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Funerals and memorial services allow the grieving family and
friends time to reminisce about the life of their loved one. A funeral or
memorial service can be a time not only for grieving but also for healing and
A funeral or memorial service also helps family
and friends face the reality of their loved one's death. It helps them begin
the process of accepting and adjusting to the loss.
Communicating preferences with
family members is important, whether you are planning your own funeral or a
Think about the choices you want for yourself. Things
to consider include the following:
Funeral expenses vary greatly,
depending on the area and on the types of services selected. You may avoid
unnecessary costs by discussing your wishes with your family. You may want to
schedule a meeting with family members and a funeral planner to go over
details. This could help your family save money and time and can help reduce
their stress after your death.
Funeral home burial charges
In addition to the funeral home costs, the cemetery
usually charges for the liner (vault) to prevent the ground from settling,
opening and closing the grave, and grave markers or monuments.
Cremation or donating your body to science is an alternative to burial
and generally is less expensive.
Other Works Consulted
Byock I (1997). Dying Well. New
York: Riverhead Books.
Byock I (2004). Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living. New York: Free Press.
Federal Trade Commission (2000). Funerals: A Consumer Guide. Available online:
Federal Trade Commission (2007). Paying Final Respects: Your Rights When Buying Funeral Goods and Services. Available online:
Federal Trade Commission (accessed April 2010). Funerals: Consumer Rights Under the Funeral Rule. Available
Himes C, et al. (2004). Practical issues at the time
of death. In Aging in Stride: Plan Ahead, Stay Connected, Keep Moving, pp. 248–253. Seattle: Caresource.
Current as of:
March 12, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Shelly R. Garone, MD, FACP - Palliative Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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