Why Think About Funerals?
Funerals are a part of life, and they can be one of the most significant purchases you will ever make. Most people don't make major purchases without gathering information, shopping around, and comparing prices. Why, then, do so many people fail to do just that when it comes to the purchase of a funeral?
Perhaps they feel you can't plan ahead when it comes to funerals. But you can — and you should. Planning ahead gives peace of mind and eliminates questions like, "What would he or she have wanted?" The best way to avoid second guessing is to think about and plan for the funeral now. If everyone considers the options, talks them out, decides what they want done, and lets their wishes be known — there will be far fewer problems later on.
Should There Be A Funeral?
Funerals have been a part of the social and spiritual fabric of society for thousands of years. A funeral has always been an important event; a time to honor human life, a time to share grief, and a time for friends to show their support for those left behind. In some cultures, the funeral is a vital step in religious rituals that send the deceased into the afterlife.
Today, some people suggest that funerals are unnecessary. They say that a ceremony at the time an individual dies serves no purpose. This seems inconsistent with most cultural and religious beliefs. To these individuals, the question should be raised: "Just who is the funeral for?"
The funeral helps the immediate family. At the time of the funeral, the family is just beginning to realize its loss. A sense of loneliness sets in. When friends show their concern through their presence and words of comfort, loneliness is reduced and the loss seems easier to bear.
What Is Cremation?
The number of cremations have grown in recent years, particularly on the west coast.
Cremated remains may be memorialized in many ways: ground burial, indoor or outdoor columbarium, or private memorials. Some families choose to have the cremated remains scattered at sea. This is an option that we urge people to consider carefully , because it is a once-and-for-all decision. Once remains are disposed at sea, they cannot be retrieved.
Cremation usually takes place after the funeral but before the committal (graveside) service. Instead of a casket, cremated remains containers, (or urns) measuring roughly four by seven by ten inches in size, are used to contain the remains. While cremation, in itself, is an added expense, the total costs of a funeral package may be somewhat less as the price of the smaller interment space or niche is usually less than that of a comparable full-sized interment space or mausoleum crypt.
Most caskets are made of wood or metal. Some wooden caskets are covered with cloth. Some metal caskets have "sealing" features, including gaskets resistant to water, air, and underground life. Almost all caskets are fabric-lined.
The best way to avoid emotional over-spending is to discuss casket selection ahead of time. If you would like to preview caskets offered by Camino del Sol, you are welcome to do so any day of the year during regular business hours.
The funeral helps the friends who attend. After someone we care about dies, most of us want to give of ourselves. We want to do something, but what? The funeral provides us a way to show our support of those who are left behind.
The funeral helps all who are present. By reflecting on the life of one who has left us, we find time to renew our beliefs, our faith, and our spiritual values.
Funeral Arrangement Checklist
These are some items you may wish to bring to
Camino del Sol when making funeral arrangements:
Photograph that shows the deceased's hairstyle
Life insurance policies
Before Need property contracts
Military discharge papers
Clothing, including undergarments, for the deceased
You may also want to think about selecting the following:
Minister, Priest, Pastor or Rabbi
Music (recorded or live)
Scriptures or other readings
Memorial tablet inscription
Embalming or Refrigeration?
After choosing a mortuary, the next urgent decision to make is whether the body is to be embalmed or refrigerated. You may be surprised to learn that you do have this choice.
Current California law now requires funeral directors to obtain permission from bereaved families before embalming. As a result, many mortuaries have installed special refrigerators or enlarged their current ones and offer refrigeration as an alternative to embalming.
Charges for refrigeration are often based on the number of days, so if for any reason the funeral, cremation, or burial is delayed, the refrigeration charges may be higher than the cost of embalming. If the prices are comparable, embalming would be your best choice, because more options for the funeral arrangements remain open to you. If members of the family would like to view the deceased, embalming is a virtual necessity.
Final Resting Place
Long after the funeral is over, the final resting place remains. It may be a private garden or open area in the cemetery, on a hill, under a tree, in a mausoleum or in an underground vault. Choices are almost endless and the prices will range from several hundred to many thousands of dollars.
Having to make a selection promptly, those who are left behind are troubled by painful questions and doubts. They wonder what their beloved would have wanted.
Should you purchase your memorial property prior to need? Our experience tells us yes. Buying cemetery property before need offers you several important advantages:
It enables this decision to be made together, under normal circumstances, free of emotional strain.
It helps avoid emotional overspending.
It allows for easy payments to be made out of current income.