FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the purpose of a funeral?
Funerals are an important step in the grieving process, as well as an opportunity to honor a life lived. They allow family members and friends a caring, supportive environment to gather to support each other in a loss, as well as to celebrate the life that has been lived. Funerals are important because they remind us that each life is special.
The ritual of attending a funeral service provides many benefits including:
-Providing a social support system for the bereaved
-Helping the bereaved understand death is final and part of life
-Integrating the bereaved back into the community
-Easing the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one
-Providing a safe haven for embracing and expressing pain
-Reaffirming one’s relationship with the person who died
-Providing a time to say good-bye
What type of funeral fits your family?
Every funeral is different. Every family is different. A family should make a funeral choice that fits their needs at the time of loss. Among the options to consider are: traditional service with viewing and burial, traditional service with cremation to follow, cremation with a memorial service, or any type of arrangement that is right for your family. Many people are now using our pre-planning and pre-funding services to ensure their wishes are carried out upon their death and to relieve family and friends from additional stress.
How can we make the funeral service personal?
A funeral can be as unique as the person who died. Picture displays and video tributes are examples of the several ways to portray and celebrate the life of a loved one. Not only do these provide family and friends with a visual means to remember their loved one, assembly picture boards are also an opportunity to reminisce while designing the display.
Some families choose unique songs and music to play at the service. Having a reception following the funeral or memorial service provides fellowship and a place for people to gather and visit in a more casual setting.
Other options to personalize a service may include: dove release, balloon release, displaying personal memorabilia or treasures, and working with the funeral director to create a marker or monument that reflects the life of your loved one.
What determines the cost of a funeral?
You and your family do. A funeral can be as extravagant or as simple as you desire. The type of service and other items selected determines the cost of a funeral. An estimate of costs based on items and services selected is provided to the family and our general price list is provided for easy reference. A funeral does not have to be an extravagant display as there are caskets and urns available at all cost levels to fit the needs of every family. Preplanning and pre-funding your funeral can help control costs. By making decisions ahead of time, you avoid having to make choices at a time when your emotions are heightened. Pre-planning and pre-funding also provides an opportunity for you to set aside funds that can be used to pay for part or all of the service.
What about pre-planning and pre-funding a funeral?
By planning and arranging a funeral in advance, you have the opportunity to discuss your wishes with your family. Having the details of a loved one’s funeral or memorial service settled before death allows families to make informed decisions. Pre-funding a funeral enables you to set funds aside to cover the costs of the funeral arrangements. These expenses can be partially or fully funded through the legal establishment of funeral trusts or life insurance. These funds earn interest and are fully transferable.
What is the purpose of a public viewing?
Viewing of the deceased is important and may be one of the most difficult moments for families to experience; however, it often holds the greatest value. Many grief counselors feel that viewing of the deceased is important because it helps the bereaved realize the reality of the passing of a loved one. With the reality of the death comes the beginning of the healing and comforting process. Your last view of the loved one is the one you carry for the rest of your lives, so it is important this memory be positive. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary. Although this step of the funeral is recommended, viewing is a personal choice and the decision to have the casket open will always be left to the family.
Am I required to purchase a burial vault?
State or local law does not require that you buy an outer burial container or vault to surround the casket in the grave. However, many cemeteries require that you have such a container so that the ground stays level. Either a graveliner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.
What is embalming and is it required?
Embalming is the process of chemically preserving, sanitizing, and disinfecting the body. This procedure is performed by a licensed funeral director. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. By law, embalming is required for the following reasons: if the body will be transported from one state to another by common carrier, if final disposition will occur more than 72 hours following death, if the body will be publicly viewed, or if ordered by the Department of Health for disease control.
What about cremation?
Cremation is an alternative to burial. All of the options included in the traditional burial service approach are available for cremation. A funeral or memorial service can be held prior to or after the cremation process. A rental casket can be used if a family wants to view the body for visitation and funeral services, after which the body would be cremated and the cremated remains can either be buried or taken home with the family. The funeral director will guide you through the options available with cremation services.
What about cemetery or final resting place?
The burial space is an important decision. This is where the family will gather for the final stage of the funeral process and provides the final resting place. There are many cemeteries in our area and choosing one is a decision our staff can assist you with if cemetery space has not already been chosen. There are also veteran’s cemeteries available for those who have served our country which are provided as a benefit by the government. Please visithttp://www.va.gov/ for more information.
What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Please call us. Our Funeral Directors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 1-800-937-1728
Will someone come right away after a death occurs?
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say goodbye, it is acceptable. The Funeral Director will come when your time is right.
Should children attend funerals?
Children grieve just as adults do. Any child old enough to form a relationship will experience some form of grief when a relationship is severed. As adults, we may not view a child’s behavior as grief as it often is demonstrated in ways which we misunderstand as “irritable”, “bad-tempered”, “withdrawn” or other behavioral patterns which do not appear to us to be grief. When a death occurs, children need to be surrounded by feelings of warmth, acceptance and understanding. Caring adults can guide children through this time when the child is experiencing feelings for which they have no words. This time can be a growth experience for the child, teaching them about love and relationships. Adults should create an atmosphere in which the child’s thoughts, fears and wishes are recognized. Children should be allowed to participate in any of the arrangements, ceremonies and gatherings which are comfortable for them. First, explain what will be happening and why it is happening at a level the child can understand. A child may not be able to speak at a grandparent’s funeral but would benefit greatly from the opportunity to draw a picture to be placed in the casket. The key is to allow participation, not to force it.