Why do we have funerals?
Losing someone we love is a devastating event in our lives and by having some sort of ceremony to celebrate that person’s life, we are able to honor their memory, and help us grieve. It has been stated that “grief shared is grief diminished” and by allowing others to share in our grief often helps us to heal. So many people feel helpless when a death occurs that by having some means of allowing them to express their loss; we actually benefit ourselves as well. Knowing we are not alone is one of the first steps to healing from our loss.
Our society has rituals for every milestone event in our lives – baptism, confirmation, marriage… and death. These rituals help us to commemorate the event along with those we love. How many of us had funerals for our pet goldfish when we were kids? This helped us feel that we had a little control over the situation, and helped allow us to go on.
Keep in mind that a “funeral” can take many forms, from a small intimate gathering of immediate family at the deceased’s bedside, to a service in a beloved church or synagogue, to a remembrance at a local park, and much more. Whatever the form, it’s important to acknowledge the place that this person had in our lives.
Do funerals have to be expensive?
Most people arrange a funeral about once every 15 years or so, and it’s not something most people like to talk about. Oftentimes, the idea that funerals are expensive stems from not knowing what options are available. Since we are required to itemize all of our services, it is easy to customize a funeral ceremony that is both meaningful to the family and fits within their budget. We offer all types of services and merchandise to fit within various price ranges, and work with each family to fit their needs.
Should kids attend funerals?
This is a question only the parents can answer, but perhaps the best advice we can give is that if the child wants to attend, let them. Their imagination about what is going on will be far worse than anything they will see at the funeral home, and often, kids provide a unique perspective on the funeral itself that helps their parents cope with their own grief! Think about it – what would happen if we excluded kids from Thanksgiving? They know something is going on, and will be hurt if excluded, since children grieve too. We have a number of wonderful resources on children and funerals, and will be glad to provide them to you, but, ultimately, as a parent, you know best what’s right for your child.
How do I compare funeral homes?
The best recommendation that any business can have is word-of-mouth. Talk to your friends and neighbors who have used a particular funeral home to see how satisfied they were. Those who have used our services have the best frame of reference for you – they’ve already seen firsthand the quality of service available. Most importantly, though, use your instinct – how were you treated when you called? … when you arrived at the funeral home? … were you given enough information to make thoughtful and informed decisions? Perhaps one of the best ways to compare funeral homes is to talk with them about advance arrangements since this way you have the time to be able to compare. Our motto is “Serving Every Family as our Own” and we treat every arrangement with as much care as we would want our own family’s arrangements to be handled.
Is embalming required by law?
Many people believe that, regardless of the type of services, everyone must be embalmed. In New Jersey, the law requires that if the final disposition (burial, cremation, entombment) is not held within 48 hours of death, then the remains must be embalmed. Often, though, embalming is prudent if a family wishes to have a public viewing, or if the funeral will not be held immediately.
Does a funeral have to be religious?
Not at all – we handle many services that are conducted either by the family themselves, or a friend, and have no religious content. Certainly if a family does not have a church affiliation, and would like our help in securing clergy to conduct part of a service, we can easily do so. Some of our most personal and touching services, however, have been conducted by someone close to the family. We can help you with some guidelines for the structure of a service, so that your family is sure that everything that is important to you is covered.
Does a funeral have to be in a funeral home or church?
No – we have funerals in all types of places, ranging from a family’s backyard, to fraternal halls, etc. While there are some guidelines on what type of places will be appropriate for the service that your family envisions, we can handle services almost anywhere.
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