Funeral Questions and Answers, Part Two

By Dave Pipitone

Funerals are a once-in-a-lifetime event. All life must reach an end. Hopefully the departure is after a long and healthy life filled with family, friends and memories. Even though death is a part of life, it can be a shock. Taking into account your own mortality is a difficult prospect.

Perhaps it is easier to make the preparations for your own demise as opposed to the pain of burying a friend or loved one. Funerals can be difficult and sad times. Though it is instinctual and we all realize our time is finite, the sadness of saying goodbye is not something people look forward to.

Adding to the grief of loss is the monetary burden of paying for the funeral. Sometimes, though difficult, it is best to know what to expect. Here are more of the common questions that arise when planning a funeral.

What are my options when it comes to funerals?

Funerals are a very tough time for everyone involved. If you have had a loved one pass away or are simply planning ahead for your own future, there are many choices you will have to make. You need to decide on a budget. Funerals can be very expensive but you do have options. Many of your choices may depend on how you view death and what your religious preferences dictate.

There are flowers, caskets, cremation, eulogies, burial sites, viewings, wakes and a host of other terms that will be thrown at you. If you are planning for your own future and to help minimize the details your family will have to go through, you need to envision what your funeral will look like.

Will it be a solemn affair with the traditional service, pallbearers and flowers?
Perhaps you believe that death should not be a time of mourning but instead a celebration of life for the living. Regardless of what you envision, you need to have a detailed plan and leave those details in writing.

What is a wake?

A wake is used in many cultures as a time to mourn the departed yet rejoice in his or her life. It can be held before the burial or later in the home of a loved one. Traditional wakes, such as those used in Irish cultures, combine eulogies for the departed with a more party-like atmosphere.

Many cultures believe that a celebration of the departed one's life is more important than mourning their passing. Of course there is sadness and tears but it is a time to gather around and discuss the good things the person has done or has embodied.

How much does a funeral cost?

A typical funeral can cost thousands of dollars. The exact amount depends largely on what you want to include and how elaborate the affair will become. Some funerals can be as little as $1000.00 or can be intricate and elaborate celebrations that skyrocket into hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are so many different choices when it comes to having a funeral that it is almost impossible to list them all on multiple pages with the pricing.

What will my insurance cover?

Many people take out burial insurance along with their life insurance. This is to ensure that a good portion of the funeral costs are covered. How much your insurance will cover depends largely on the amount of policy you took out. Burial insurance will typically have no restrictions outside of the amount of the policy. Life insurance will only be payable under certain circumstances and cause of death.

Most life insurance policies do not cover certain causes of death such as suicide. You need to review your insurance policy to determine how much is paid out and what, if any, stipulations are attached to the policy.

I am financially unable to pay for my loved ones funeral. What options do I have?

Burying a loved one is an extremely stressful situation. If money is a problem, it can seem overwhelming but there is hope. Many organizations such as the Salvation Army and other charity groups can help shoulder the expenses. You may not get the deluxe coffin with hundreds of flowers but you can still give your departed loved one a beautiful parting ceremony. When you meet with the funeral home ask them for any help or information on groups that can help you with the funeral expenses.

Do I have a choice on whether or not to be embalmed, or have a family member embalmed?

It is now a law that family members must give express permission to embalm or refuse embalming service. Whether or not you wish to be embalmed or have a family member embalmed will depend on several factors. The first is how long the deceased will wait before burial or cremation.

If there is a lengthy time period then being embalmed must happen to preserve the body from decay. There are also certain stipulations placed by the Board of Health that dictate when a body must be embalmed due to certain forms of death or disease.

Planning a funeral is a difficult task. To help ease the loss of a loved one, use a funeral card dedication poem, like the My 3 Strands Eternity Card to remember how you are still connected by love, faith and hope.

Buy the My 3 Strands for Eternity Bereavement Poem Prayer Card

Click here to purchase the Bereavement Poem prayer card.

More Articles on Deceased Loved Ones

Sympathy Gifts When a Child or Teen Dies

Common Funeral Questions and Answers, Part One

Life After Death When Your Spouse Dies

Why Condolence Words Bring Consoling Thoughts

Sympathy Wording - What to Write

Sympathy Messages for Deceased Loved Ones

Bereavement Poem to Dispel Grief

Funeral Poem to Remember Loved Ones

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