Frequently Asked Questions
What is a funeral and why have one?
Although funeral customs are ever-changing, a funeral has usually been a gathering of family and friends to provide support during a difficult time and to honor and celebrate the life of their loved ones. Through the funeral, we are able to help establish the significance of one special life by reflecting on what that person meant to us and to others. Funerals that are personal and meaningful can also play a vital part in the grief process, a process that eventually leads to healing.
What are my options for creating a special and meaningful service?
Funeral and memorial services may be as varied as the individual they represent and are most meaningful when they provide an understanding of that person’s special life. A funeral can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. It can take place in the location of your choice and can be held, not only immediately following a death, but also at a later designated date or as an annual event of remembrance. The things that had meaning to your loved one will also give meaning to the people who attend the service. Sharing memories with others can be as simple as playing a special song or telling a personal story. It might also involve displaying photos or items from a favorite hobby. Your funeral arranger will work with you to help plan a funeral, memorial service or gathering that reflects your family’s wishes and honors, and captures the spirit of the person who was so special to you.
Can we have a funeral if we are choosing cremation?
Yes. Cremation (like burial) is a separate event from the funeral or memorial service. Selecting cremation does not diminish the important need for some type of gathering that will honor and celebrate the life of your loved one. A service can be held either before or after the cremation has taken place. A family may choose to have a viewing prior to cremation or a service with or without the cremated remains (ashes) present. Once returned to the family, there are a variety of options for the final disposition of cremated remains. They may be permanently memorialized, placed in a columbarium, scattered at a special area or kept in a permanent memorial urn in a place of personal significance.
Will a viewing be too sad for our family and friends?
Long after a funeral or memorial service, most families are glad that they had a chance to say their final goodbyes to the person they lost. Viewing your loved one, or viewing a closed casket or urn after cremation, may serve as a lasting memory of that person's life. It’s natural to be sad at this time, but viewing often helps family and friends find a later sense of comfort and peace. However, we never encourage viewing if you feel this is not right for your family.
Is it necessary to have a religious service?
No. Many families have religious customs, and we will always honor your choice of music, house of worship and other traditions specified by you or your clergyperson. But if your family does not wish a religious service, you can choose to remember your loved one in a dignified, inspirational, patriotic or even humorous way—whatever is most fitting and whatever you decide.
Can we hold the funeral service somewhere other than the funeral home?
Yes. While funeral and memorial services have traditionally been held at churches, synagogues or funeral facilities, they can also take place at many other locations: a friends or family member's home, parks, beaches, reception halls, golf courses or any other location desired by your family. In addition to the immediate event, you may also want to consider holding a memorial event at another future date. We can help arrange events in almost any location.
What about children's involvement?
When a death occurs, children should be included. Like adults, they need to work through their grief and should be allowed to say goodbye in their own way. Children will feel better during and after funeral events if they are encouraged to participate as much or as little as they prefer. They may want to place something into the casket, write a letter, color a picture or even read a note at the funeral. You can help children by encouraging their questions and responding to them with love, patience and reassurance.
How much will our services cost?
The cost of any items you select will be fully explained before you make your choice. We may offer convenient packages of services and merchandise to make your selection easier and provide a savings in cost. But most of all, we want you to be satisfied that you receive everything you want and only what you want, at the appropriate cost.
All the personal services of our funeral director—such as supervising all the arrangements you choose, completing the necessary paperwork and coordinating with clergy, cemetery or crematory—are included in one basic service charge. Our advice and assistance in creating a personalized, meaningful event are always included, regardless of the cost of the service or merchandise. If you have any concerns about cost, or special financial limitations, don’t hesitate to mention them to your funeral arranger.
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