Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. In fact, it is one of the most daunting experiences we would never wish on anyone. Those who go through a sudden loss feel burdened by many obstacles, one of which includes believing hearsays about funerals, funeral homes and cremation.
Putting a deceased loved on to his or her final resting place shouldn’t be shrouded in myths. That’s why as early as now, it’s best to equip oneself with the knowledge about funerals, funeral homes and cremation.
To guide you, we’ve come up with the most common myths about funerals, funeral homes and cremation. Hopefully by the end of the post, you will have a clearer, less intimidated understanding about burying or cremating a loved one.
Myth #1: You must hire a funeral home
This is one of the most common myths surrounding funerals. Many of us believe that we should hire a funeral home or a director to make all the necessary arrangements for us. However, this is not always the case. Families who want to handle everything including dressing the body, hosting the service as well filling out certificates and forms, can very much do so at their own expense. They can take on the entire process before finally calling the funeral home when they are ready to let the body go.
Myth #2: Embalming is required by law
Canada, for instance, doesn’t require its residents to embalm the body. However, embalming does make it possible for the loved ones to have a viewing of the body before preparing it for its final resting place. Refrigeration is a common alternative to embalming and is widely practiced by many around the world and especially if there is a delay before the final disposition.
Myth #3: Embalming protects people’s health
This is one of the most relentless myths surrounding funerals. Many believe that embalming should be done for the better health of the public. However, the process can be harmful to the embalmers themselves since there are a lot of chemicals used in the process. In fact, a dead body is less of a health hazard than a living person who is coughing.
Myth #4: Caskets and urns should be bought from the funeral home
Many more feel pressured into buying the caskets and cremation urns from the crematorium or funeral home. They have the impression that when they are going to have the service there, the materials should be bought from them as well. However, this is a myth. You have full freedom to choose the products from whichever source you may choose. This is particularly useful when the body is going to be shipped from one location to another.
Myth #5: Funerals are always mournful and depressing
This may have been true in the past but it’s far from how it is today. Modern funerals are anchored towards celebrating the life of the deceased. Many funeral homes are now equipped with audio visual equipment, others even have contemporary music played or custom urns or caskets made. Many families have switched the themes and moods over the years, which have aided greatly into helping those left behind cope better.
Myth #6: Cremation is the only alternative to traditional burial
Cremation is an environmental friendly alternative to traditional burials. However, it’s not the only alternative families can choose. There is also such a thing called green funerals, wherein the body is wrapped and buried in a linen shroud or a coffin is made from nature-friendly, biodegradable materials such as bamboo. Newer or special funeral homes have it. All it takes is finding the right one for your loved one.
Myth #7: Viewing is necessary
There are many ways people accept the death and find closure in the ordeal. However, one should never feel the need to have a viewing in order to have that closure. Each of us deal with differently. If you or your family members find no need to have a viewing, then you are free to forego it. If you are also pre-planning your own funeral, you can also skip the viewing. Take for example renowned musician, David Bowie.
Myth #8: Cremation reduces the body to ashes
Contrary to popular belief, the cremation process doesn’t reduce the body into aquarium gravel-like ashes. After the initial burning, bone fragments and the teeth are left. These are then pulverized into smaller dimensions but necessarily the same as touching sand on the beach.
Myth #9: Cremated remains should be put in an urn or interred in a cemetery
There is no “cremation police” that checks what you did with your loved one’s cremated remains. You may do as you like with it, whether it’s to keep it at home or scatter the ashes somewhere. You have full control of what to do with it afterwards.