Page 29 - McAdams
P. 29

 questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED
People are often curious about what we do but not always comfortable asking questions. We find that when they get to know us a little the flood gates open. Then we get lots of questions. We’ve gathered some of the common ones here along with some that help clear up common misconceptions. You will find most of these answers elsewhere in this book but everyone loves an FAQ so here we go:
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE
A FUNERAL OR OTHER MEMORIAL GATHERING?
Simply put, because we need it. Across thousands of years and hundreds of cultures, people have gathered to acknowledge a death. It was an opportunity for everyone to come together to recognize the community’s shared loss and share the burden of grief. With the pace of our world today it is a practice that is probably more necessary than it has ever been. We don’t slow down for much but grief doesn’t spare us because we’re busy. We need the time to reflect and those closest to the loss need the support of family and friends to help them heal and adapt to their new reality.
DOES CREMATION COST LESS?
It can, but not necessarily. Cremation is simply one way of preparing the human body for final disposition (comparable to embalming). Costs are determined based on the package of goods and services a family chooses and, for the most part, those same choices are available with either cremation or traditional burial of the casket. Minimal service packages are available with or without cremation, as are more elaborate services with visitation periods, funeral services, receptions and other activities. The range of service and merchandise options available expands every year and the unique requests of families are limitless so predicting price based upon a single element like cremation is difficult at best. Our funeral directors and preplanning counsellors are happy to show you your options and discuss the related costs. Asking questions doesn’t cost anything at all.
DO I INVITE PEOPLE TO A FUNERAL? / DO I NEED AN INVITATION TO ATTEND?
Aside from those who are to participate – as a reader, pallbearer or in some other capacity – it is not common practice to specifically invite people to a funeral. Typically obituaries and service details are published on our website and, often, in the local newspaper. In addition, the community generally does a good job of sharing this sort of news – particularly efficiently now in the age of social-media. Nonetheless, friends or family slightly removed from the inner circle are often asked to ensure that important people aren’t left out. This might include close friends who are travelling, former co-workers of a retiree, or anyone who would want to know but, for whatever reason, might not get word right away via ‘the grapevine’.
In the absence of a specific invitation, unless the death notice specifically indicates a ‘private family service’ or something similar, funerals are generally considered to be open to anyone who wishes to attend. Because of the variety of services we see today, we know there can be some confusion over whether the same rules apply to a ‘celebration of life’ for instance. While it never hurts to check with the funeral home, or the family if you are close, when you are uncertain, typically the rule of thumb remains, unless they say otherwise, it’s a public event.
I DIDN’T KNOW THEM VERY WELL. SHOULD I ATTEND?
If you didn’t know them very well, you must have known a lot about them, or respected them or what they stood for, or known a family member. You obviously have a connection or it’s unlikely you would be asking yourself this question. Easy rule of thumb: if you have to ask, the answer is probably yes.
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