Answers YOU DON'T KNOW UNLESS YOU ASK
Answers To The Most Commonly Asked Questions
The answers below are here because these are the most commonly-asked questions. If your question isn't listed, we invite you to call or email us. We're here to provide the information you need, when you need it.
Q: What is a funeral?
A funeral is any "event" relating to a loss. No matter what you call this "event" (a Funeral Mass, Funeral or Memorial Service, Celebration of Life, Sharing of Memories, Life Tribute, Viewing & Visitation, Gathering, or even a Remembrance Party)- it's a Funeral. The naming of the funeral sets the tone for how families want to perceive the event or how they want others to perceive this event. Depending on denomination, it also identifies a type of religious ceremony, right, sacrament, or passage.
Funerals help to confirm the reality and finality of loss; they provide a climate for the expression of emotions; they allow the sorrows of one to become the sorrows of many; they are one of the few times love is given and not expected in return; they are a vehicle for the community to pay its respects; they encourage the affirmation of religious faith or individual spirituality & beliefs; they are a declaration that a life has been lived as well as a sociological statement that death has occurred; they help begin the coping process for those who have suffered a loss; and they help to create personal meaning in a time of change...
Q: Should I have a viewing?
Yes- Even though viewings/visitations are difficult events to attend, viewings are of proven worth and value for those who have experienced a loss. They are a part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewings aid in a healthy coping process by "making real" the death of a loved one. They provide an opportunity for family, friends, and aquaintances to share in the loss and to express their love, respect, and grief. They permit facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Viewings help the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss. Viewings help us to say "good bye" to how that relationship was lived, and opens our hearts to a new relationship.
Viewings are even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well. When is comes to small children and grief, most children will react to the emotions of those around them; especially their parents, close family, and friends. Their understanding of death and loss has not been developed.
Q: What type of Funeral or Service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship, at the funeral home, or an alternative location. Common services include: Visitation/Viewings/Receptions, Religious Ceremony, Tribute or Rememberance Ceremony, or a Graveside Ceremony or Tribute. These services can either be held public or private... but public support is encouraged. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination, spirituality, or the wishes of the family. It is common practice to combine services: such as, a time of viewing/visitation is followed the next day by a funeral ceremony. We encourage a viewing and time of visitation prior to the service. The presence of friends at this time is an expression of compassion and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service.
Funeral and Visitations can be personalized. In fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a Life Tribute. We are happy to discuss all options and ideas to ensure a funeral is tailored to meet your family's needs.
Q: Why do we need an obituary notice?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and timing of services to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on our funeral home website days prior to the Funeral. This helps others to plan ahead, to make time for you and your family.
Q: What do Funeral Directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete necessary legal paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral tribute and final disposition of the body.
By law, only the immediate family and licensed funeral directors are able to arrange and handle financials when arranging funeral tribute services, transportation, preparation of human remains, and final disposition.
As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.
Q: What should I do if a loved one dies in the middle of the night, on the weekend, or while I'm away from home?
Call Boston Funeral Service at 715-344-4223. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there momentarily. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased, we will come when the time is right. If you are away from home, we will place your loved one in our care and wait until you are available.
We can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Again, Contact Us Immediately. We will assume responsibility and coordinate the return of your loved one to our community. We may engage the services of another funeral director in the place of death, who will act as our agent and correspondent.
Q: What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming is a Procedure of Care that disinfects and temporally preserves a human body. It slows the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of a body. It allows the funeral home to maintain public health standards and policies. It gives family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming enables mourners to view and touch the deceased.
-The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.
Embalming will never bring back a youthful appearance your loved one. It will help to render a suitable likeness for the closure; a healthy coping process that is needed for you and your family.
Embalming is not required by law, but many factors such as timing, public health policies, and other legal requirements may necessitate the procedure. Implementing final disposition is not an immediate process. Embalming helps to maintain public health policies for viewings and during holding periods. In addition, embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported accross state lines or by air to another country where local laws need be observed.
Q: Is embalming & the use of formaldehyde a major cause of environmental concerns?
No. Contrary to current belief and green burial propaganda, there are no direct environmental studies that contribute the use of formaldehyde in the practice of embalming for burial or cremation to major environmental impact. The amount of formaldehyde used in embalming is minimal. Potential health risks may exist for the embalmer only. Proper precautions mandated by OSHA minimize exposure risks for an embalmer.
Q: Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is only an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition. It often follows a viewing/visitation or funeral service. Since cremation is not an immediate process, mandatory waiting times allow family members the opportunity to gather, arrange, and participate in vistations, viewings, and ceremonies.
Q: Can I have a visitation/viewing and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Yes. Cremation does not prevent families from having a visitation/viewing and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of a human body. Since cremation is not an immediate process, mandatory waiting times allow family members the opportunity to gather, arrange, and participate in visitations, viewings, and ceremonies.
Q: Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of a Contagious Disease?
Yes, a person who dies of a contagious disease or illness is entitled to the same service options offered to anyone else. The process of embalming allows us to disinfect the body of your loved one. Touching the deceased's face or hands is perfectly safe.
Q: How much does a funeral cost?
Funeral arrangements and final disposition can greatly vary in cost depending on the type of arrangements made or circumstances surrounding the death. The type of services and merchandise, in addition to additional vendor charges, affect cost. There are two general categories that are charged through the funeral home.
1) Services and Merchandise provided by the Funeral Home
2) Services & Merchandise provided by Other Vendors.
(Cemetery Charges, Newspaper Obituary, Death Certificates, Flowers, Luncheon, County Permit Fees, & etc.)
The Average Total Costs, which include funeral home charges & additional vendor charges, may range from $11,000 to $3, 500.
Average Total Costs may range from $11,000 to $8,000, if full burial is chosen for final disposition.
Average Total Costs may range from $8,000 to $3,500, if cremation with burial is chosen for final disposition.
The main variance in cost is due to: the type of merchandise selected, circumstances surrounding the death, the type of services selected, the type and amount of additional vendors selected & used, or the type of prepayment you have previously arranged.
In relation to the cost estimates above, there are no guarantees made unless a preplan and prepayment have been implemented.
To find out more about cost; you are more than welcome to schedule an appointment so we can address this question in more detail.
Q: Why are funerals so expensive?
In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings celebrations. The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer.
Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive state and federal mandates; facilities (viewing rooms, holding rooms, chapels, vehicles, etc.), and liability insurance. These expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but also the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate legal forms; coordinating with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned and are not extremely profitable.
Q: Is cremation easier and cheaper?
No matter what choice of service or final disposition you arrange; the loss of a loved one or friend is never easy.
Q: Who pays for indigent funerals or funerals when there is no money?
The state or federal government does not pay for funerals and final disposition. It is the responsibility of the family to make payment arrangements with the funeral director or to seek financial consolation from a bank or credit union. The state does offer minimal funeral and burial aid if the decedent has been prequalified. But this will not pay for the funeral arrangements in full. There is also aid for military veterans who qualify.
The answers below are here because these are the most commonly-asked questions. If yours isn't listed, we invite you to call us. We're here to provide the information you need, when you need it.
Q: Can funeral homes own cemeteries?
Wisconsin state law strictly prohibits funeral homes and cemeteries to have a direct business connection.
Q: Are cemeteries running out of space?
Just like other open spaces, cemeteries are impacted by increased population density in both urban and rural areas. At this time cemeteries are not running out of space.
Q: What is Perpetual Care?
"Perpetual Care" usually refers to the correct terms Permanent Care or Endowment Care. These Care funds are collected with each Interment Space sale to maintain the grounds, roads, and buildings of the cemetery.
Q: Are burial vaults required by law?
No, burial vaults are not required by law. Cemeteries generally require burial vaults to keep the ground from caving in and to decrease any possible liability associated to injury of those who wish to visit the cemetery. Urn vaults are used to shelter cremation urn when it is made of a biodegradable substance.
Q: Can two caskets be put into one burial space?
This depends on the rules and regulations of the cemetery. Some cemeteries do offer double depth interment. In the state of Wisconsin, there are very few cemeteries that offer this. Most often, cemeteries require one burial per space.
Q: Can two urns be buried in one cemetery space?
This depends on the rules and regulations of the cemetery. Most often, cemeteries allow two urns to be buried on one space. Be sure to contact the cemetery of choice to find out the specific regulations.
Q: What is Entombment?
Entombment is placing a casket in a Mausoleum or Crypt. Both are clean and dry. They offer a viable alternative for those who simply have an aversion of being interred in the ground.
Q: What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is often located within a mausoleum or is an outside structure that has numerous small compartments called Niches. Niches designed to hold urns containing cremated remains.
Q: What is a green cemetery or green burial?
A green cemetery facilitates the direct (not immediate) burial of human remains- without a standard casket or vault. Traditional embalming is not practiced. A biodegradable container is utilized to encase the remains for burial. The container and remains are placed directly into the grave, and the grave is filled.
The popularity of green burials is minimal at best due to the limitations it places on families. Their ability to schedule viewings and ceremony is greatly limited. Due to the nature of decomposition, direct burial need to occur rapidly unless Eco-embalming has been preformed. In addition, the Cemetery burial expenses can exceed a traditional burial.
Most green cemeteries will allow eco-embalming. It is a process that uses natural substances within the embalming process; giving families, who wish to implement green burial practices, time to arrange viewings & tribute ceremonies. –Be aware, Eco-embalming is a very time limiting practice, and does not give the same reassurances that traditional embalming offers.