*Should I bring my children to the funeral home? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by young parents. Perhaps because of their own struggle with the loss. Overwhelmingly, parents that have allowed their child to attend viewing or funeral services have been surprised at the positive experience. Children want to be an active participant in the family and some parents, by trying to protect their child, exclude them. Being honest with children, explaining what they can expect in simple terms, sets them at ease and opens lines of communication. Oftentimes after a short period of sadness at a visitation children are soon eager to play with their relatives and friends. Don’t be surprised that they may want to laugh and play. This usually means that they are experiencing grief at their own pace.
*When I come to the funeral home, I don’t know what to say to my friend who has experienced a loss. The journey of grief is long, and those who walk it should not have to walk it alone. Nothing takes the place of friends and relatives. Your presence helps the family realize how valuable their loved one was to others and reveals the significance of a rich and full life. Your presence offers support to the family. The family does not look to you for answers or explanations. Your presence and the gift of listening and understanding is gratefully appreciated.
*What if we don’t have a minister? There are many ministers in the community that have conveyed to us that they are willing to provide services for non church members. We also have a certified funeral celebrant available for those who prefer a less religious or nonreligious service with more emphasis placed on the life of the person who has died. This is referred to as a celebration of life service.
*Can we bring in our own music? We have a variety of traditional hymns and appropriate music, however, many families bring in CD’s, mp3 players, or talented family members or friends performing favorite music.
*Mom wanted to be cremated. Can we still have a viewing and funeral service? Yes. These services are available for families that choose cremation or earth burial.
*Dad never wore a suit when he was living, do we need to provide one for his funeral? Clothing should reflect the personality of the deceased at the family’s discretion. It is increasingly common for families to bring in casual clothing. Underclothing should also be brought in, along with accessories such as a belt, glasses, shoes or slippers. Jewelry may be returned to the family after services.
*We have relatives traveling from a distance, does the funeral have to take place within 3 days? Some things to consider when setting times for services are, travel times, newspaper deadlines, and availability of the person who will officiate at services. It is not uncommon to wait longer than 3 days.
*What determines the cost of a funeral? There are many choices that families may make that will influence the cost of a funeral. These include, the type of services selected; casket; outer burial container; urn; cemetery charges to purchase a grave space, a charge for opening and closing the grave, cemetery equipment such as a tent; organist, soloist, and clergy honorariums; certified copies of the death certificate; newspaper charges for obituaries; hairdresser; flowers; funeral luncheon; and cemetery monument.
*How do I make arrangements for my own funeral? There are different levels of funeral arrangements in advance. For example, many people voice their preferences to family members and purchase a grave space from the cemetery. Some people write down personal information and funeral instructions to keep on file at the funeral home. Another level of prearrangement is to select the type of services and merchandise and prefund to lock in the cost at today’s prices.