Next Monday, across the nation, individuals and families will visit cemeteries to honor their deceased loved ones. Memorial Day was first observed to honor the men who died in the Civil War and it was called Decoration Day. Now we pay homage to all the men and women who have served our country and to all the friends and family who have gone before us.
It is a day to recall fond memories of deceased loved ones so younger generations can appreciate family history and how values and traditions are passed down to each generation. It is a great opportunity to celebrate family, past and present. There is no greater tribute to your loved one.
Much hard work goes into making the cemeteries look beautiful for Memorial Day. The grass has been mowed and the American flags are flying. The flowers are ablaze with color. The sextons, volunteers and members of our military organizations deserve our gratitude.
Memorial Day will soon be here, a traditional day to remember our loved ones. It became a tradition on this day to go to cemeteries and put flowers on graves. It helps us to do something tangible to say, “We miss you.”
Most cemeteries have a rule that you may not place anything on or in the ground of a burial space. It is just too difficult to get the mowing done if the mowers need to stop and move and replace items. And the rule does tend to keep the cemetery looking neat and clean. But, you can put flowers or whatever you choose in permanent vases that are attached to the foundation or base all year long. You can even attach flowers to the stone itself.
Memorial Day is an exception. For this holiday, flowers may be placed upon the grave without the benefit of a permanent container. Many cemeteries allow the flowers to be placed on graves a week before and approximately two weeks after Memorial Day.
In most cases the clothing used in life by the deceased is the clothing chosen for his or her funeral.
Very often a man is dressed in a suit and tie, however, if the deceased was not accustomed to wearing a suit, the family may prefer him to be dressed in a more casual or in a more familiar way. There is nothing wrong with bib overalls if that was his favorite mode of dress.
When choosing clothing for a woman, her favorite dress or pantsuit in her favorite color would be a good choice. Also, something to consider when choosing clothing, is the color of the interior of the casket. A high neckline and long sleeves usually present an attractive appearance. If jewelry was a part of the deceased’s regular attire, then it should be worn. It can be removed before the burial, if desired. There is no right or wrong choices when deciding on funeral clothing, it is only the family’s preferences that matter.
Today, most cemeteries require the use of a vault or grave liner. This is to insure the burial receptacle will support the weight of the earth. This prevents unsightly sunken graves that used to be the earmark of most cemeteries.
The grave liner is a two-piece concrete or metal box that satisfies the receptacle requirement of cemeteries. If greater protection is preferred, the family may choose a vault. There are two different types of vaults, concrete or steel, either is a good choice. The concrete vault is sealed by a different method than the steel vault but both methods are very effective and protect the contents from outside elements. The steel vaults come in gauges, 7, 10, and 12.
You have a choice of different steel and concrete vaults and boxes from which to choose. We offer quality Wilbert concrete vaults and Clark steel vaults that are nationally known as leaders in the industry.
There are many considerations when selecting a casket. Many times, a casket is selected to reflect the lifestyle of the deceased. For instance, a beautiful wood casket may be chosen for a carpenter or a casket with a wheat motif might be chosen for a farmer. A color might influence the decision. Cost and construction and gauges of metal are also factors.
In the past we had a large room filled with caskets made of metal and wood in all colors. It was overwhelming for many families. Batesville Casket Company researched it and found a better way to display choices. We took their advice. It is a much better way and families have indicated their approval.
As always, our funeral directors will excuse themselves after explaining all casket options so that the family can discuss freely and openly with each other their preferences. We will never, directly or non-directly, try to influence the choices made.
The hour the funeral service is scheduled depends upon four considerations; the family’s wishes, the funeral director, the clergyman and the cemetery regulations. Other than the possibility of another funeral service already scheduled for the same place, same hour and day you select, our time is yours, including Sundays.
Clergymen in this area are very accommodating. However, prior commitments may prevent them from being available at the time selected. Also, to be considered, are cemetery regulations. Many cemeteries do not allow Sunday or holiday burials. If it is important for a family to have a Sunday funeral they can always choose to have the funeral on Sunday followed by a private burial on Monday. There are usually extra expenses for Saturday and Sunday burials.
We will do everything in our power to accommodate the family so that the funeral service can be scheduled at the time they select.
When considering total expense, one must include quite a few services that are not directly provided for by the funeral home.
These can include the grave space, opening and closing of the grave, flowers, vocalist gratuity, newspaper obituaries, minister honorariums and payment to out-of-town funeral establishments for services provided. Many of these expenses like the flowers and grave spaces are paid for directly by the family. The funeral home, as an accommodation to the family, can advance payment for other services, such as out of town and transportation expenses.
In most cases we have no control over third party expenses, but we do try to keep expenses down when we can. For instance, if a death occurs away from home, we do our best to negotiate a fair price with out-of-town funeral care providers. We will make sure that the family is aware of all the third-party expenses that will be incurred.