Everything you need to know about funerals.
What is a funeral?
A funeral is any ceremony that offers an opportunity for family members and friends of the deceased to express love, respect, honor and grief for a loved one. Whether you choose traditional burial, cremation or green burial, a funeral offers the bereaved a place to celebrate life and take the first step towards healing.
What do funeral directors do?
Essentially, a funeral director is trained to anticipate your needs and help you decide on the details of your service. But, in the end, it is you who knows your loved one best, so a director is here to simply help arrange any type of service that will honor and celebrate your loved one. Directors can be caregivers, planners, organizers and advisors all at once. They are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person’s having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors can also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.
Why do we need an obituary notice?
An obituary notice serves to celebrate the life of a loved one. They’re also nice for friends and family of the deceased, as they detail the many memories and stories of a persons life. Publishing an obituary can also help take some of the burden of having to notify many people about funeral details off your plate. For more information, check out our guide on how to write a beautiful obituary.
What type of service should I have?
You have the utmost control in deciding the service you want. The cemetery counselor and the funeral director are there to help you understand all the options available so that you can plan a service that is truly personalized and tailored to your loved one. You can incorporate memories into the service, whether that be through a favorite type of music, some readings that reflect them or a special type of flower. Above all, you should feel that the service appropriately reflects your loved one and the people he or she touched.
Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, a funeral is a celebration of life and each life lived is unique. Funeral directors are happy to discuss any and all options to ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes, and you’ll find that you can personalize services in many unique ways. You can reach out to us at any time to explore your options, or view our service page for more information.
Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
Cremation is an alternative form of final disposition, but it can and frequently does still follow a funeral service. Our cemetery also offers green options such as scattering ashes around our lush, beautiful grounds. We can assist you with the necessary information about cremation, including the details of several wonderful cremation burial options or ash scattering, if this is an avenue you wish to explore.
Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Absolutely! Cremation does not mean you cannot have a visitation period and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body.
What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming is a process to sanitize and preserve the body. It also makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and final disposition, allowing family members time to arrange the type of service most comforting to them and begin their own healing processes. While this is a personal decision for you to make, the emotional benefits of viewing the deceased can be quite helpful, particularly to those who are having difficulty dealing with the death.
What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at (202) 723-1250. We can help lead you in the right direction.
What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Your funeral director can help you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. The director will coordinate all arrangements that are needed to get your loved one safely back to his or her community. Please refer to When A Death Occurs for the key steps you can follow in the event this occurs.
Is embalming mandatory by law?
It is not, but there are factors of time and health that may make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need to be observed. You can always contact us if you have questions on this subject, as we know it can be an unfamiliar subject to many.
Funerals seem so expensive - why is that?
When you’re in the middle of planning a funeral, it seems like there are so many costs that go along with it. That’s because funerals incorporate many elements, from viewing rooms and chapels to limousines and caskets. But each of these elements help ensure that every detail is perfect, and there are options available for every preference and budget. We can help you decide what options are right for you.
Have the costs of funerals increased significantly?
We know that funerals can seem expensive when you’re in the middle of planning, but costs have not increased significantly. In fact, funeral costs have kept pace with the general consumer price index. You can always talk to us to figure out an option that meets your needs.
What recourse do I have for poor service or overcharging?
Most funeral homes provide outstanding services, but sometimes outcomes may not be exactly what you had in mind. In most cases, it makes sense to discuss problems directly with the funeral director first. But if the dispute cannot be resolved by talking with the funeral director, you may wish to contact the Federal Trade Commission by contacting the Consumer Response Center. You should never hesitate to refrain from speaking up if you’re unhappy with the final result.