"Glad You Asked"
What if death occurs away from home?
Always call your local funeral home. Always. They will make all of the arrangements no matter where the death occurs. Overall, it’s less trouble and imparts fewer burdens on the family. It is also less expense if you involve one funeral home from the onset and let them make all the contacts.
Do you offer reception facilities for families?
Yes, we do. We have facilities here that can comfortably accommodate 75 people. We work with all the local caterers and have them come in and cater for us. It simply allows families to have a reception if they don’t want to go someplace else they can do everything here at the funeral home.
The funeral home industry is a bit of a mystery for most people. We don’t think it should be.
In this column Dan Ciha, funeral director and owner, answers your questions. Look, if you’re thinking of it chances are someone else is too. Most people only get one chance to ask questions of a funeral director when they are planning a funeral.
Of course we’re always here to answer your questions. A question for a funeral director? Go ahead ask Dan.
Children’s questions about funeral services
We recently attended a funeral service with our 10-year-old son. After viewing the deceased in the casket our son asked the question, “Does the man have his pants on since we can’t see his legs?”
Whenever you are talking with children, be honest with them.
If you don’t know the answers, it’s okay to say, “I don’t know”.
If there is anything we can do to help explain a situation associated with the funeral service, let us do that.
In that particular situation, I would ask the family, “Is it okay if I open up the lower portion of the casket so your son can see their legs and see that we placed his pants on and placed his favorite socks on him?” Often times, we might put a golf club in the casket with them or holding a ball or a letter from a family member or a photo.
If children have questions, you need to be open, upfront and offer honest answers. Don’t just say something to keep them quiet.
Wearing shoes in the casket?
Do we need to bring shoes for dad to wear in the casket?
No, you don’t have to, but some people do. People bring slippers, boots or shoes. When we dress a person in a casket, it can be whatever the family wants them to wear. We are traditionally used to seeing men in suits or women in dresses. Now you’re seeing men dressed in flannel shirts and jeans. We’ve buried women in their pajamas. Recently I buried someone completely naked. They said they came into this world naked and they were going to leave this world naked. I always joke that I want to be buried in my bike shorts and t-shirt! So, anything goes.
Traditional Urn Alternatives
My dad loved to fish; can I bury his cremated remains in his favorite tackle box?
Yes, you can. When you talk to families about that possibility, all of a sudden people are smiling thinking of stories about a tackle box, a special purse that mom always carried, a pottery piece that they could create for them or special box that that their son might craft for them. It’s significant to them, which is meaningful. Anytime a family can be involved in the whole process, it’s more significant to them as opposed to just buying some urn from the funeral home or online.
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