Losing a loved one is always sad. There is the emotional turmoil that comes with mourning and the incredible hole left in the family. However above and beyond this, there is the added responsibility of performing last rites on the departed. There are different preferences on last rites, depending on certain factors including religion, city guidelines among others. Here are some of the universal costs that you need to account for when planning a funeral:

Embalming

Viewing stations are a standard when it comes to funerals. It allows people to say their final farewells to the departed and maybe even get some closure. Embalming the body is an essential part of this process. It involves draining the body of all the fluids and filling them with a mixture of formaldehyde, ethanol, methanol and other solvents to preserve it for viewing.

Caskets and burial Shrouds

Depending on your preferences, or the wishes of the deceased, you can get a variety of caskets to use. You can also get a burial shroud if that is the way you have chosen to go. Burial shrouds are a long length of fabric wrapped around the body with a series of fabric handles to help move the body. They are being used more for the environmentally conscious, for green burials.

Caskets come in many different shapes and are made of different material. This is all to suit the different budgets that the family could be working with. Wood caskets include plain pine boxes like they used in the old west, to ornate wood carved mahogany ones. There are also metal caskets made from steel, copper or bronze. Of course, mahogany and bronze caskets will cost you more.

planning a funeral

Headstone

Headstones are used to show who is buried at a particular grave. They are also known as grave markers or monuments. Traditionally, they are made of stone or metal, due to their long lasting qualities. It can be hard to choose a headstone, but here are a few pointers to help you out:

  • Gravestones are laid flat on the ground and are usually made from granite or bronze.
  • Monuments are upright, stand out and are typically granite or marble statues. They are therefore more expensive.
  • Take into account the additional fees that come with headstones, such as engraving, delivery and foundation fees.

Transportation and Removal

These might sound similar, but are in fact very different. Transportation includes taking the body from where the death occurred to the funeral home and from the funeral home to the internment site. Removal fees are what the funeral home charges to move the body from a private home or a hospital to the funeral home.

The cost is calculated based on distance and the number of staff required for the job. While these are considered the universal costs, there are other expenses that are dependent on the person. These include clergy or celebrants to officiate memorial services, music, flowers, and the printing of programs.

Planning a funeral can be challenging- both emotionally and financially. A strategic approach makes feasible and bearable.

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