When planning a funeral for someone else or pre-planning your own funeral, you may have questions about how such services are conducted and whether you can tailor these services to suit your own preferences and personality. While only a funeral director can tell you what choices and options are available and what will fit your own budget, note a few questions you might have about funeral services so you know what to discuss with him or her.
What if someone dies of a contagious disease?
A person who had a contagious disease when they were alive doesn't typically present a danger to funeral goers. Those contagions need a living host, so they also die along with the person. The embalming fluids and other such materials used to prepare a body for a funeral also provide protection against any risk of contaminants passing to a living person. You can then have an open casket funeral for someone who dies of HIV, as an example, and you don't need to worry about any health risks if someone kisses or touches the corpse.
What are the rules about an open casket?
There are not necessarily rules about having an open casket at a funeral; this would be according to the wishes of the deceased or the family. For example, you may prefer a closed casket if the person had a condition that greatly affected their appearance, such as bone cancer in the face, or if the person requested this in their will for any reason. On the other hand, you may want an open casket even for someone who was disfigured in any way. If you're afraid this would make some persons uncomfortable, note that there are also no rules in a funeral that says that they must walk by the casket or even approach it. Your funeral director can work with you to ensure that your wishes are respected while funeral goers are made comfortable during the services.
What if the person was an atheist?
A church may have certain guidelines for a funeral they conduct and what scriptures are included and the like, but a funeral home will usually allow a person to conduct a service in whatever manner is acceptable. This might include just the reading of poetry, a few short words about the deceased, a few moments of silence and whatever else is preferred by the deceased or family. If you're worried about how to conduct a proper funeral without religious references, ask for their assistance.Share
20 April 2017
Irving Berlin famously sang, "The song is ended, but the melody lingers on..." Anyone who has been in charge of funeral arrangements knows the importance of striking the delicate balance between reverence and celebration which helps us remember the true heart of a person. We admire incredible examples of funerals that faithfully commemorate a person's life such as those for Nelson Mandela and Joan Rivers. Unfortunately, funerals for our own loved ones often end up being generic or "cookie cutter" because sadness overwhelms us. This blog is designed to help by outlining the ways that funeral directors can personalise a service and providing imaginative ideas.