Frequently asked questions…..
1. What is a funeral and why is it important?
o Funerals are not just a ceremony to honor those who have died. Funerals are also an important ritual that helps survivors start dealing with their loss by sharing with those around them.
o Offers an opportunity to express feelings of grief
o Encourages sharing of memories that celebrate and validate the life of the deceased
o Provides support from friends and family and acknowledges the loss within the community
o More than just a service for the person who has died, a funeral is for the loved ones who are left behind. Participating in a funeral can be a therapeutic act that actually starts the healing process. "Funerals are not to benefit the dead, but the living. They have a number of unparalleled therapeutic benefits. As a rite of passage, the funeral assists you in recognizing the passing of your loved one, supporting you as you start your life without the deceased, and reintegrating you back into the social group as a person whose loved one is no longer alive." ~ How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese A. Rando, Ph.D.
2. Is embalming required by law?
o In Pennsylvania, Embalming is not required by law; however it may be required for viewing or transportation purposes. It also may be required for mausoleum entombment.
3. Should Children attend funerals?
o Children grieve just as adults do. You should explain what is happening and why it is happening at the child’s comprehension level. What a 3 year old understands is much different than what a 12 year old understands. 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.
4. Are outer burial container or vaults required by law?
o NO state has a law requiring burial vaults. Most cemeteries, however, do have such regulations because the vault keeps the grave from sinking in after decomposition of the body and casket, reducing maintenance for the cemetery workers.
5. What is cremation?
o Cremation is simply a form of disposition. The crematable casket is placed in a cremation chamber where, through a process of heat and evaporation, the body is reduced to its original elements- bone fragments, not ashes.
6. Can you have cremation with an open casket visitation?
o Yes, many families select an appropriate service to take place before the cremation or after. You may still have a traditional funeral with visitation, with the cremation disposition taking place after the service.
7. How Does A Person Pre-Arrange A Funeral ?
o You simply meet with either us, in your home or at the Fitzpatrick Funeral Home.
o You select the services and merchandise you wish and in the price range you feel comfortable.
o You arrange to pay for your funeral in a single payment or monthly payments up to five (5) years.
8. Should I discuss pre-arrangements with my family before deciding?
o Many people find that a family discussion helps to ensure that everyone involved is comfortable with the arrangements being made. Certainly, family members can form a closer bond through discussions of this type. And often, people are better able to determine what their real feelings and personal preference are after they’ve shared this information with loved ones. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts and decisions with your family.
9. If I buy a funeral plan now to be used in the future, how do I know it will be available when I die?
o If you buy now (pre-need) the merchandise items to be delivered in the future are provided for by a State of Pa. law requiring the seller to deposit 70% of the sale amount of the item in a trust fund to be used to supply the item when the death occurs. The service items to be delivered in the future are provided for by a State of Pa. law requiring the seller to deposit 100% of the sale amount in a trust fund or have an insurance policy to cover the items sold as such.
10. What happens if someone close to me dies away from home?
o After the death has occurred, the most prudent decision would be to call your funeral service. Your funeral director will be able to make the necessary arrangements to transfer the deceased, relieving the family of the burden of dealing with unfamiliar people, places and related issues.