Common Questions about Funerals

What purpose do funerals serve?
Funeral rituals, found in every society that has ever existed, are the way that we recognize death and its finality. They allow a family, friends, and community to gather to support each other in a loss, as well as celebrate a life that has been lived. The services provide a way for loved ones to affirm the dignity of the dead, and they help friends and relatives begin the grief process. They are important because they remind us that each life is special. You are significant, and funeral rituals allow us - the living - the opportunity to reflect on this.

What is the purpose of public viewing?
Viewing of the deceased is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions around the world. Many grief counselors report that viewing in some form is important in the grief process because it helps the bereaved recognize the reality of the passing of a loved one.

How much do caskets cost?
As is the case with almost all products, caskets can be produced to sell within a wide range. Some fine hardwoods and some bronze caskets can sell for over $10,000 and more. We can provide options in all different styles to fit within all budgets.

What is a vault, and how much do they cost?
Outer burial containers, or vaults, encase and protect the casket and support the weight of the earth. Most are also designed to prevent water to enter the casket. Although there are no law says that a burial vault must be used, some cemeteries may require some form of outer enclosure.

Should children attend funerals?
The best way to answer this question is to ask the child. Generally, children beyond the age of four can express for themselves whether or not they wish to attend the funeral. Extra care should be taken to explain to the child what to expect at the services. If a child indicates a willingness to participate in the funeral, parents should offer their support. If the child does not want to participate in the funeral, every effort should be made so as not to force them to attend.

How long does grief last?
This is probably the most common question asked by the bereaved. Because every person is unique, there is no single answer to this question. In most cases, the pain associated with the grieving begins to subside considerably in the second and third years following the loss. This means that there are more good days than difficult ones, and that the sometimes heavy feelings present in earlier months are replaced by more hopeful, optimistic emotions.

What helps the grieving process?
Even though grief can be accompanied by feelings of helplessness, there are important steps and actions that those in the grief process can take to make the grieving process move towards a more rapid resolution. Here are some ways to cope with the pain of loss:

  • Seek out supportive people - Find a relative, friend, neighbor, or spiritual leader who will listen without judgment and provide you with support as you sort your way through grief.
  • Join a support group - Being with others who have had a similar loss is therapeutic and helpful.
  • Express your feelings - Do this by confiding in a trusted friend or by writing in a journal. Expressing those powerful emotions can diminish their potentially negative effect.
  • Take care of your health - Eat balanced, nutritious meals. Rest properly, and find an exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. If you experience physical problems, consult with your physician.
  • Find outside help when necessary - If your bereavement feels too heavy for you to bear, find a counselor or therapist trained in grief issues to provide guidance and support.

Where may I receive additional information concerning grief recovery?
We have many resources available for you, including a great deal of written material to assist you at this difficult time. Call us; we can help you.

What should I do if death occurs away from home?
If the death occurs out-of-state, you should call first call Laing Funeral Home. We will handle all necessary arrangements and coordinate transportation with another funeral home in the location where the death occurred. With our experience, it is extremely likely that we can save you money if you contact us first.