As part of the Dignity Memorial® network, North America’s largest funeral corporation, Forest Lawn Funeral Home and Ocean View Funeral Home have access to learnings from across the continent, allowing staff to study different techniques and services offered in other cities and apply them to funerals in the Lower Mainland.
“We’ve brought a lot of programs here that have found success elsewhere,” says Andrew Knapman, manager of Forest Lawn Funeral Home. “It’s been a huge benefit having multiple funeral homes across the continent to draw from.”
Among the services they offer are a 24-hour compassion line, a bereavement travel program, full access to a grief management library, and a child/grandchild protection plan—if your child or grandchild passes away unmarried and under 21 years of age, funeral services are provided at no cost.
The compassion line is one of the most widely used programs, according to Knapman. It allows grieving family members to speak to a psychologist with a social work degree at any hour, in any language.
Knapman says this is particularly helpful months after the death of a loved one.
“Many people don’t think they’re going to use it at first,” he says. “They say they have a good network. But at 3 a.m., two months after your mom has passed away, most people aren’t comfortable calling someone and waking them up. “
“That’s where the compassion line is very useful,” he adds. “You can connect with someone when you really need to.”
The bereavement travel program consists of a group of dedicated professionals who make travel arrangements for people who need help booking flights and hotels. Individuals are able to use this program for a year for any funeral-related travel.
“Our focus is always on our customers,” says Knapman. “We consider them a part of our family and will do whatever we can to make sure their needs are met.”
For more information on funeral planning, call 1-800-34-DIGNITY or go to the Forest Lawn website or the Ocean View website. Forest Lawn is at 3789 Royal Oak Ave. in Burnaby and Ocean View is at 4000 Imperial St. in Burnaby.