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If one is requested, am I obligated to make a memorial donation?
Certainly not; it’s important to never feel obligated to do anything in response to the death of a community or family member. Your actions (whether sending flowers, preparing a casserole and taking it to the family home, or making a donation) should always come from the heart.
What’s involved in preparing the deceased for viewing at a visitation or funeral?
The preparation of the deceased can involve a number of different tasks performed by trained and licensed embalmers and restorative artists. Without going into too much detail, the deceased is temporarily preserved by embalming, refrigeration, or a combination of the two. They are washed, dressed, and otherwise groomed; then placed in the chosen casket for viewing. Should you wish to know more about the process, contact us.
If it makes people uncomfortable, why is it necessary to view the deceased in the casket?
Human beings are interesting creatures: sometimes we need to see in order to truly believe. It’s a way of confirming the fact that, indeed, this individual is dead; but it’s also an opportunity to say your “good-byes.” You may find it a cathartic time where you can quietly share a long-held secret, let go of any anger or resentment, and otherwise come to terms with their death.
How long is a funeral service?
Simply put, it depends on the service. Just as no two movies or novels are the same length or cover the same emotional ground, no two end-of-life ceremonies are the same.
How can I best prepare my children to attend a funeral?
When asked this question, we like to tell people it’s best done with honesty and awareness. Let them know basically what they can expect. Advise them there will be people there who will be sad and may cry openly; tell them there will be time for some people to stand up and talk about how much they loved the person (but
they won’t be required to do so). Let them ask all the questions they need to ask, and reassure them you’ll be right next to them throughout the experience. Never force them to go to a funeral, and always give them the opportunity to change their mind about attending.
What is a celebrant?
The Celebrant Foundation and Institute define celebrants as “trained professionals who believe in the power and effectiveness of ceremony and ritual to serve basic needs of society and the individual. The celebrant’s mission is to help the client create a ceremony that reflects his or her beliefs, philosophy of life, and personality.” A life-cycle celebrant is especially valuable when a family has no religious affiliations or ties to a clergy person or minister who can officiate the funeral service. Involving a celebrant in the funeral planning process has been found to enhance the funeral experience for all concerned. “The celebrant comes to the table with no agenda,” shares the Institute’s website, “and no preconceived notion of what the ceremony should or must look like. Instead, through careful interviewing, the celebrant elicits what is meaningful for each client.” If you think hiring a celebrant is the right choice for your family’s situation, contact us for more details.
Must I wear black to the funeral ceremony?
Black used to be the only color to wear to a funeral but not anymore. Today things are less formal than they once were, and it’s not totally uncommon for families to ask prospective guests to altogether avoid wearing black clothing. Should you have additional questions about funeral attire or etiquette, please contact us.
What else would you like to know?
This list of frequently asked questions was compiled through our professional experiences. We thank the hundreds of inquisitive, questioning families and individuals we’ve had the privilege of serving over the years: people who have asked the most commonly asked questions you see here. If yours isn’t listed here, get the answer you need by calling us at (501) 268-7220 for the Searcy location, or (501) 724-3201 for the Bald Knob location.
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