost.  Without seeming morbid or insensitive, it has been said by those who study such things that it is healthy to let your feelings go.  It is good to be around others who are sharing in your loss.  They can support you, and tell you stories about the goodness of your loved one that you might never have had the opportunity to know about had you not had a funeral that was open to sharing.

Years ago, a friend of my wife died at a relatively early age.  At the funeral, people were not only encouraged to share their stories about this friend, but they actually jumped in both feet.  He counseled addicts, both drugs and from drinking, and in his quiet and loving way touched many, many people…both the addicts and their families.  When the stories started to flow, and the tears of sadness and joy poured out, his own family discovered the greatness of the man through the souls that he touched in a positive way.  Without the proper funeral setting that encouraged such responses from those in attendance, his family would have been cheated out of learning of his greatness and his contributions to his community.

So yes, there is such a thing as a nice funeral.  Calumet Park Funeral Chapel conducted over 100 of them last year alone.  I receive the comment cards from families who choose Calumet Park, and their simple notes serve as a constant reminder of the good that a good funeral home staff provides.  You are invited to come in and meet our staff, to look around our funeral home, and to learn how a funeral home can be a place that provides nice funerals.

Last year I had an ad in the paper for new family service counselors.  Part of the ad read “Fun. home exp. helpful…”  I had calls from people that wanted to know what a fun home was, not understanding that it was an abbreviation for funeral home.  After talking to my friend about her experience with Ted, I came to believe that maybe the ad had it right…maybe fun home was the right description.

Always dignified, but it never hurts to laugh a little…even when experiencing the loss of someone near and dear to you.  Call us and let us help you and your family arrange a nice funeral, either pre-need or sadly, at the time of need.

Visit our website at or call 219-769-8803 to speak to a family service counselor or 219-736-5840 to speak to a funeral director.

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