Dealing with funerals after a loss is overwhelming and difficult. You may have many funeral questions swirling through your mind after losing a loved one. Understanding the funeral process and getting those answers is an important step towards healing and celebrating your loved one’s life.

Our funeral directors have compiled a list of the most frequently asked funeral questions we receive below. We hope our answers will give you the support and guidance you need when planning a funeral in California. Please contact us directly with any additional questions you may have.

Top 7 Funeral Questions

  • Why Have a Funeral?
  • What Do I Do When a Death Occurs?
  • Should I Choose Burial or Cremation?
  • What Is a Public Viewing?
  • What Is the Purpose of Embalming?
  • Can We Scatter Cremated Remains?
  • If I Am Cremated, Can I Still Get Buried With a Loved One?

Why Have a Funeral?

Funerals are not for the dead—they are for the living. Funerals have traditionally provided family and friends with a safe space to mourn the loss of their loved ones. They can be the first of many steps in the healing process for those left behind. While many funerals do incorporate religion, many do not. They offer family and friends an opportunity to celebrate life and recognize the finality of death.

What Do I Do When a Death Occurs?

Many people plan out their funeral arrangements prior to their death. If your loved one planned their funeral arrangements, contact the funeral home of their choice. The funeral director there will start putting the plans into motion. If your loved one died without a funeral plan, call our funeral home immediately, and we can help guide you through the process.

Once you have contacted a funeral home, the funeral director will coordinate arrangements with the cemetery or crematorium. They will ask you to present documents to complete state requirements. Once that is complete, you can contact your clergy as well as friends and family members to notify them about the scheduling of the funeral and the services.

Should I Choose Burial or Cremation?

Choosing between burial and cremation is a personal decision. While burials are more traditional, more people choose cremation today than ever before. This is often because of the low costs and flexibility when choosing a memorial service. Your funeral director can help you examine the pros and cons, so you can choose what is best for you and your family.

What Is a Public Viewing?

A public viewing is a chance for loved ones, families, and friends to come together and honor the dead. Traditionally, it is a way to aid in the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. However, it is a personal decision. Your funeral director can help you explore the different types of public viewings available to you.

What Is the Purpose of Embalming?

Embalming preserves the body and makes it possible to extend the time between death and burial or cremation. This gives family members and friends a chance to come together to honor their loved ones and participate in the type of funeral service they wish to have.

Can We Scatter Cremated Remains?

Many families wish to scatter their loved one’s remains during the funeral or memorial service. It is important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones and with your funeral director. They can help you create a personal ceremony to honor your loved ones and scatter their ashes peacefully and meaningfully. However, before scattering remains, it is important to check state and local laws to ensure that it is legal to do so. For more information, check with the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau.

If I Am Cremated, Can I Still Get Buried With a Loved One?

Yes! If you are planning your own funeral, discuss your wishes with your funeral director. Depending on the cemetery’s policies, you may have multiple options to get buried with a loved one. Your funeral director can help you through this process.

Let Us Help You With Funeral Planning

At Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory, our funeral professionals are here to give you the support and guidance you need after the loss of a loved one. We can answer all your funeral planning questions from the start, to help make the process easier and less overwhelming. To learn more about our services, call us at (925) 660-7098 or fill out our confidential contact form. We are here to help you through this difficult time.