Death—especially when it involves a loved one or someone close to us—is one of the most difficult experiences that people face
An added factor that can make the experience even more difficult and stressful is the funeral arrangement process. This is because the planning process can be quite complicated, as well as potentially expensive, depending on your financial situation.
The financial burden that funerals can have on people’s lives can be exemplified by the growing trend of people turning to crowdfunding as a method of raising money to pay for funeral costs.
In fact, back in 2019, the CEO (at the time) of the crowdfunding site GoFundMe mentioned to CNBC that the “memorial” category was one of the site’s top categories, and it continues to be one of the top categories on the website to this day.
One company, though, that is looking to remedy the financial stress and complicated process that can be synonymous with the funeral arrangement experience, is Eirene.
Eirene is an Ontario-based company that launched in November, 2020 and they specialize in both cremation (a service that has seen its usage rate in Canada grow to over 70% in the past couple of years) and aquamation services.
Mallory Greene, the CEO and Co-Founder of Eirene, said that the company utilizes three general concepts when it comes to remedying “significant pain points” that people may experience throughout the funeral arrangement process.
The first conceptual word is “affordable”, and Eirene achieves this through the use of an all-inclusive package that will not break the bank of its users, as compared to the average prices of cremation in Canada.
“The average cost of a cremation in Canada is $5000, but that number can vary widely. It’s quite common to have a low-priced package presented on a website, but as you start the arrangement process, there are many add-ons,” Greene said. “When you choose Eirene, everything you’d need for the disposition is in our package price. There are no add-ons, surprise bills or forgotten steps. It’s one package, suited for all and priced at $2500 plus HST.”
The second concept mentioned by Greene is “simple”, in which she explained that “there are too many choices” in regards to the funeral arrangement process for families who may have not have had discussions regarding end-of-life wishes, and that Eirene wants to simplify the process for its consumers so that they are better equipped to make decisions that are right for them.
“Whether you choose to scatter the ashes in a garden, or keep the ashes at home for future generations, Eirene allows families to honour the deceased on their terms,” Greene said. “When you complete the disposition, timelines and budgets are no longer a factor. It allows end-of-life decisions to be open, continual, closed or finished. And it's rooted in choice: a choice that fits your budget, beliefs and relationship to the deceased.”
Finally, Greene said that because the funeral arrangement process is normally quite inconvenient to a grieving family, Eirene’s final concept of being “accessible” aims to make the arrangement process easier by relieving their consumers of tasks that they might have to do under different circumstances.
“Endless paperwork, in-person visits and negotiating. The many tasks that bereaved families are required to complete during a difficult time,” Greene said. “For many people, getting one of the hardest parts of a loved one’s end-of-life arrangements over with quickly and easily is a huge relief.”
“With timelines and emotional vulnerability in mind, we made the arrangement process as simple as possible. We use technology to keep the process fast and remove any decision-making. You simply enter your information, pay a flat fee, and we handle the rest,” Greene said.
With their three concepts of affordability, simplification, and accessibility acting as the driving pillars, Eirene has truly shown that they are committed to preventing the potential stress and financial issues that consumers may face under normal funeral arrangement circumstances.
And Greene said that while the “end-of-life process will never be easy on families”, her goal is to “put the power back in the hands of consumers” during that difficult time.