~Frequently Asked Questions~

Q: What is the purpose of a funeral service or ceremony?

A: The funeral service or ceremony are indeed very important. For those who are left behind, a funeral provides:

1. a place for family and friends to gather for support and to reminisce
2. an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one
3. a safe haven for embracing and expressing pain
4. a transition to a new life after the death of a loved one
5. family and friends an opportunity to reaffirm their relationship with the deceased

The funeral or ceremony identifies that a person's life has been lived, not that a death has occurred. It is also important to notify the community that this person has passed away. There are people beyond the immediate family who have the right to grieve a death.

Q: Can I still have a traditional funeral service if I desire cremation?

A: Yes. Cremation opens the doors to a number of different funeral options. From traditional services to contemporary celebrations, cremation gives you the flexibility to personalize the services for yourself or a loved one. To learn more about cremation, please visit the Cremation section of this website or contact us for more information.

Q: Is embalming required by law?

A: Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial. Embalming is the scientific preparation and sanitary care of the body by licensed professionals using universal precautions for the protection of public health. Our licensed professional staff performs all embalming.

Certain religious beliefs may prohibit embalming or place restrictions on its practice. Consult your clergyperson or one of our funeral directors, if you have questions or concerns about embalming and your religious beliefs.

Q: What is the purpose of viewing the deceased?

A: Many bereavement experts agree that viewing the deceased confirms the reality of death, offers the family and friends an opportunity to say "good-bye" to their loved one and helps survivors take an important step toward recovering from their loss.

Q: Should a child attend a funeral, ceremony or viewing?

A: 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 ways which we misunderstand as "moody", "cranky", "withdrawn" or other behavioral patterns which do not appear to us to be grief.

When a death occurs children need to be surrounded by feelings of warmth, acceptance and understanding. This may be a tall order to expect of the adults who are experiencing their own grief and upset.

Caring adults can guide children through this time when the child is experiencing feelings for which they have no words and thus can not identify. In a very real way, this time can be a growth experience for the child, teaching about love and relationships.

The first task is to create an atmosphere in which the child's thoughts, fears and wishes are recognized. This means that they should be allowed to participate in any of the arrangements, ceremonies and gatherings which are comfortable for them.

First, explain what will be happening and why it is happening at a level the child can understand. A child may not be able to speak at a grandparent's funeral but would benefit greatly from the opportunity to draw a picture to be placed in the casket or displayed at the service. Be aware that children will probably have short attention spans and may need to leave a service or gathering before the adults are ready. Many families provide a non-family attendant to care for the children in this event.

The key is to allow the participation, not to force it. Forced participation can be harmful. Children instinctively have a good sense of how involved they wish to be. They should be listened to carefully.

Q: I've never arranged a funeral before. What do I need to know?

A: At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist in making funeral arrangements. This will not be an easy time, but here are some tips for smart planning:

1.Be an informed consumer. Don't be reluctant to ask questions.
2.Our funeral directors offer a variety of options to meet your financial needs and
  wishes. Families should discuss all options with one of our funeral directors when making
  arrangements.
3.When selecting a funeral home, give thought to this decision as you would when choosing
  any other major purchase.
4.Be prepared! Avoid the burden of making decisions while under emotional stress by
  organizing details with one of our funeral directors ahead of time. Remember ...
  preplanning doesn't necessarily mean prepaying.
5.Plan a personalized ceremony or service to help you begin the healing process.
  Getting through grief is never easy but having a meaningful funeral will help.
6.Contact one of our licensed funeral directors for more information on making
  meaningful arrangements.

Q: Is it possible to plan a funeral in advance?

A: We recommend that everyone preplan his or her own funeral. Doing so can offer emotional and financial security for both you and your family. By preplanning a funeral you will get the kind of service you want and your family will be unburdened from making decisions at a stressful time. Preplanning doesn’t necessarily mean prepaying. If you are considering preplanning your funeral, please visit the Pre-Planning section of this website or contact us for more information.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to  contact us.  We are available 24-hours a day. You can also e-mail your questions here.

Copyright © 2005 - 2011 Clary Funeral Consultants, Inc.
3004 West Lake Avenue
Peoria, Illinois 61615
309-686-0166