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6 Common Myths About Funerals

There is a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to funerals. Whether you heard a funeral fact on TV or on YouTube, there is a chance you may not have the correct information. Here at Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory, we want to make sure you have the facts when it comes to funeral myths. Here are a few that we’ve encountered that could make planning a funeral more difficult and expensive.

Six Funeral Myths You Need to Know About

  1. The Law Requires You to Use a Burial Vault – Originally, cemeteries and funeral homes used burial vaults to stop grave robbers. These devices would prevent criminals from stealing clothes, valuables, or even bodies themselves. In modern times, such crimes are very uncommon. Now cemeteries often require vaults and grave liners to help reduce maintenance costs. These devices help support the ground, which prevents visitors and heavy machinery from crushing caskets and bodies. However, there are no laws in California requiring you to use a burial vault or liner.
  2. The Law Requires Embalming – There is no law in California that requires the embalming of a decedent. As a matter of fact, some religions actually forbid embalming in favor of a more natural interment. Also, cremation does not require the embalming of the decedent’s body. The only requirement by state law is that you must refrigerate an unembalmed body within 24 hours if it is not otherwise interred.
  3. Embalming Helps Protect Public Health – The human body is better able to spread disease when alive. Once a person has passed, vectors of infection such as coughing or breathing cease. In fact, coming in contact with the body is one of the few ways left for it to spread disease. Furthermore, many of the chemicals used to embalm a body are toxic. This means embalmers actually put themselves at risk to carry out this task.
  4. Embalmed Remains Last Forever – Actually, the embalming process only delays decomposition for about a week or so. The most influential factors when it comes to decomposition are temperature and moisture. This is why mortuaries and funeral homes are able to preserve bodies by refrigerating them.
  5. Cremation Burns Remains to Ashes – This is one of those funeral myths perpetuated by the media. A TV character will spread the remains of their lost loved one and fine powdery ash will float away in the wind. In reality, cremation merely reduces the body to bone fragments using high heat. These fragments are then pulverized into sand or gravel-like consistency.
  6. You Must Inter Cremated Remains in a Cemetery – We are not quite sure where this funeral myth originates from, but it is very inaccurate. Such a strict limitation could impede religious freedom. Some religious traditions, such as Sikhism, actually encourage the spreading of cremated remains. Though you cannot dispose of cremated remains just anywhere. Many individuals take their loved one’s cremated remains to Disney parks to spread them. However, the company frowns upon this and will escort you from Disney property. However, as long as you have the landowner’s permission, you may spread remains on any private property. This rule holds true in all 50 states.

Do You Want More Information About Funeral Requirements? Call Our Livermore Mortuary and Crematory

These are just a few of the funeral myths swirling around out there and some can cause expensive mistakes. Do not let a misconception keep you from honoring your loved one the way they wanted. Reach out to the funeral directors at Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory. We can help answer your questions and arrange the funeral that your loved one deserves.

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