Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?
A funeral provides family members and friends a comforting environment to recognize the death of a loved one and show respect and love, share stories, thoughts and feelings about that special person. Funerals actually start the healing and grieving process. Attending a funeral service may provide the following benefits:

  • Provide a social support system for the bereaved
  • Help surviving family members and friends transition to a new life and make emotional adjustments to their loss
  • Provide a safe time and place to express pain
  • Provide a time to say "good-bye"

Are there different types of funerals?
Yes– every person and family is different and has different wishes. Funerals can be influenced by religious and cultural traditions and personal preferences. A funeral can be public or private, religious or secular, held in a place of worship or outdoors. There are choices for viewing and visitation and open or closed-casket services.

We have never arranged a funeral before. What do I need to know?

  • Ask questions and perform research
  • Choose a family-owned funeral home and a licensed funeral director
  • Discuss the service and payment options
  • Make sure you receive a copy of Buchanan Funeral Services' General Price List
  • Plan a personalized and meaningful ceremony

Why have a public viewing or visitation?
Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids in the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death.

Should we submit an obituary notice?
Of course this decision is up to your and your family, however, it is helpful for friends and members of the community to know when the service will be held.

What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors help families through difficult times by taking care of funeral or memorial service arrangements. They are caregivers and administrators and listen very well. They complete all the necessary paperwork, arrange transportation, help the family make important choices regarding the funeral service and final disposition of the deceased. They also provide resources such as grief support group information.

What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body and slows down the natural decomposition process as well as enhances the appearance of the deceased. Embalming allows more time between death and final disposition, which gives family members time to arrange and travel if necessary.

Is embalming required by law?
No, however there are some instances with certain factors such as time, health and possible legal requirements where embalming is necessary or appropriate. If the deceased is being transported by air or another country, there may be other laws which need to be observed.

If we choose cremation, can we still have a funeral service?
Yes–you have many options for the funeral service other than what you think of traditionally. A meaningful memorial that is personalized to reflect the life of the deceased can include:

  • A visitation prior to the service
  • An open or closed casket
  • A ceremony with participation by speakers, friends and family

Where can I get more information on cremation?
We will be happy to assist you and answer your questions. For technical information about the cremation process, please visit the National Funeral Directors Association online.

Why are funerals so expensive?
The cost of a funeral depends on the type, preferences and budget of the consumer. Also, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor and service-intensive business with extensive facilities. Contrary to popular belief, family-owned funeral homes have a very modest profit margin.