Frequently Asked Questions



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General Funeral Questions

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What is the purpose of a monument or grave marker?

Grave markers, commonly known as headstones, tombstones, or gravestones, are placed over the grave to mark the resting place of the deceased. The markers are usually made of stone and have the deceased’s name, dates of birth and death, and perhaps an inspirational message or scripture quote. Markers may also incorporate sculpture or other funerary art. The purpose of the grave marker is to provide the bereaved a focus for mourning and remembrance when they visit the grave.

Should young children be permitted to attend funerals?

Death is a natural and inevitable part of life. Most experts agree that children should not be shielded from death. Parents should take into consideration the age of the child, his or her capability to understand what is happening, and the type of funeral service that will be held, and make a decision accordingly. If the parent believes the child is capable of handling the situation, then they may discuss the death itself and the meaning of the funeral ceremony in age-appropriate language. Patience and understanding from the parent is important. The child should always be allowed to ask questions and to grieve if needed.

What is a eulogy?

The eulogy is a speech delivered at a funeral service in honor of the deceased. The person delivering the eulogy is usually a close friend, member of the clergy, or family member.

What is a memorial video?

Memorial videos are often included as part of a funeral, viewing, or memorial service. They serve as a tribute to the life of the deceased, and may incorporate photos, music, inspirational quotes, clips from home movies, and other media. The memorial video is often presented in a slideshow format. Copies of the video are provided to family members as a memento from the service.

How can a funeral be personalized?

There are a number of ways you can personalize a funeral by including elements that address some unique aspect of the deceased’s life. Think about the qualities for which your loved one is remembered, their hobbies and passions, achievements, and shared memories. You may then incorporate these ideas into specific elements. These elements might include:

  • Special music
  • A photo slideshow celebrating the deceased’s life
  • A photo slideshow celebrating the deceased’s life
  • “Take home” mementos or tokens of appreciation that reflect some aspect of the deceased’s personality
  • A tribute table to honor the deceased’s interests and hobbies
  • Websites featuring “memory pages” where visitors can view photos, add comments, etc.
  • A memory book or memory cards, where friends and family can write down their favorite memories of the loved one, and keep for future remembrance

Who pays for final arrangements for the indigent?

Most counties have an indigent burial program that is funded by state agencies. If a person dies, burial assistance may be obtained by applying to the appropriate county department. Generally, both the deceased person and the next of kin, if there is someone, must qualify for the indigent burial program.

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