Some people may prefer holding or having the funeral of their loved one in the comfort and familiarity of their own home. Deaths do differ and funerals can as well. This is an option, of course, as there is such a thing as a home funeral. If you are not familiar with it but think it is the fitting option for you, then read on to know more about home funerals and how they are planned.
I. What is a home funeral?
A home funeral is when the funeral is held at home. It is more personal than a traditional funeral and is more like a private ceremony where the family obtains all the after-death documents of their loved one. This type of funeral is done in the comfort of one’s home. They prepare the body themselves and notify the authorities about their wishes and plans. They also complete the after-death documents. You can also be the one to assign florist or choose condolence wreath flowers that are to your liking for the funeral at home.
Other facts about home funerals:
a. Even if you plan a home funeral. You should still notify the authorities about the person’s death. This is the only way you can get a death certificate, and this is an important piece of paperwork for you to legally conduct your own funeral at home.
b. Home funerals are cheaper and can help the family save a lot of money as they would be doing and conducting all the after-death care of their loved one.
c. This allows the family more time to grieve, view and visit for closure after the death of their loved one.
d. You can make your own coffin, use a simple body shroud or even a cardboard box.
e. In most states, to keep the body with you at home for a duration or until burial or cremation, is entirely legal.
II. Is it Legal?
Laws about a home funeral may differ from state to state. In most states, you do not need a funeral director as a family member, or an agent can act as a funeral director to keep the deceased in your home until the time of cremation or burial. Some states need to have a durable power of attorney for health care in order to have a funeral at home.
In some states, you would have to pay the funeral director to obtain burial transit permits. And other states require the death report and the death certificate filed by authorities. In some states, you may also need a disposition permit. It is very important that you know the laws of your state and the needed documents and requirements before you conduct your own funeral at home.
III. Is a home funeral a good choice?
Some may think that a home funeral is impractical. Especially those who do not have the time, means or knowledge on conduction their own funeral at home. Having a home funeral requires planning, preparation and the right education. This is very important as you would need to be knowledgeable in taking care of the dead. From the washing, cleaning and other procedures. There are also paper works that need to be done and most important of all, knowing and learning about the laws of your state regarding home funerals.
This would tend to be a team effort as you would need to employ the efforts of your family members and even friends. A home funeral is something that you should plan in advance. They could be therapeutic for some and may help in the letting go and accepting process of the death of a loved one.
Here are some reasons why you should choose a home funeral:
a. It is a more personal and sentimental way to say goodbye. Taking care of your own dead requires a great deal of effort and love. To have your own funeral at home makes it special because you would have more time with your loved ones to grieve and find closure.
b. You have more control over decisions. Compared to having or hiring a funeral parlor, having your own home funeral will definitely make it more personal and you would have all control of how to do the funeral and how to honor the dead.
c. They cost less. Especially for those who do not have the means to hire a funeral parlor, this could be a great choice. For example, in case of unexpected deaths, where you do not have extra money for a funeral, you can opt to do it yourself. Of course, you would need to educate yourself first before trying it.
d. It promotes healing and closure. This is one of the most positive effects of having or conducting a home funeral. A home is a place of comfort and familiarity and saying your goodbyes or accepting the death of a loved one is somewhat easier this way.
IV. How to plan a home funeral:
a. You would first need to learn about the laws in your country or state regarding a home funeral. Some states would require different documents while some only need important or limited ones.
b. Educate yourself on how to care for the dead. It is a long and hard process. Do it the right way. This is for your loved one and taking care of the dead to make sure they would be buried right is something you should definitely learn.