At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist in making funeral arrangements for a family member or friend.
The funeral is an important ritual. As difficult as it may be to face, most of us accept death as an inevitable part of life. Today, a dignified funeral ceremony and opportunity to say "good-bye" to the deceased remains an important part of life.
When Death Occurs
Nothing adequately prepares you for the initial shock of a loved one's death. Feelings of panic and helplessness may be overwhelming, but it's important to know you are not alone. It is important to reach out to close relatives, friends and professionals for the help, support and comfort you need.
Call your funeral director and clergyperson right away, regardless of time of day or location. Immediate assistance and guidance from your funeral director will be extremely valuable to you, especially if you are faced with the added difficulty of making initial arrangements from a distance.
Family and friends should be notified. Call immediate family members first—parents, grandparents, children and siblings of the deceased. Again, do not worry about waking others. Grief researchers say those close to the deceased feel left out if they aren't told about death immediately.
It's not necessary or practical for you to call every family member and friend. News of a death travels quickly. Rely on others to make sure everyone is notified. Although it may be difficult to do, telling others of a death is therapeutic. By saying aloud that a loved one has died, the death is confirmed in your mind—an important step in the grief process.
Your funeral director will help you create a meaningful funeral ceremony by discussing your options, guiding you through the arrangement process, handling many details and giving you the information necessary to make decisions.
For more information continue reading the information below.
Whatever decisions our families make after the death of a loved one are long lasting. This is why it is important to check out all options available to your family.
The Funeral Service has three rites: the visitation, the service, and the interment. Each rite is separate and distinct. However, together they create a powerful and necessary means of expression.
- The Visitation
The visitation allows the family an opportunity to view the deceased. The families see the reality of death and admit to its presence. This is the first step to accepting death and beginning the healing process. The visitation is also a time when the community is invited to share experiences about the deceased. This part of the ritual is so crucial to both the family and the community because it forces discussions about the things that are often swept under the rug. In this way, we do not experience this crisis alone. Instead, we celebrate the life of our loved one with the community. The visitation rite also provides a socially acceptable time to grieve and express very strong emotions: a healing time for the living.
- The Service, Internment or Cremation
The service is a time of affirmation of a life lived. It is a time for memorialization. It provides a time for religious and spiritual recognition. The service is a ritual for the deceased. Throughout time, we have honored the dead by offering thoughts and prayers. A service ritual is intended to strengthen as well as test our personal spirituality.
- The Committal
The final rite is the committal service. The committal service, the actual burial or cremation, is a symbolic demonstration that a relationship has ended. When you turn away from the place of final interment, it is a realistic but traumatic moment. It is, however necessary to recognize that we must say goodbye and turn to the future. The committal rite should not be avoided nor should it be faced alone. It is important that you and members of the community are able to share freely the expressions of sympathy and sorrow at the committal service
There are many choices and options involved in dealing with the death of a family member. We're here to help families through the process and to make sure they are well informed and consider everything before making final decisions. In recent years, after the death of a loved one, cremation has become a more common choice for disposition throughout the United States.
In some ways the choice of cremation as the form of disposition actually increases a family's options. The greatest misunderstanding about the process of cremation is the belief that there is no need for funeral services. There are many types of services available when you have services with earth burial, entombment, or cremation.
The gatherings at the funeral ceremony help us all begin the healing process. All funeral services may be custom-designed based on what is determined appropriate and desirable to the family and the community. Your Vorhees funeral director can show you a variety of cremation caskets to meet your particular choice in style and price. You may select from traditional caskets to caskets specifically created for cremation which are simpler in design and typically less expensive.
The selection of the urn is very important since the urn provides both a protective and dignified container for the cremated remains. An urn can also provide a memorialization of a certain aspect, lifestyle or interest of a lost loved one. Permanent urns are crafted from various materials including solid hardwoods and bronze. An urn may be buried in a family plot at a cemetery, placed in a niche in a columnbarium, or kept at home. Some families prefer to scatter remains in a scattering garden in a cemetery, or over land or in water. When scattering is selected, many families choose to keep a small portion of the cremated remains in a keepsake urn. Throughout our country, families have selected to have semi-permanent memorial urns. Fountains and wind chimes are just a few creative ideas that have captured the emotional value. These urns provide a place where current and future generations may go to remember their loved one
Many of us have experienced the emotional trauma associated with the death of a loved one. However, very few of us have combined the emotional distress with the financial obligation that comes with the funeral service and merchandise selected. Regardless of the simplicity or complexity of a funeral service, humanistic or religious, the service chosen by you or your family comes with a price.
Just as we prepare for retirement and long-term care for ourselves, the birth, schooling and marriage of our children, and even when we purchase our first home, we discuss, research and discuss more at length, the benefits and results of our decision. Yet, we often refuse to plan for our death. The inevitable funeral celebration held in our honor and for the well being of the survivors is often disregarded. Today, the trend of funeral pre-arranging is a personal experience that is increasingly changing the way we in the funeral profession serve families. Through prearranging, we are able to satisfy family members by eliminating some of the emotional, physical and financial pain associated with the death of a loved one. Our funeral directors are able to help you create a personalized funeral celebration through prearrangements.