Common Questions about Funeral Service
Many people have questions that they may or may not feel comfortable asking their funeral director. We hope this will be of some help to you. If you think of something else you would like us to add to this list of questions, please contact the funeral home directly.
What do we do if our family death occurs away from home?
Our funeral home staff will arrange with another funeral home or mortuary, where the death occurred, to have preparation and transportation made back to our funeral home. We can also help you if you are planning to have a service prior to having the family member returned to your home area. back to top
Why is a funeral important?
Historically, funerals have allowed survivors to express their feelings about the death of someone they love. The rituals provide comfort when things seem chaotic and out of control. The funeral is for expressing intense grief. For many, a visitation followed by a Funeral or Memorial Service is the first step in the grieving process. It is a time when friends, family and other guests can come together to grieve openly and to support one another in a community environment. It is also a time to say good-bye. Viewing the deceased can bring a sense of closure to the bereaved who may be in shock and denial. back to top
What does a funeral director do?
- Transport the deceased to the funeral home (anytime day or night)
- Notify proper authorities, family and/or relatives
- Arrange and prepare death certificates
- Provide certified copies of death certificates for insurance and benefit processing
- Work with the insurance agent, Social Security or Veterans Administration to ensure that necessary paperwork is filed for receipt of benefits
- Prepare and submit obituary to the newspapers of your choice
- Bathe the deceased
- Embalm the deceased, if necessary
- Prepare the body for viewing including dressing and cosmetizing
- Assist the family with funeral arrangements and purchase of casket, urn, burial vault and cemetery plot
- Schedule the opening and closing of the grave with cemetery personnel, if a burial is to be performed
- Coordinate with clergy if a Funeral or Memorial Service is to be held
- Arrange an escort and transportation to the funeral and/or cemetery for the family
- Order funeral sprays and other flower arrangements as the family wishes
- Provide Aftercare, or grief assistance, to the bereaved
- back to top
What is embalming?
It is a process of preservation and sanitation. back to top
Is embalming required when a person dies?
No. Embalming preserves the body, often allowing more time for arrangements. If the deceased is to be directly buried or cremated, embalming is not necessary, however, Florida law mandates that the deceased be either refrigerated or embalmed if final disposition isn't made within 24 hours.back to top
How can I personalize a funeral service?
A funeral service can be personalized in a number of ways. Every funeral should be as unique as the life being celebrated. Ideas for a special service are always welcome in our funeral home.
Many families add a personal touch to the funeral service by incorporating memorabilia that represent a loved one's hobbies or passions. For the avid sports fan, a few of his or her collector's items could be displayed. For the artist, a display of recent works or even the artist's tools can provide a personal touch. These unique touches can help family and friends remember the deceased's personality and relive the traditions that meant so much. Photo albums and memorial tribute DVDs are also great ways to remember the past.
Personalized merchandise is also popular. Some caskets include interchangeable corners, and you may choose corners that represent the life of your loved one. Caskets can also be personalized with an embroidered panel. Cremation urns and keepsakes can be engraved. The funeral home also offers a wide variety of other merchandise such as keepsake jewelry and stationery products that can reflect the life of your loved one.
Today, it is becoming more popular to hold unique services outside of the funeral home. Churches are always a warm and comforting place for a funeral service. Memorial services can take place nearly anywhere. back to top
What is a viewing/visitation/wake?
Depending on the area of the country in which you live or your religious tradition, viewing, visitation and wake are generally synonymous terms for an informal gathering that precedes the funeral. Traditionally, it takes place the day before the funeral. Often, the deceased is embalmed and in an open casket, but the casket may be closed or not present at all. This ceremony is an informal time for family, friends and colleagues of the deceased to stop by and offer condolences to the bereaved and socialize with others.
A visitation typically lasts for several hours, allowing people more flexibility on when they may pay their respects to the family. It is not necessary to remain for the entire time, and guests may feel comfortable leaving after offering words of support to the bereaved. It is customary, upon arriving at the visitation, to offer your condolences to the family first. Remember to introduce yourself if you are not well-known to the family. It is acceptable to talk about the deceased and offer a fond memory or a few kind words about him or her to the grieving family. You may also wish to send flowers to the family. If you order them ahead of time, the florist will deliver your gift directly to the funeral home and it will be on display during visitation hours. back to top
What is a memorial service?
A Memorial Service is a special service that takes place without the body of the deceased present. Memorials are often held in a church, fraternal hall, or other location. A Memorial Service can take place just days after the death of a loved one, or even weeks or months, allowing the family to make time for distant relatives to travel or reserve space at a special venue of their choice. A Memorial Service can even become an annual event if the family chooses.
As cremation has increased in popularity, so has the idea of a memorial service. Often, a Memorial Service will take place after cremation has occurred. Sometimes the cremated remains will be present in an urn. However, Memorial Services are not exclusive to cremation--many families will hold a Memorial Service after burial has taken place. A Memorial Service can be held in conjunction with other services like a visitation and funeral, or it can be the only service held to honor the life of the deceased. back to top
What should the obituary say?
To learn more about how to write an obituary, refer to this article from our partners at Tributes.com. back to top
What if I still need support after the funeral is over?
Remember, effects of grief can be both emotional and physical, and every individual grieves in his or her own way. Never hesitate to ask for help. We are here to serve you. back to top