|What is a funeral?|
|A funeral is a time when friends and family gather to celebrate a life and mourn the loss of a loved one. They occur in cultures and societies around the world, and have deep personal and social significance. We know a funeral is the starting point of the recovery process and the first step toward healing.|
|How much does a funeral cost?|
|The cost of a funeral depends entirely on your wishes for the funeral. Funeral costs are made up of professional services, charges for transporting the body and presentation of the body, casket costs, vehicle charges, and fees for the doctor, minister, or cremation. Personalizing a funeral is also a factor in the cost. While we have many options to help you memorialize your loved one in a meaningful way, those options all have costs attached.|
|How do I make funeral arrangements?|
|You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge, and without obligation. |
|What is a pre-arranged funeral?|
|A pre-arranged funeral is a funeral arrangement made prior to death. You can pre-arrange your own funeral or you can pre-arrange a funeral for a loved one. Pre-arrangement is a way for you to make sure your life is celebrated in a way that is meaningful to you. It also relieves your loved ones of the burden of arranging a funeral for you.|
|Why do I need to plan a funeral for my loved one?|
|One of the most important reasons for planning a meaningful funeral is that it helps you and your family focus your thoughts and feelings on something positive. The funeral encourages you to think about the person who died and explore the meaning of their life and the ways in which they touched the lives of others.|
The remembering, reflecting and choices that take place in the planning and conducting of the funeral service are often an important part of the process of grief and mourning. And ultimately, this process of contemplation and discovery creates a memorable and moving funeral experience for all who attend.
|What makes a funeral meaningful?|
|Meaningful funerals are made up of different parts (music, readings, visitation/reception, eulogy/remembrance memories, symbols, procession, committal service and gathering) that, when combined, make for an incredibly meaningful experience for you, your family and friends. Even among different faiths and cultures, funeral ceremonies throughout North America often include many of the same elements. Your faith or culture may have its own variations on these elements and you should be encouraged to follow them as you see fit.|
|How do I make funeral arrangements?|
|You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge.|
|What type of funeral service should I have?|
|The answer to that question is very personal – how would you like it to be? A funeral service can be open to the public or accessible by invitation only. You can choose a large service or a small one. And, if you’re deeply religious, you can follow the liturgy of your faith. |
Perhaps you want something completely out-of-the-ordinary, and that’s possible too. Our funeral directors are trained to provide you with support and guidance to help you plan a funeral that truly reflects your needs and desires.
|Can I personalize my funeral service?|
|In a word, yes. We believe that each funeral should reflect the life of the deceased – and no two people are the same. We invite – no, we encourage –you to let us know exactly how you want you or your loved one to be remembered, and we will do our best to create a ceremony that will truly celebrate the life lived. |
|Who should I turn to for help to plan a meaningful funeral?|
|The funeral home and its staff play a critical role in the planning and conducting of a meaningful funeral. They are the people with the training and expertise you will rely on in the days leading up to the funeral. Their advice, compassion, attention to detail and willingness to personalize the ceremony will greatly influence your funeral experience.|
|How do I ensure the funeral is personalized?|
|The funeral service you plan should be as special as the life you will be remembering. Here are a few ideas:|
Write a personalized obituary.
Create a column in the guest book for people to jot down a memory after they sign their name.
Display personal items and hobby items on a table at the visitation.
Show a DVD or slide show of the person's life during the funeral.
Select flowers that were meaningful to the person who died.
Use a lot of music, especially if music was meaningful to the person who died or means something to your family.
At the funeral, invite people to write down a memory of the person who died. Appoint someone to gather and read the memories aloud.
Create a personalized grave marker.
|What kind of funeral service should I have?|
|You can choose from a variety of funeral service types and formats. Some people think that funerals must conform to traditional ways, but there is no one right way to have a funeral. Just as grief has many dimensions and is experienced in different ways by different people, funerals are also unique. A funeral should simply be fitting for the person who died and the family and friends who survive. This is an opportunity to be creative and to share an honest expression of your most heartfelt values. There are no rigid rules that need to be followed, but there are guidelines that can help you if you are unsure how you might proceed.|
|What will happen to the body?|
|Your family must choose not only the type of funeral service to hold but also what will happen to the body and where it will be laid to rest.|
Embalming is how the funeral home temporarily preserves the body of the person who died so it can be viewed by the family. Embalming also allows a number of days to elapse before burial and cremation, thus giving family and friends time to prepare and gather for the funeral.
The body of the person who died is the most important symbol to include in the funeral service. Whether present in an open or unopened casket, the body serves as the emotional focus for mourners and helps them acknowledge and embrace their pain. When a body or cremated remains are buried or scattered, there is a .place. for families to go when they want to feel close to their loved one.
Families who have spent time with the body have said it has helped them come to terms with the death and begin to transition from life before the death to life after the death. Although it can be emotionally painful, time spent with the body is often helpful to many people.
|Why should we have a public viewing?|
|Not every tradition encourages a public viewing, but we believe that they serve a purpose. In making a viewing part of your funeral service, you provide a certain amount of closure to all in attendance. This isn’t just our opinion; studies show that viewing the body helps everyone recognize the reality of death which is an important stepping stone in the grieving process.|
|What should I do if a death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?|
|It’s simple: call us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need immediate assistance, one of our funeral directors will be there.|
|What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?|
|It’s comforting to know that our funeral directors can help you no matter where a death has occurred. We’ll take care of everything from bringing your loved one back home; to helping you arrange the service. All you need to do is call us. We’ll take care of the rest. |
|What happens if I have a problem with how a funeral was handled?|
|If we handled the arrangements, then call us. We’ll do everything we can to resolve the issue. |
We take pride in caring for the families who trust us during this difficult time. But, we’re well aware that sometimes things can go wrong, and if they do, you need to tell us.
If you’re not satisfied with how we attempt to resolve the issue, then you can reach out to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and/or our state licensing board.
Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
|Why do we need an obituary notice?|
|An obituary notice is helpful for friends and family of the deceased. It informs them that a death has occurred and gives them information about the service. Obituaries can be placed in newspapers and online.|
|What is included in an obituary?|
|A basic obituary includes the deceased’s full name, age, date of birth, city and state they were living in when they passed away. It should also include the name of the deceased’s significant other, and the date, time and place of the viewing, burial, wake and memorial service. If you don't have this information yet, you can always write something such as, "Funeral arrangements are being made by the funeral home and will be announced at a later date."|
You may wish to add additional details, such as the names of any children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, parents, other close relatives or special friends. You may wish to write about the deceased’s life, accomplishments and legacy. You may suggest preferred charities for memorial contributions and let people know if you would rather not receive flowers.
|What is embalming?|
|Embalming is the temporary disinfection, preservation, and restoration of the body. During the embalming process, the body is washed and dressed and cosmetics are applied.|
|Is embalming necessary?|
|If the body has to be transported to a country that requires embalming, then yes, it is necessary. Otherwise the decision is up to you. Some religious traditions forbid embalming. If your religion allows it, we recommend embalming if there is a long wait before burial or cremation.|
|What is involved in cremation?|
|The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber where the temperature reaches 1,400-1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2.5 hours, all organic material is consumed by heat and evaporation, and the bone fragments are left behind. These are known as the cremated remains, which are then carefully removed from the chamber and processed into fine particles to be placed in a container or urn for the family.|
|Do I need a casket if I choose cremation?|
|No, you do not need to purchase a traditional casket. But, for sanitary reasons, crematories usually require a combustible, leak-proof, covered container. Commonly, a relatively-inexpensive cardboard cremation container is all you need to purchase. However there are other, more elegant options available as well. Visit our online cremation container showroom to explore your options. |
|Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?|
|By all means, yes. We encourage families to have a gathering – whether it’s a simple visitation, or a more elaborate funeral or memorial service – to support the bereaved and begin to mend the social fabric, torn by the loss of a member of the community. |
|What can be done with the cremated remains?|
|The cremated remains can be interred in a cemetery plot or retained by a family member -- usually in an urn, scattered on private property or at a place that was important to the deceased. The cremated remains can be scattered at sea, or the skies above a special, well-loved place. You can also incorporate the remains into an artificial reef, to be lowered onto the sea floor. There, your loved one provides sanctuary for sea life for years to come. |
There are also elegant ways to memorialize a loved one using small amounts of the cremated remains, including art glass, oil paintings, and man-made diamonds. Or you can take a small amount of the cremated remains to include in a piece of cremation jewelry. Please view our online cremation keepsakes and jewelry selection for inspiration.
|If my loved one is being cremated, what happens during cremation?|
|Cremation is another form of disposition or handling a body after death. However, many people don't know what happens during cremation.|
Cremation takes place in a carefully maintained facility known as a crematory or crematorium. The funeral home may or may not have its own crematory on site, but your funeral director can take care of all arrangements either way.
Within the crematory is a special cremation chamber. The body is placed in a cremation container or casket and positioned inside the cremation chamber. Once the container or casket is in the cremation chamber, the door is tightly sealed. The operator then turns on gas jets, which create intense heat that reduces the body to bone fragments. This process takes approximately 2-3 hours.
After the cremation, the remains are collected and processed to the consistency of sand or a finer ash. The white or grayish remains, often called cremated remains at this stage, are then sealed in a transparent plastic bag along with an identification tag. The bag weighs about 5 lbs. and will often be returned to the family in a selected urn, which can then be buried, placed in a niche inside a columbarium, taken home or transported for scattering. Additionally, the cremated remains can be separated and placed into multiple urns, keepsakes or even jewelry specifically designed as a final resting place.
Cremation is a respectful, dignified process chosen by many families. However, some faiths discourage or prohibit cremation. If you plan to hold a religious funeral ceremony or have the remains buried in a church cemetery, check in advance to make sure there are no issues.
|Should I involve our children in the funeral?|
|Most of the rituals in our society focus on children. Unfortunately, the funeral ritual, whose purpose is to help mourners begin to heal, is often not seen as a ritual for kids. Too often, children are not included in the funeral because adults want to protect them.|
Funerals are painful, but children have the same rights and privileges to participate in them as adults do.
Here are ways to appropriately include children:
Help explain the funeral to them - Tell children what will happen before, during and after the ceremony. Give as many specifics as they seem interested in hearing.
If the body will be viewed either at a visitation or at the funeral itself, let the child know this in advance. Explain what the casket and body will look like. If the body is to be cremated, explain what cremation means and what will happen to the cremated remains.
Find age-appropriate ways for children to take part in the funeral - grieving children feel included when they can share a favorite memory or read a special poem as part of the funeral. Shyer children can participate by lighting a candle or placing something special in the casket (a memento, a drawing, a letter or a photo).
Understand that children often need to accept their grief in doses, and that outward signs of grief may come and go. It is not unusual, for example, for children to want to roughhouse with their cousins during the visitation or play video games right after the funeral. Respect the child's need to be a child during this extraordinarily difficult time.