Everything you need to know about funerals.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BODY DONATION
“I don’t need to worry about making plans at a funeral home because I am donating my body to science.”
We hear this statement from many people as we educate our community on the benefits of pre-planning for funeral and cemetery needs. While body donation is a noble and typically less expensive alternative to traditional burial, cremation, or cremation followed by burial, there are many restrictions and processes that families should be aware of before selecting this option.
Body Donation Information:
- Ensure you have registered in advance for the entity you would like to use for your body donation.
- Decide if you want to participate in a full-body or body part donation program. Full-body donations are for medical schools or research programs. Some for-profit donation businesses sell various parts of the bodies to medical device companies and researchers.
- Read any consent forms you are asked to sign.
- Make sure your family knows of your wishes. If your family calls a funeral home and agrees to embalming at the time of your death, body donation companies will not accept the donation.
- Even if you are a registered donor, you could be rejected at the time of your passing based on the cause and nature of your death. Your family will then be responsible for making arrangements and paying for the services of a funeral home.
- Most facilities will cremate any parts of your body remaining and return the cremated remains to your family. This could take months up to years. Depending on the research that was involved, there are times when no cremated remains will be available for the family.
- Some willed body programs require the family to pay a portion of the cost of shipping your body to the donation facility. They may also have to pay for the cremated remains to be returned to them.
Restrictions on Body Donation:
- Body donors must be free of infectious diseases. These include but are not limited to HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis, Ebola, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease.
- Donor bodies typically must weigh less than 250 lbs.
- Violent deaths and suicides often preclude a person from body donation.
- Bodies that have had vital organs removed for transplant purposes are usually not accepted.
- Embalmed bodies are not suitable for body donation.
Body donation is admirable and a necessary part of the medical research in our world today. Just ensure you and your family are fully informed about the process.
Death Certificate Information
By Jennine Morris, Death Certificate Specialist
DEATH CERTIFICATE TIMELINE
1. Family gathers vital record information about
2. Facts of Death Verification Form is prepared by the Funeral Director and signed by the family
3. Medical Designation process is performed by the doctor
4. Death certificates are released to the state and copies are ordered by the funeral home
5. State of Texas processes the death certificate requests
6. Death certificates are received at the funeral home
REQUIRED VITAL RECORD INFORMATION FOR DECEASED
- Full legal name
- Social security number (card is not required)
- City and State of Birth
- Parent Full Names (including Mother’s Maiden Name)
- Highest Level of Education
- Occupation and Job Industry
- Military Service (bring a copy of the DD214)
Things to Know from Desiree Dominguez
Rockwall and Royse City Location Manager
Here are some things all families need to know about funeral planning:
- It’s never too early to start gathering vital statistics of your loved such as social security number, parents' names, and mom’s maiden name.
- If your loved one is a veteran, do you know where the DD214 discharge papers are?
- Each family needs to decide on traditional burial, cremation, or cremation with burial? What’s your loved one's wishes? Do they want to be viewed?
- With cremation, is the family going to eventually bury the urn? If you would like to take the urn home, great, but what about years down the road? Are you going to leave your children with the burden of holding onto the urn forever?
- For a burial with a viewing, always bring a full set of clothes and undergarments. People think you don’t need pants, but you do.
- Try to think of how you want to be celebrated and let your loved ones know. Death is inevitable, it will happen so it does not hurt to start talking about it with your loved ones.
- It never hurts to start preplanning at any age.
FAQs from Jonathan Chance
Rowlett Location Manager
What to expect in an arrangement Conference? What does the family need to bring?
A conversation on how to celebrate the life of their loved one. We will be obtaining information required for the death certificate, pictures for the Celebration of Life, personal items that can be set out for display.
What should my family discuss before my death?
As the holidays begin to arrive, it's the perfect time to share what you want for your celebration of life with those closest to you. Likewise, what are the wishes of those closest to you? The most difficult conversations are with families that have no clue about the wishes of their loved one. Great starter questions: For closure, would your family like to have the opportunity to gather and have an open casket if possible? Do you have a cemetery or location where your life would be memorialized? Do you have a family member that has your banking information or social media login access? Are you and your family member's life insurance and beneficiary listings current?
What are some misconceptions about our industry?
The first misconception is that it's better that you eliminate any funeral/memorial services, so your family won't grieve as much. The facts are well documented that bringing your community together, be it a large group or a small family gathering, creates an environment for the best possible grieving process to develop within your family and friends' lives.
The second misconception is that when you die, you'll never want to be viewed. Do you have to be embalmed? No, you don't. However, it is a requirement by the funeral home in most cases when you have a public viewing. The funeral home can prepare your loved one for a private family viewing if you don't embalm. This family time can be before cremation or burial.
Anything else you want people to know?
Many people hate to talk about death. Please know, talking about your funeral won't make you dead. You and your family's knowledge empowers them to know what you want if something should happen.
OTHER FUNERAL QUESTIONS
What is a funeral?
The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.
What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-arrangement, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in traditions according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.
Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we encourage it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Our staff is happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. We are here to help you explore the possibilities.
Why should we have a public viewing?
There are many reasons to view the deceased. It is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process, by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well.
Why do we need an obituary?
Most families find it is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary published announcing the death and service arrangements. We will help you place an obituary in the newspapers of your choice. Although newspapers do charge a fee to publish obituaries, there is no extra cost for us to publish your obituary to our website.
What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the deceased, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the deceased. As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting families who are coping with death. Our funeral directors are trained to help you arrange a personal and meaningful tribute and to answer your questions along the way.
What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at 972-771-8641, and one of our staff will be there as quickly as we can get there.
What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Our funeral directors can assist you no matter where a death occurs. We can coordinate the necessary arrangements or connect you with a funeral home where the death occurred, if necessary.
What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, slows the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.
Is embalming mandatory by law?
No. But, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Your funeral director will help you with any concerns or questions you have.
Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service. We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.
Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Yes. Cremation does not preclude having a visitation period and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body.
Is cremation as a means of disposition increasing?
Yes, due to changing traditions and social norms, cremation has become but not dramatically.
Cemetery Common Questions
The answers below are here because these are some 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.
What is Perpetual Care?
"Perpetual Care" means that the cemetery owner is obligated to maintain the grounds and cemetery spaces indefinitely. Rest Haven Memorial Park is a perpetual care cemetery and property owners are assured that the grounds, roads, and buildings of the cemetery will be maintained with the highest level of care.
Can the vault be personalized?
Yes, we can show you the wide range of personalization choices, including customized nameplates and military insignias.
Are there vaults for cremated remains?
Yes, we offer urn vaults, designed for in-ground burial of cremated remains.
Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes. Our state-of-the-art cremation facility is set up to allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.
Must I purchase a burial vault?
Rest Haven Memorial Park does require you to have such a container so that the ground will not sink.
What are the advantages of a mausoleum burial?
Some people prefer mausoleum crypts as an alternative for those who do not want to be interred in the ground.
What is a columbarium?
A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden setting, is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains.