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.

Do you have to have a funeral director to bury the dead?

  • In most states, family members may bury their own dead although regulations vary. However, most people find it very trying to be solely responsible for arranging the details and legal matters surrounding a death.

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.

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.

Isn't burial space becoming scarce?

  • While it is true some metropolitan areas have limited available cemetery space, in most areas of the country, there is enough space set aside for the next 50 years without creating new cemeteries. In addition, land available for new cemeteries is more than adequate, especially with the increase in entombment and multi-level grave burial.

Can your Funeral Home conduct services nearer to my home?

  • Absolutely, through an association with other family owned and independent funeral homes you can have visitations, services, and memorial services at other funeral homes, churches, community centers, and/or other facilities of choice conveniently located to you upon request. Unlike cremation or memorial societies and other alternative funeral operations who offer limited service, we are a full service funeral and cremation service being able to meet every need of families we serve.

Can I purchase merchandise from you to use at other funeral homes?

  • Yes, according to the Federal trade Commission Funeral Rule you can purchase caskets, urns, and/or burial vaults to be used at other funeral homes through us.

Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?

  • No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service.

 

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.

How do I write a eulogy?

       These questions should get you thinking:

  • How did you and the deceased become close?
  • Is there a humorous or touching event that represents the essence of your passed loved one?
  • What did you and others love and admire about the deceased?
  • What will you miss most about him or her?

Some of the simplest thoughts are deeply touching and easy for those congregated to identify with. For example, "I'll miss her smile," or "I'll never forget the way he crinkled his nose when he laughed," are just as good as "I admired her selflessness."

Tips

  • Be honest and focus on the person's positive qualities.
  • Humor is acceptable if it fits the personality of the deceased.
  • "If you are inclined to be a perfectionist, lower your expectations and just do what you can given the short time-frame and your emotional state," writes Schaeffer in "Labor of Love."
  • Keep it brief. Five to ten minutes is the norm, but it's a good idea to verify that with the minister or funeral director.
  • Interviewing family and friends will give you more ideas.
  • Put the eulogy on paper - at least in outline form.