Losing a loved one is never easy. To help make the process of funeral planning more affordable and simple, eCare Mortuary founders Diane Achord and Emily Diser said they are focusing on providing families with a completely online funeral home experience.
They said the emphasis is on affordability, accessibility and providing the opportunity to be independent during the funeral planning process.
Those goals are achieved by eCare through two key differences in the company compared to traditional funeral homes, the founders said.
Achord and Diser first said the difference that sets eCare apart from traditional funeral homes is its completely online funeral arrangement calculator tool, which is available at https://www.ecaremortuary.com/.
eCare’s website is optimized for mobile devices and transparent when it comes to pricing, whether one is opting for a cremation or traditional burial.
“I can promise you that there isn’t a single funeral home out there that has an online arranger. Nobody else does this. It is simple, straightforward and clear because families deserve to have correct and accurate information, especially on the worst day of their life,” Achord said.
The idea for the website was born out of the combined 20 years of experience in mortuary care Achord and Diser have. They stated that their time working for other funeral homes in the area is what prompted them to start eCare back in January to assist families in planning funerals without having to go to a funeral home.
“The only reason to go into a funeral home and meet with a funeral director is for them to upsell you. We do not believe in upselling,” Achord said.
With all of the prices listed on the website, families are free to choose the options they desire and spend as little or as much as they want.
For lower income families, there are plenty of options to choose from, including downloadable plans for building a casket if a customer wants to avoid paying for one.
Once on the website, a user can go through the entire process of funeral planning from choosing between cremation or burial to choosing flower arrangements. eCare will act as a coach and has a home funeral option where they assist users in setting up a service.
The website also has online resources for grief support including articles, books and access to support groups. Those grief resources can be found at https://icarelibrary.com/ecaremortuaryicarelibrary/.
Those who choose to use eCare get three complimentary acupuncture treatments from White Tiger Acupuncture in downtown Centralia aimed at relieving the physical symptoms the body feels while going through grief, according to the company.
Not Your Traditional Funeral Home
eCare Mortuary doesn’t have an actual funeral home, so Achord and Diser said they don’t have the extra expenses associated with running such a business.
eCare does have a private building set aside to prepare bodies, complete with a cooler and an area for washing and dressing bodies for funerals.
When it comes to the actual funeral location, they assist families in setting it up wherever the family desires, whether it be at the loved one’s favorite campground, church or in their own home.
While a home funeral isn’t the traditional option most think of, Achord explained it’s starting to become more common and is a great way to help a family deal with grief.
“If people can kind of get past the culture today (surrounding death) of it’s too morbid and macabre, if they can get past that, it is so much healthier for the grief process to have more hand in the process of taking care of the loved one after they’ve passed,” Diser added.
Achord stated that per RCW 70.58.170, Washington state residents are not required to have a licensed funeral director involved in making and carrying out final arrangements following the death of a loved one.
“It is our goal to be able to educate every single person in this state that you are not required to use us. We are that comfortable in what we do that we will tell you that we’re not required and neither is any other funeral home. We will coach you through acting as your own funeral director. The hard part that families run into is with the death certificate,” Achord said.
eCare assists with the death certificates as that process is now online. They provide guidance for every step of the funeral process, from washing and dressing a loved one, to placing them in the casket, to transporting the casket to the cemetery.
While burials can be done without a funeral home involved, crematoriums only work with funeral homes. If a cremation is desired, eCare assists in setting that up, whether it’s a traditional cremation or a water cremation.
Water cremation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, is a process that uses an acidic solution to reduce a body to bones instead of using a high-temperature furnace. Alkaline hydrolysis is more energy efficient and produces fewer emissions than traditional cremation, according to eCare. Bones are retained and processed into a substance similar to cremated ashes that are given to the family.
Achord and Diser said they hope to change the way the rest of the funeral home industry operates.
Learn more at https://www.ecaremortuary.com/.