Basics


Many people may not realize that when a death occurs there are many things which need to be taken care of and many questions which need to be answered. (Some legal documents have a time limit in which to be filed.) It has been our experience that attempting to answer these questions and make the required decisions at the time of death is not the best time. A person grieving may not make rational decisions in many cases. (Nor should they be expected to) The mind and whole emotional being is in such a state that trying to concentrate on the many things which need to be done is nearly impossible. This is why we recommend Pre-Planning the funeral in advance. Many people seem to think that you need to pay money to pre-plan a funeral. Not so!. To pre-plan a funeral means to have all of your wishes and desires and necessary information recorded and on file before your death. Pre-Funding is putting money in a trust in advance to cover expenses. 


When Death Occurs

When Death Occurs At Home

When death occurs at home, you should first call your local police department (or 911) and then phone your personal physician and/or your current attending physician. If you have hospice care, they will take care of this for you. Then you should phone the funeral home of your choice. The funeral home cannot remove the deceased until he/she has been released by authorization from the Medical Examiner and Police Dept. When authorization has been granted, the funeral home will come and transport the deceased back to the funeral home.


When Death Occurs At A Medical Facility/Nursing Home

When death occurs at a medical facility/nursing home, the staff will contact the funeral home of your choice. The funeral home will take care of all of the immediate arrangements and get in contact with you. If you wish, you may phone the funeral home on your own.


When Death Occurs Away From Home

When death occurs away from home, you should first phone your local police department (or 911) if death occurs at a residence. Then, or if death occurs at a medical facility, you should phone the funeral home you have chosen to handle the services to take care of ALL of the arrangements concerning embalming/cremation and transportation.


After these immediate arrangements have been made, you will need to contact family members and friends. You will also need to meet with your funeral director to make all of the necessary arrangements and sign the required forms if you have not done any pre-planning. We emphasize how much easier this time will be if you have previously made arrangements.


Embalming vs. Cremation

Embalming has been practiced since ancient Egypt and is performed using chemical substances. Small incisions are made in either the carotid or femoral artery and the jugular or femoral vein; the disinfecting fluid is injected through the carotid or femoral artery, and the blood is drained from the jugular or femoral vein. Today we embalm for two main reasons - to allow sufficient time between death and burial so that we may honor the deceased and help family members in their grief through activities such as visitations and funeral services - and to protect public health.

Cremation is the process of reducing the body to ashes and bone fragments through the application of intense heat by direct flame. This usually takes two to three hours and occurs in a cremation chamber known as a retort. The remaining bone fragments are processed into a fine consistency and mixed with the ashes. Embalming is necessary if you wish to have a viewing/service with the body present. It is also required under certain circumstances relating to the cause of death and in transporting situations across state lines.

Generally, cremation with a memorial service is less expensive than a funeral service with the body present, however, this depends on the merchandise selected, the service requirements desired, and cemetery costs.


Burial vs. Cremation

Burial, entombment and cremation are all forms of final disposition. With burial, the body is placed in a casket, which is in turn placed in a vault, and then buried in the ground. With entombment, the casketed body is sealed inside a small chamber located inside of a building, called a mausoleum. With cremation, the body is submitted to intense heat and flame until it is reduced to ashes and bone fragments. The remaining bone fragments are then processed into a fine consistency and mixed with the ashes. The cremains are the property of, and returned to, the legal next of kin.


Options

Your options are many.

  • You may have a funeral service with the body present followed by burial.
  • You may have a funeral service with the body present followed by cremation.
  • You may have a memorial service without the body present followed by burial.
  • You may have a memorial service without the body present followed by cremation.
  • You may have a visitation period with the body present and a funeral service without
  • the body present followed by cremation.
  • You may have a visitation period with the body present and a funeral service without
  • the body present followed by burial.
  • You may...You may...You may...

As you can see, you may have just about any type of service you wish, in addition to a wide range of merchandise to choose from. 

We, the entire staff of Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home, are firmly committed to providing you with the options that you desire and diligently strive to accommodate your wishes.


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Purple lights are legally designated for funeral processions. Please show respect to the deceased and family members when you see these lights by slowing down and steering to the side of the road.

You must legally allow the right of way at intersections to vehicles in a procession and it is illegal and disrespectful to cut into a funeral procession. Remember the Golden Rule.


In this section

Basics

Frequent Questions

Grief Support

Social Security Benefits

Financial Matters

Resources


A Cremation Retort

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