Funeral services provide a variety of functions, from letting family and friends memorialize a loved one to providing an outlet for the grieving process. Simply the acknowledgement of the death in a formal ceremony is an important step in beginning the healing process. The funeral not only allows those attending to say goodbye to a loved one, but to benefit from the support system of one another. Full funeral services are available for both burial and cremation.
If the wishes of the deceased were not known prior to his or her passing, the family might consider whether to choose burial or cremation. (Religious considerations may also factor into this decision.) Either option can be combined with a full memorial service. Cremation is typically less expensive and also allows for a service to be held at a later time when it might be more convenient for family and friends to gather.
Choosing cremation allows for considerable flexibility in your commemoration of a life. You can choose to have:
- A funeral service before the cremation
- A memorial service at the time of cremation or after cremation with the urn present
- A committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains.
You also have a variety of options for the cremated remains, including:
- Ground burial of the urn, along with a bronze memorial or monument
- Inurnment in a columbarium
- Scattering of cremated remains at a cemetery scattering garden
- Scattering of cremated remains in another location, as you wish (in accordance with local regulations)
In addition to being an aspect of many religious, cultural and ethnic traditions, a public viewing can assist with the grieving process, assisting the bereaved in recognizing the reality of death. This can be especially helpful for children, as long as the situation is explained well, the child understands what it entails, and wishes to participate.
It’s common for people to wonder why funeral services are priced as they are. Many expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral, including facilities such as viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, and hearses. The cost also includes merchandise such as caskets, along with the extensive services of a funeral director. Those include making arrangements; working with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and other parties; and covering every crucial detail.
- Check whether the deceased is eligible for entitlements from the Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs or other entities.
- Review all insurance policies the deceased person held. Some life insurance policies include coverage for funeral costs.
- Some local charities, including nonprofits and churches, provides assistance with funeral expenses.