Why do we have funerals?
Funerals are part of our culture's need to have “closure” after death occurs, and to help those left behind begin the grief process. At the time of the funeral service we tend to reflect back on the joyous times that we spent with our loved one, and begin to condition ourselves to the idea that they will no longer be with us. Funerals can be personalized by the individual who has died (by pre-arranging) or by the family members making the funeral arrangements.
What's the best way to save money on a funeral?
Plan ahead! Pre-arrange with a funeral home of your choosing. By pre-paying (whether all at once or multiple payments over time) you can lock in today’s pricing for the majority of the funeral costs. You may also want to look into taking out a reasonable insurance policy that will cover the cost of an average funeral.
If you choose cremation, the family may still have a casket and viewing of their loved one like a traditional funeral service, but typically there will be no procession to the cemetery.
If the family is choosing cremation with no public viewing of the body, it is important to let your funeral director know this before the body is removed from the place of death. By doing so, embalming will not be performed and the family will not have to incur this charge.
Why have a public viewing?
Many grief specialists believe that the viewing of the body aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for all, including children, as long as the process is explained and their participation is voluntary.
What is the purpose of embalming?
The embalming process sanitizes and preserves the body, slows the decomposition process, and in some cases can enhance the appearance of a body.
Embalming makes it possible to increase the time between death and the final disposition, allowing the family time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.
What should I do if my loved one has passed out of town?
There are a couple different options to consider in this situation. If you would like to have your loved one brought home immediately, you will need to contact your funeral home as soon as death occurs, and they will make the proper arrangements to have that person shipped home.
If you would like to have a viewing or funeral service out of town and then have your loved one brought home for final disposition, you will want to contact a local funeral home where the death has occurred, and that funeral director will arrange for shipment back to your home city.