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Rituals around saying goodbye to the deceased and their transition to a new phase are as old as humankind itself, and speak to the testament of their importance. Funerals and memorial services are a critical part of healing from grief. Gathering with family, friends, and community in shared loss meets many needs. Funerals help us accept the finality of death. They allow the bereaved to share their thoughts and feelings about death, as well as shared memories, surrounded by the comfort and support of others. And they allow the living to show their respect for the dead and help survivors begin the grieving process. Ultimately, coming together to recognize a death reminds us that life is precious.
Funeral Directors play many roles throughout the care of a family and their loved one:
In addition to shock and grief, losing a loved one can feel overwhelming. There are several things that must be done immediately following a death:
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend time with the deceased to say goodbye, that’s perfectly acceptable. Your funeral director will come when your time is right.
A loved one’s method of disposition, or how their remains will be handled, is a very personal decision. Cremation is the most common method in the United States, but many people still choose to be buried in a cemetery or mausoleum. When deciding between cremation and burial, keep in mind that the options available when planning a funeral or memorial service differ little between the two.
No. Cremation is only a method of handling remains, and is just a part of the process of a funeral or memorial service. It is an alternative to burial or entombment. We encourage every family to have a service to allow family, friends, and community to gather in remembrance of a loved one.
Viewing the deceased is a part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Children are also encouraged to attend a viewing, as long as it is voluntary and the process is explained appropriately for their age and maturity level.
Embalming preserves the body for a period of time, making it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition. This allows family members more time to arrange and participate in certain types of services, such as public viewings and burial services.
The Federal Trade Commission says, "Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial."
It’s no secret that funeral services cost money. Like other major life events that people want to recognize, such as weddings and bar mitzvahs, honoring a life requires resources, including money, time, and help. The price of a funeral ultimately depends on the family and the services and personal touches they choose. Enlisting the services of a full-service funeral home includes the experienced guidance of their staff and venues, as well as essential fees that come with filing the appropriate documents and licenses.
There are so many different ways ashes, or cremated remains, can be handled after cremation. They can be interred in a cemetery plot, be kept by family members, scattered on private property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place. Your funeral director can help you with this). Today, there are many different types of memorial options from which to choose when it comes to cremated remains, including (but definitely not limited to) jewelry keepsakes, transforming them into diamonds, sending them to space, and planting them with a tree.
Yes — Depending upon the cemetery's policy, you may be able to save a grave space by having the cremains buried on top of the casketed remains of your spouse, or utilize the space provided next to him/her. Many cemeteries allow for multiple cremated remains to be interred in a single grave space.
There are a number of options available: