Disproving Funeral Myths
June 15, 2018
When a loved onepasses away, their family is often left to make arrangements to honor their life and say goodbye. Over the years, many funeral myths and misconceptions have been created and passed down from one generation to the next. It’s no one’s fault really, many of these myths have been the result of things we’ve seen in television or films. Others have just been one individual’s beliefs that others have taken to be true and accurate.
When a family steps through the doors of our funeral home, they often have questions about arranging a funeral service and what’s required. After noticing a trend of common questions and concerns, we’ve decided to address them. It’s time to set the record straight andstart disproving funeral myths that are simply nottrue.
Here are 7 funeral myths to stop believing.
Funerals Cost a Fortune
In the past 20 years, funeral costs have been on the rise. According to the National Funeral Director’s Association, the average cost of a funeral with casketed burial in the United States is now $7181. However, there are several more affordable options available. The price of a direct burial for instance is often much lower than a traditional funeral. We always recommend that families first establish a budget before they begin making arrangements. If you come to us with a budget of what you can afford, our experienced staff will work with you to ensure we accommodate both your needs and budget.
Embalming Preserves Remains Forever
A common misconception is that embalming a body stops it from decomposing. In actuality, the purpose of embalming is to hold off the decomposition process so families can have an open casket viewing. After about a week or so, the embalming fluid will no longer be effective and the remains will start to decompose. Other factors like temperature and environment will also increase or decrease the rate of decomposition.
You Can’t Be Buried Privately
Many people believe that your remains must be placed in a mausoleum or buried in a cemetery. In Maryland, the state requires that bodies be buried in an established cemetery or in a family burial plot or other area allowed by a local ordinance. Maryland’s health code states that before establishing a family cemetery, you must check with the county health department and the county or town clerk for any local zoning laws you must follow.
You should also look into real estate laws as well. In the state of New York for instance, the land used for burial must not be mortgaged and can never be mortgaged again. This means, in addition to disclosing the cemetery when trying to sell the property, prospective buyers must also be able to purchase the land outright as they cannot mortgage it.
You Need to Have a Religious Official
In years past, most traditional funerals were religious ceremonies. Today however, many people are opting for less traditional services. If your family is not overly religious, you do not need to make faith a part of it. Funeral services can be led by friends or family members instead of a religious officiant. Today, some families choose to avoid funerals altogether and instead opt for a memorial service or celebration of life.
Vaults Are Required by Law
There are no states that require you to purchase and use a burial vault. However, most cemeteries have their own regulations for burials. They will often require you to use a burial vault to help keep the cemetery safe. Burial vaults help prevent the ground from sinking in and reduces the maintenance for cemetery workers.
Embalming Is Required by Law
There are no states that require embalming for the first 24 hours after death. In fact, most states do not require it under any circumstances. If there is going to be a delay between the death and final disposition, refrigeration is usually an acceptable alternative.
Cremation Reduces a Body to Ashes
Although they are commonly referred to as “ashes”, cremated remains are not actually ashes. Once the body has been reduced, only bone fragments remain. These are then pulverized down to small little pebbles. While you may have been picturing ashes like what you find in a campfire, the “ashes” look more like crushed seas or aquarium gravel.