Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people choose cremation?
People choose cremation for a variety of reasons. Some chose it for religious purposes, some because of environmental reasons and others because of personal preference.

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.

Is cremation less costly than burial?
Yes, in most cases. In most cases burial or entombment carries a charge that is greater than the actual cost of cremation. Remember after the cremation other charges may come up depending on what you choose to do with the cremains. Some people choose to bury them. In that case there would be cemetery fees for this service. Some people scatter, and in this instance there would usually be a fee incurred. Some people choose to keep them at home. Most time families will choose to purchase an urn for the cremains.

Can we still have a viewing if we choose cremation?
Yes. Many people are confused when it comes to cremation because in many cases they have never handled arrangements that have concluded with cremation. Cremation just replaces either burial or entombment. You may select the same services you would have with burial or entombment. So you can still have a formal viewing period and religious services.

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.

Why have a 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.

Why do some families request donations to a charity rather than flowers?
Some families prefer the money that would be spent on flowers be donated to a charity. This is a personal choice as many people feel comforted by flowers at the funeral and even if the family doesn’t request flowers some people still feel more comfortable sending flowers.

Should I bring a child to a wake or funeral?
Children’s attendance at a wake or funeral must be determined on an individual basis. It is generally felt that children must feel a part of what is going on when a death occurs. It may be traumatic and damaging to a child to feel left out of loop. If the child does not want to be present at the wake or funeral he or she should not be forced to attend. It would be wise, however, to discuss the child’s choices with him or her. It should also be remembered that the child may get bored during the wake and the parent should make some provision for that while at the funeral home.

Can I donate my body to science?

If a death occurs at night can I call the funeral director immediately?
Yes. The funeral director is ready to assist you immediately when the death occurs. As well as the normal services such as removal of the deceased the funeral director can help you by answering questions, scheduling the arrangement conference and advising you on what to bring with you.

What happens if the death occurs out of town?
Your local funeral director can make all arrangements for bringing the remains back for you. Your local funeral director will contact a funeral director in the area where the death occurred and arrange for the removal, preparation and shipping. This is often the most cost-effective way of handling the arrangements.

May I participate in a funeral ceremony?
Participation in a funeral ceremony can be very helpful. It allows you to express your feelings and provides a means of personalizing the funeral for the deceased. The ceremony has much more meaning if it is made to order for the deceased and family.

Must I make arrangements for the religious ceremony or do you do it?
The funeral director‘s job is to assist the survivors with arranging the funeral. Contacting the clergy is an important part of that job. You will still be able to discuss your wishes for the ceremony with the clergy.