After losing a loved one, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made about the funeral service. There are extensive products to choose from, various events you can choose to hold, and also the biggest decision of deciding between burial and cremation. Your loved one may have had a plan before passing on, but you may need to make these decisions yourself. It will of course be a difficult time, so take a look at the following information to help make the process just a little bit more bearable.
Choosing Products and Services
There are a number of products that you will need to purchase for a funeral service. A casket/coffin will be one of those important products for a funeral service. There are a number of different materials you can choose for a casket, and they each have their own pros and cons. Stone coffins are used primarily when the body will be housed in a crypt, as they are incredibly durable and essentially will not degrade at all. This material is quite expensive though, and it is not chosen very often since most caskets will end up in the ground. More popular materials for caskets are wood and metal. Metal coffins are used most often when the body will need to be transported by a plane or boat to its final resting place, as they are durable, expensive, and also take a very long time to biodegrade. Wood coffins are the most common material because they can be designed quite artfully, they biodegrade easily, and they can be used for cremations as well as burials.
You’ll also need to make decision about the headstone. The first step you should take before shopping for a headstone is investigating the rules of the destination cemetery. Many will have regulations in place about what kind of headstone can be placed, their materials and size, and whether or not additional items can be placed on them such as flower bases and mementos. It’s a good idea to get the rules written down, so the professionals helping you choose a headstone can ensure it complies in every way. The size, material, style, inscription, and designs are all choices you can make when choosing a headstone.
One service you will need to think about purchasing is embalming. Embalming is the process that preserves a body after death and postpones the beginning of decomposition. If you will be having a funeral service more than a couple days after death, you wish to have multiple viewings, or the deceased has been marked by injury or disease, embalming will be a good idea to restore the appearance of the body and to allow for extended family and friends to have time to view the body. Some families choose to forgo the embalming process for a number of reasons. Some wish to have a green funeral and so want to limit the chemicals going into the ground, and it is also a cheaper option for families.
Choosing Between Burial and Cremation
Both burial and cremation have their benefits and downsides. It is important to note that a funeral service and viewings can be held even with cremation, as many people believe this is not possible. A burial means that a body will be kept intact, and cremation is the process of incinerating a body down to ashes. There are different reasons to choose each type of final rest.
If a burial takes place, the body will be placed in the ground or in a crypt. Some people believe that burial is the better choice because the intact body preserves the integrity of the life it lived; it is a sign of respect for the deceased. Burials will usually cost more than cremations, and there is debate over the harms of putting poorly degradable coffins and toxic embalming fluids into the earth.
Cremations are more economical and offer more choice. The ashes may be kept by the family, scattered in a meaningful place, buried in the ground, or entombed. Cremation will always occur after a funeral service, so there are no limitations on what events can be held if you decide to go with cremation. Many people believe that cremation is a more respectful way to put a body to rest, as the idea of decomposition is off-putting to many families.
There are a number of events that can be held to memorialize a deceased loved one and commemorate their life.
A common event held during the funeral time is a viewing. This is a more informal, unstructured event that allows family members and friends to view the body and say goodbye in their own time. This is a very personal moment for each individual, and attending a viewing is vernally thought to be a sign of respect for the immediate family. A viewing may take place at the family’s home, or it may take place at the funeral home.
While some families choose not to have a traditional funeral service, it is a very common occurrence after a loved one has passed. This is a structured event that allows family members to speak to all that have gathered, and it is usually led by a professional at the funeral home. A burial is usually considered part of a funeral, but the service can be held before cremation as well. Funeral services are very comforting for families as it allows them to see how much their loved one was appreciated and loved by others.
A celebration of life is often an alternative to a funeral service, as some people prefer not to be surrounded by other people’s sadness during their period of grief. A celebration of life allows friends and family to gather in a more positive way to celebrate the life that has been lost. This event will be incredibly unique to the deceased individual and will often take place at the family’s home or a location that was special to the deceased.
If you’re looking to find out more about planning a funeral service and what products you can consider, contact the experts at Edmonton Granite Memorials.