What purpose does a funeral serve?

It is the customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief process.

What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. Funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

What is pre-arranging?

Pre-arranging is a way of making informed decisions ahead of time instead of hasty, emotional choices often made at the time of need. Your true wishes about your funeral can be expressed and made with your family and friends. Pre-arranging your funeral also spares your family difficult decisions at a difficult time by eliminating doubt about what you wanted for your funeral. There is also a wide variety of funding options including life insurance, designed to make pre-payment simple and easy. By choosing to pre-fund your funeral, it is guaranteed at today’s prices without the risk of inflation.

Why have a public viewing?

Viewing is 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. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary. Viewing the body is a way of honoring the transition from life to death and saying our last goodbyes. Embalming is a familiar and standard part of funerals in North America today, though it is optional. Embalming the body temporarily preserves it so family and friends can say goodbye.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. 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.

Does a dead body have to be embalmed, according to law?

No. Most states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable contagious disease or when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier or if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours.

What if I die away from home?

If you are traveling out of town or to another state when death occurs, your family should contact our funeral home immediately. We will make the necessary arrangements with a well respected firm in that location to assist with the transfer.

Can I have a viewing if I select cremation?

Absolutely. You can have a full traditional service, with viewing, and a funeral service at the funeral home, house of worship, church or other location. The cremation will then take place the following day. The Cremains can be kept by the family or interred in your cemetery plot.

Why are funerals so expensive?

When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities ( viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc. ), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.