WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A FUNERAL?
Funerals provide surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to recognize the death of a loved one, and to share thoughts and feelings about that person. Funerals are the first step in the healing process. 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 that death is 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
It is possible to have a full funeral service even for those choosing cremation. The importance of the ritual is in providing a social gathering to help the bereaved begin the healing process.
WHAT DO FUNERAL DIRECTORS DO?
Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for the transportation of the deceased, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the deceased.
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.
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?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the deceased, retards the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of someone 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.
WHAT IS A DIRECT (IMMEDIATE) BURIAL?
The body is buried shortly after death, usually in a simple container. No viewing or visitation is involved, so no embalming or dressing of the body is necessary.
A memorial service may be held at the graveside or later. Direct burial usually costs less than the "traditional," full-service funeral.
Costs include the funeral home basic services fee, as well as transportation and care of the body, the purchase of a casket or burial container and a cemetery plot or crypt. If the family chooses to be at the cemetery for the burial, the funeral home often charges an additional fee for a graveside service.
WHAT IS DIRECT (IMMEDIATE) CREMATION?
A direct cremation is just that...a direct cremation. There are no services with the body present prior to the cremation, the body is not prepared in any way, and an alternative container is used instead of a casket.
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.