Frequently Asked Questions
What are the available methods of disposition?
Human remains can be buried, entombed, cremated or donated for scientific study.
What are the different funeral types?
The Traditional Funeral Service is when your loved one is present. The night before the funeral, a visitation would occur. The funeral service is normally the following day either in the funeral parlor or a church chosen by the family and is followed by a procession to the cemetery to have a committal service at the grave site.
The Traditional Funeral Service with Cremation is the same as the traditional funeral service only following the funeral the deceased is transported to the crematory.
The Graveside Service is when your loved one's funeral is held at the cemetery grave site. No visitation or other services are held during the day. The casket will remain closed while at the cemetery.
A Direct Cremation Service is when there is no funeral ceremony. Once all necessary paperwork and documentation are completed, the deceased is transported to the crematory. The cremated remains are placed in an urn and ready to be buried, placed in a niche or be taken home.
A Memorial Service is when friends and family come together to honor the deceased either before or after interment in the final resting place. An alternative site or chapel can be arranged with photographs and personal items.
What are the elements of the funeral ritual?
There are five elements of the funeral ritual. These elements are designed to comfort us during our time of grief. The elements include:
- The wake or visitation - Provides a time for family and friends to see the deceased for the last time as they begin to come to terms with their loss. Visitation is a personal or cultural decision and the casket can be closed or remain open. (Many grief specialists believe that viewing helps begin the healing process as the bereaved recognize the reality of death.)
- The eulogy, reflection or tribute - This is a personal reflection from one or several people on the life of the loved one.
- The procession or motorcade - This is the orderly transportation of your loved one to their final resting place. Lead by the deceased in the funeral coach and followed by family and friends; it is a public display of support and honor.
- The interment, entombment or committal - This ceremony brings finality to the funeral ritual as the gathered offer final, private thoughts to the loved one.
- The gathering or reception - This informal time allows the family to thank those who gathered to share in the funeral ritual. A time to offer condolence and mutual support and to begin the transition of life after death; it can be held anywhere the family chooses.
What items are needed when making funeral arrangements?
In order to handle official tasks for you, we will need the following:
- Full name of deceased
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Social security number
- Residence address
- Spouse's name (maiden name)
- Father's name, mother's maiden name
- Veterans discharge paper (DD 214)
- Insurance papers
- Cemetery documents
- Preplanned funeral agreements, if available
- Recent photographs of deceased
- Burial clothing and jewelry (including all usual undergarments)
What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming is the use of chemicals, internally and externally, to disinfect and temporarily preserve the body for open casket viewing and/or for the removal of the body to distant destinations. Embalming also enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness.
Does the law require that a dead human body be embalmed?
No, however most common carriers will require that a body be embalmed prior to shipping and the laws of the destination state apply. Because of the rapid deterioration of a body after death, Missouri law does require that a body held for over 24 hours or in transit must be embalmed, refrigerated or encased in a leak and odor proof container. Also, most funeral homes require a body to be embalmed if there will be an open casket viewing.
What is the cremation process?
The deceased is enclosed in a special cremation container. The container is placed in a cremation chamber where it undergoes up to three hours of direct flame, intense heat and evaporation. The container is consumed and body transformed into cremated remains. These remains are then processed into fine particles and are placed in a memorial urn.
If I call you, will someone come right away?
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say goodbye, that is fine. We will typically arrive within an hour of your call.
What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Our funeral home is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and on all holidays.
We encourage you to call as soon as the death occurs as you are ready.
Will life insurance pay for funerals?
Yes, as a convenient method of payment, we allow for an insurance assignment. This assignment transaction is processed by the funeral home, releasing only the funeral expenses with any remaining balance going directly to the beneficiary.
Is it true that Social Security will pay towards funeral expenses?
The answer for this question varies from individual to individual. For those who qualify, Social Security will pay up to $255. This amount is paid to the family, not the funeral home. It is our policy to file all necessary documents -death certificates, insurance claim forms, and the Social Security notification - for families and assist in determining what Social Security will pay. For more information, visit the United States Social Security Administration website http://www.ssa.gov/pgm/survivors.htm.
Should a child attend a funeral?
Children grieve just as adults do. Any child old enough to form a relationship will experience some form of grief when a relationship is severed. As adults we may not view a child's behavior as grief as it often is demonstrated in way which we misunderstand as "moody", "cranky", "withdrawn", or other behavioral patterns which do not appear to us as grief. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.
What are veterans entitled to at the time of their death?
When requested, the basic Military Funeral Honors ceremony is conducted for the deceased veteran. It includes the playing of the Taps and the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the veteran's family. Also, veterans who qualify are entitled to a grave marker supplied by the Department of Veteran's Affairs. To establish veteran eligibility, the family needs to provide the Form DD 214 (the certificate of release of discharge from active duty). For more information, contact the United States Department of Veteran Affairs or go to http://www.cem.va.gov.