At some point in our lives, we all have to face the reality of losing a friend or family member to death. The idea of losing someone we love, however, makes most people feel uncomfortable, confused, and afraid. Yet only when we face death can we truly understand the value and meaning of life itself.
We understand no one grieves in the same manner, and death rituals vary from culture to culture. We are honored to assist in the celebration of your loved one’s life and to help you find comfort during the planning of the disposition, memorialization events and long afterward.
At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist in planning for the disposition and related memorialization events for a family member or friend.
Memorialization events include important ritual. As difficult as it may be to face, most of us accept death as an inevitable part of life. Memorialization events provide an opportunity to say “good-bye” to the deceased. An important part of life.
We will help you create meaningful memorialization events by discussing your options, guiding you through the planning process, handling many details and giving you the information necessary to make decisions.
Unlike most consumer transactions, planning memorialization events is often made at an emotional time. It is important to understand exactly what kind of merchandise and type of service you will receive for the price you pay. Make sure you ask questions about options that are not presented in a manor that you completely understand. We will do whatever possible to help. No two memorialization events are exactly the same, nor should they be. Personalize the memorialization events by discussing with us how you would like your loved one to be remembered.
Although the exact nature of memorialization events can differ greatly from one culture or religion to another, in many ways they have remained the same throughout history.
Benefits of Memorialization events
- They bring together a community of mourners.
- They create an opportunity for participants to offer each other emotional support and talk about the life and death of their loved one.
- They provide a sense of closure. When death occurs, nothing adequately prepares you for the initial shock of a loved one’s death. Feelings of panic and helplessness may be overwhelming, but it’s important to know you are not alone. It is important to reach out to close relatives, friends and professionals for the help, support and comfort you need.
When Death Occurs. In some states, a doctor must be present to declare a person dead and state the cause of death. If the doctor isn’t sure of the cause of death, or if the death may have been caused by suicide, homicide or an accident, the county medical examiner or coroner may be called.
Call us and your clergyperson right away, regardless of time of day or location. Immediate assistance and guidance from us will be extremely valuable to you, especially if you are faced with the added challenges of making decisions ‘long distance‘.
Family and friends should be notified. Call immediate family members first—parents, grandparents, children and siblings of the deceased. Again, do not worry about waking others. Grief researchers say those close to the deceased feel left out if they aren’t told about death immediately.
It’s not necessary or practical for you to call every family member and friend. News of a death travels quickly. Rely on others to make sure everyone is notified. Although it may be difficult to do, telling others of a death is therapeutic. By saying aloud that a loved one has died, the death is confirmed in your mind—an important step in the grief process.
So Much To Be Done: The emotional impact of death often makes it difficult to concentrate on the overwhelming number of details associated with planning the memorialization events and taking care of the deceased’s estate. You will find our assistance extremely valuable as you move through all activities associated with a death.
We will need to plan the memorialization events carefully to make sure it expresses your wishes. Include the person who will preside at an event from the start. If you don’t belong to a church but want a religious service, we can suggest a clergyperson.
Experts estimate funeral directors conduct and coordinate more than 200 separate activities in just two or three days in preparation for and during a memorialization event.
During the first few days after a death, you are surrounded by family and friends. You are probably going to be busy planning and participating in memorialization events and may not have time to think about yourself until later when you are alone with your grief. Be sure to take care of yourself.
You can expect to experience a wide range of emotions. Grieving is hard work, and you may feel tired and lethargic without understanding why. Lighten your schedule if you can, eat healthy foods and exercise to renew your energy. Take time to be alone with your thoughts, but also spend time talking to close friends about your loss. You need to express your emotions.
Aftercare services are available. You may want to consider taking advantage of aftercare services to support you through the transition into this new phase of your life.
Services performed by Funeral Directors
- Transport the deceased person’s body to the funeral home.
- Secure information for and file the death certificate.
- Meet with your family to discuss arrangement options.
- Help you choose the place, type and time for all memorialization events.
- Help you select memorialization merchandise, such as: a casket, outer burial container, urn, cemetery memorial and other items.
- Advise you about other decisions to make, such as choosing bearers and arranging for flowers.
- Help with necessary paperwork, including obituary notices and a variety of government benefit claim forms.
- Help you notify the deceased person’s employer, attorney, insurance companies and banks.
- Arrange for aftercare services to help you through the grieving process.
A funeral, or what may be considered by some to be a traditional service for burial or entombment, is often the service of choice. A funeral service may include the following:
- Transfer of the deceased to the funeral home.
- Dressing, cosmetology and other care of the deceased.
- Professional support and administrative assistance to meet with you to plan the service and then co-ordinate all elements so that the funeral comes together as planned.
- Use of a visitation room.
- General use of the facilities for the planning conference as well as the funeral service.
- Use of the funeral coach to transport your casketed loved one from one memorialization event to another.
- Use of a limousine to transport a limited number of people (usually casket bearers) from one memorialization event to another.
- A casket
- Outer burial container
- Register book
- Acknowledgment cards
- Memorial folders or prayer cards
- Other memorialization materials
The funeral should be a meaningful event for the family, friends and associates that provides an opportunity to offer tributes of flowers or memorials to churches or organizations, pay last respects, and provide mutual support to the grieving. It is a also an opportunity to tell the story of a life. This can be done with the help of picture boards, videos, a time for sharing during the visitation, to name but a few. A member of the clergy usually presides at the funeral, however another person chosen by the family may serve in this capacity. We encourage the active participation of the family in helping plan this part of the service, as it makes it more meaningful and memorable. Family members may choose to take part by reading scripture, prose or poetry, singing or assisting the presider.
Following the funeral, those who wish join the procession as it travels to the place of final disposition where additional ceremony and memorialization may occur.
While this is often considered the end of the funeral, a lunch and reception usually follow, to provide physical nourishment, social support and a less formal opportunity for visiting, remembering and sharing.
Cremation is chosen by many as an alternative to burial. The reasons for selecting cremation may be based on a variety reasons, including religous or societal beliefs. It is important to remember that cremation is only one part of the memorialization process. Cremation is the reduction of a living thing, by extreme heat, to its most basic elements.
Whether choosing cremation or another means of preparing the body for final disposition, there may still be a need and/or desire for a meaningful gathering to commemorate or celebrate the special life of a loved one and to assist survivors in the grieving and healing process. This memorialization can take place before or after the cremation takes place and may be as personalized as you choose. Our funeral home is often filled with pictures, videos, memorabilia, and remembrances from the person’s life. It is important for the visitors to any memorialization event to come away feeling as though they got to know the person and their life, just a little better. After all, a life well lived is worth remembering.
Some of the service options available when cremation is chosen include:
- A visitation and/or a funeral service followed by cremation.
- A time of gathering and/or memorial service that may precede or follow cremation.
- Cremation followed by a graveside or scattering services.
Once cremated, a loved one’s cremains will be placed into an urn. Options for its final disposition may include burial near other family members in a cemetery, or urn garden, placement in a niche within a columbarium or it may be taken to the home of a friend or family member.
Cremated remains are sometimes divided into several urns. If several members of the family wish to have a portion of the cremains in their home, this may be an option that will fit the situation.
The cremains may be scattered in a special cemetery garden or over land or water (where permitted by law).
Just as cremation provides many service options and choices of final disposition, it also provides for the opportunity to choose several options. Perhaps the decision will be made to scatter a portion of the cremated remains, inter a portion in the family lot at the cemetery and retain a portion of the cremains in a keepsake urn as a remembrance.
We have a wide array of merchandise available to enhance the memorial experience. These include: urns, caskets, memorial and prayer folders, register books, memorial plaques and other tributes.
Cremation without ceremony is an option selected by some. When we are notified of a death, we bring the deceased to our funeral home, those taking the responsibilty for the person’s disposition meet with us to provide the necessary information for complete the necessary authorizations. Following the 48 hours, required by Wisconsin statute, the body is cremated and the cremains placed into the urn(s) selected. The cremains are then available to be memorialized in the manner determined during the arrangement conference.
Burial without ceremony is an option selected by some. When we are notified of a death, we bring the deceased to the funeral home, meet with the persons responsible for the person’s disposition and complete the necessary certificates and authorizations. Following the ‘family’s’ instructions, the body is prepared for burial and placed into the selected casket or alternate container. At the pre-determined day and time the deceased is interred at the cemetery.
Scattering is the the authorized dispersal of cremated remains. This may occur on land or water. It can be accomplished with the aid of an airplane, hot air balloon or boat. It can be overstated that the scattering of cremains on public land or water is strictly regulated. The scattering of cremains on private property should only be done with the express written permission of the land holder or owner. Even then it may be regulated by regulation. Some cemeteries have areas specifically designated for the commingling of cremains. During the arrangement conference, we can discuss the authorizations and fees associated with the scattering of cremains.
Private memorialization events are the choice of some. There is no law or regulation that requires any memorialization event to be public. You may also limit who may attend any memorialization event held in a non-public place. Examples of private memorialization events include: private graveside services attended by only the most immediate family, private viewing of the deceased by only those who are invited. There is also no law or regulation that requires that an obituary appear in any media.
If you have questions or would like to begin the process of pre planning the memorialization of yourself or a loved one, feel free to contact us at any time. In addition to the ways of reaching us listed on the ‘Contact Us’ page of this web site, you may also reach us by e-mail at: MMountain@centurytel.net, or MountainFuneralHome@yahoo.com.