Dimond And Sons, Silver Bell Chapel

Your Questions


We are leaving the questions that have been answered in the archive,
but no new questions will be answered here.

Why do we have to use a funeral director at all?

I am an honorably discharged veteran, what are my burial benefits?

I've heard that funerals are expensive, how can I save my family money?

If I decide to be cremated, can my family still have a funeral service in our local church?

Who receives the social security lump sum death benefit of 255.00?

Do you remove the organs and blood before embalming? How do you dispose of the organs and blood? Is it different for the bodies that is going to be cremated? If so how? What if the person had aids how do you dispose of the organs and blood? Thank You, I need the information for one of my college class.


Can you please explain what is tissue gas and what is done to retard or prevent this if there is such a thing? Thanks. -RV

What training and education is required for a person to become a licensed funeral director? Are you required to learn embalming in order to be licensed, or does that require separate training?

cna you send me all the information that you possible can on mortuary science. i plan to become a mortician and i am also doing a term paper on embalming. thank you for your time. -R.H.-

My wife wants her mother buried in the family plot in the cemetary at her province in the Philippines. How do I have her body moved from Northern Arizona to the Philippines, and how much can I expect it to cost?

What is the LAW in the state of Arizona regarding embalmingCan you choose to not have a loved one embalmed, and still have an open casket? Please awnser by email quickly. We have to make a decision asap, funeral is friday.

what is the salary of a mortician,and embalmer? do you have pictures of a boby being embalmed?

I live in Texas and have a certificate as a medical assistant. I have worked in doctor's offices for ten years. I have recently become interested in the possibility of becoming an embalmer, but there are no training facilities in the city where I live. Do funeral homes accept home-study certificates when applying for embalming jobs?

Where can I get a video which would show the entire process of embalming?

Hi, how are you? I hope this isn't a ludicrous question, but recently I have lost a loved one and for some reason I have been so curious about the process of embalming. It is driving me crazy and I gave even ask my friend who owns a funeral home to show me the room and he didn't think it was a good time. I saw the pictures on your web-site and it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. Also, I am in the process of becoming an M.D. and I don't know why seeing autopsies doesn't bother me, but the whole embalming process has really bothered me. (Even before my the death of my loved one) Do you think this is normal and why do you think the embalming process bothers me so much more. How do you deal with what you do and does it ever bother you? I would appreciate any advice you could offer? Thank you, Alicia P.S. Do you think it would help me to watch the process of a body being embalmed?

I recently lost my father, and we chose not to have his body embalmed because it was his request (and we agreed wholeheartedly) that there no be no viewing. I have since heard that an unembalmed body will more or less explode in the casket after awhile. Is this true? Thank you for your help.

I'm interested into taking embalming classes and becoming an embalmer, but I'm deaf. Would it make any difference? And where is a good college program for embalming i could go to in Indiana or anywhere in USA. Let me know, thanks.

I like everyone else comming to your website am interested in the embalming process. Embalming is a subject not many care to speak about even though for some it is a natural process preformed on human remains as you know. I am aware that all openings are sanitized and closed could you please explain what this consists of (openings)also, does this procedure include packing canals or cavities before closing? and is the closing sutures? on parts not seen by viewers I know this question is out of the ordinary but is one I have wondered about. I am a nurses assistant and deal with death on a monthly basis. My co workers and I are waiting to hear from you.

my question is how long does it take on average to do an a complete embalming process with all the draining of blood and washing the body with germocidal soap and closing the eyes and the mouth to give it that natural look can you please answer this please i thankyou

would like to see photos of an actual embalming

I was told that plastic pieces must be inserted into eye sockets after death to give it a natural appearance, is this true? How do you shape the hands, etc after a person has died? When clothing the deceased, do you actually put the clothes on or just slit them up the back?

My mother passed away last week at home. When they took her to the funeral home, she was wearing a shirt and sweater. They used the fitted bottom sheet from the bed she was in to lift her onto their stretcher--they asked if they could use the sheet--they would wash it and return it. In talking with the funeral director to make the arrangements, I asked for the sheet. They indicated they would give it to me. They never did, and even though I asked a couple more times, they seemed to be just appeasing me, but I got the feeling they weren't telling me something. Also, no one ever mentioned her clothing. I didn't even think about it until after the last time I spoke with anyone. The last day I visited the funeral home and paid the balance, they returned a crucifix to me but did not mention the sheet. I felt I should just pretend I had forgotten about it. Now I can't help but wonder if there is a valid reason why they didn't return the clothing and sheet. Do body fluids or something contaminate these items? Do they have to be burned or destroyed in some way? Were they uncomfortable telling me the real reason? I don't really care about getting the items, I just can't figure out if there's something I don't know about. Can you enlighten me, please?

How does the preparation of a neonate or premature baby differ from that for an adult?

i plan on maybe bieng a funeral director. i am in my senior yr. of high school but to make up my mind would i be alowed to go visit afuneral home and look around and get some sort of tour?

Hello. This may be a wierd question (and NO, I have no interest in watching the embalming process or looking at pictures), but need to ask you a question related to my master's thesis (Humor as an healthy aid in the grieving process). I ask this question not to be heartless, and I know that you and your colleagues are caring, benevolent people who take their job very seriously; I applaud and commend you for your professionalism. However, as I have interviewed doctors, nurses, paramedics and even people form the local M.E. office, there must be some way that funeral service personnel deal (in a healthy manner) with the fact that they are constantly surrounded by death. Death is natural, but I would imagine that it could begin to gnaw on someone, particularly a neophyte. How do you deal with it, and what do you do for peace of mind when dealing with, for example, a small child's needless death? Please appreaciate the fact that, while this process is second nature to you, those of us not in the funeral industry may find it extremely difficult to fathom. (Side note: I know a funeral director, who also happens to be one of the funniest people I know. I asked him if his sense of humor is helpful, when dealing with certain aspects of his job. His answer? It helps... It helps a lot. Thank you very much for your time.

Does a corpes have movement after death and if so, for how long?

Hi. Here's a good question for you! How did the Russians keep Lenin preserved so well for so many years? They must have some righteous embalming skills! Although I'm very interested in medicine, this is to settle a bet with my girlfriend, who's a doctor. Thanks for your reply, and good health to you!

I'm so relieved to find a place to ask this question. My mother died 31 years ago, when I was nine. I never did see her dead and have always wondered what would remain of her today after 30 years. Would her clothing be intack? What might some one expect to see after this time. I don't know if she was embalmed or not. She died from ciorrosis of the liver if that makes any differenc and was 41.My sister and I both struggle 30 years later because we never had the chance to see her dead. I stronly recommend allowing children to see there deaced parents.Just out of curiosity... Do children have the right to exhume there parents for viewing what are the legal issues with this. I would be so greatful to you if you would answer these questions and any other things you may find Important. I've always been to embarressed to ask. The idea of seeing her remains does not creep me out. What is your experience with this if any. thank you in advance for your honesty and straight forwardness.

How soon after the funeral home receives the body, is it embalmed? How long does this process take? Thank You

How long is an embalmed body okay for viewing. A friend died last Saturday and his viewing and funeral is not until this Saturday. I am nervous about how he will look after a whole week since his death.

In a cremation, how much of the body is actually returned to the family? Are the contents of the urn or container all that is left after the cremation process? How do I know the remains I'm receiving are actually that of my dead relative? Is there anything left of the casket after the cremation? You have a very informative web site. I appreciate the effort you have put into it. Keep up the good work.

I have enjoyed visiting your site and see that you are very helpful with people that have questions relating to funerals. I hope you might be able to help me. My grandfather died before I was born and when my mother was only 3 years old. She does not know where exactly he is buried in Kansas. I have spoken in person with the funeral home that took care of my grandmother. They had no record of my grandfather being taken care of by them. I have narrowed my search down to two funeral homes in Kansas that may have handled the funeral arrangements. Since my grandfather had passed away in 1940-1941 and I am a grandson I am not sure what questions or information I need to give the funeral home to find out about him. Also if there is any legal papers I need to get them to show or release the records to me since I am not direct next of kin. If you have any good advice on this matter you could give me. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. BTW, your site is very informative.

Hello. First off, I must commend you on a wonderful website giving us an insight into the funeral business, and the things that happen behind those closed doors. To an outsider, a funeral director seems like a cold, stone-like person. However, personal experience and exploration of your website has altered my opinion! On to my question: My mother passed on from cancer a couple weeks ago, and the local funeral director was wonderful. We had her buried in a local cemetary with her mother and father. We live in Pennsylvania, but my father is originally from Mississippi. He'll probably move back down south within a year or two. My mother's last wish was for her to be buried wherever my father is living. How difficult is it to relocate casketed, embalmed remains? I've read that a common carrier can transport newly embalmed remains, but what about after an exhumation? Cost is not an issue to me - I'm more curious about any potential legal issues we might encounter. I don't know if we'll even follow through with this once the time comes, but the funeral director said he'd be more than glad to help out if we come to that decision. This is more for peace of mind. Thanks so much for your help. --- ARK

I am currently enrolling at The Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, and I am very interested in becoming a whole member of the funeral service community. would you please send me information on the funeral business in Dallas, i.e. salary, rules of being a mortician and info on furthre schooling like a doctrine in this science. Thank You, Clint Carroll

Hi. I found your site very interesting and my question is : Is the processes you describe a standard worldwide? I live in Australia and would like to know how it is done here?

Hi. How does a person preparing a body that has died due to say a car accident or some other disfiguring way, make them look so good and natural?

As a funeral counselor in California, I know we cannot charge a handling fee for caskets purchased somewhere else. But, can we ask the familu to sign a waiver saying we will not be responsible for anything that goes wrong. e.g. handles breaking off or the remains not fitting because he casket is narrower than normal. great site!

my husband passed away about 25 miles from home at 5:15 in the afternoon i wasnt notified till app. 10:00 by state troopers he had my phone number on him and tags were reg to my address. i then called funeral home where he was when i arrived app. 1 hr. later they told me they embalmed him. i gave no permission and their excuse was that he was in bad shape. they also told me his legs were crushed and i read the coroners report i was broke but only a cut to left toe area on the other he only had a cut to his forhead plus multiple internal injuries but my problem is is why did they lie and embalm him and wait to tell me after they embalmed him. also he had suture marks on both of his inner shoulders on chst about 6 inches on both sides what were they from? i recieved no answers from them on that either i just have a weird feeling that they did something unlawful besides embalming without consent how do i report or talk to someone about what was done? i called the funeral home and ask their procedures and didnt tell them who i was they also have several other ones in local areas and the question was do they embalm without permission they said no that they have to notify a family member then my question is why do you think they did that? and what were the marks they did? please answer any thing you can anything will be helpful.

hi, my famly has owned a funral home since 1907 and i was just wonting to know why you have so many vans in you fleat we have 2 coachs 2 limos and to cars we use a coachs to go make a removal why do you have so many vans????

What do the major religions think about cremation? Is it considered a sin?


My mother in law is near death. Would it be proper to contact a mortuary prior to the death? WE would like a viewing, this of course requires that the body be embalmed. Can you explain how soon following the death this would occur.

We recently had a horrible plane crash in our state in which all the people on board were killed instantly. The news media said the authorities were having a difficult time identifying the bodies, but it has finally been completed & the bodies returned to the state where the plane crash originated, for funerals. I have several questions about this: first of all, would the bodies have been torn apart & body parts strewn all over the crash field? And secondly, after each body has been collected & put in a body bag to be shipped---is the whole body bag just placed in a casket for the funeral, or is the body (and its parts) taken out & placed in the casket? I'm assuming no embalming is even attempted, especially if the body is in parts, since there was no viewing at any of the funerals. Also, would a family member have to identify their loved one's body for a positive identification? I'm sorry if this sounds gruesome to you, but, the story of this crash has dominated the news in our state this week, and I have been very upset about it. Thank you for your answers to my questions.

My son needs to know (for extra credit in science class) What is embalming fluid made of? Thank you

Why are some deceased person's skin hard like plastic, and others are pliable and soft like the skin of the living?

My father died of cancer this summer, and was very thin. How did the mortician tuck up the extra skin on his face?, and it seemed they puffed up his chest, how would they do this?

My 16 year old daughter was killed in a car accident prom 98. A drunk hit her car and she went into a flooded field. He left, making it hard for the rescuers to find her car. She was in the water nearly two hours. Her brother, sisters and father refused an autopsy. Now I wonder if she died on impact or drowned. Coroner stated cause of death; probable drowning. The funeral director told me that she did not have signs of drowning. He said water usually comes out of body orifaces, for quite some time. He said she had just a little water coming out of one ear. My son saw her when they finally found the car. She had a small stream of blood from her nose, her neck was also very swollen. What I want to know is, what are the signs of drowning? Was I just told that to think she may have been killed at impact? Also, I heard afterwards that I could have dressed her and done her hair. I know that may sound sick to some, but she was my child. I could have and wanted to do this for her. Legally does a parent have a right to participate in the dressing of their children? My husband was killed 20 months later, also by a drunk, he was run over and dragged. Because she left the scene, the state trooper wanted to send him to Memphis; he assured me just to wash him and look for things like bullet holes or knife wounds; things other than a hit and run. I understood that and agreed. When he was ready for viewing I was allowed to be alone with him. I was touching him and I felt plastic and guaze on him. I asked the director and he told me that was normal for persons who were autopsied. I said he was not suppose to have an autopsy, because my husband always said he would not want that done to him. The trooper apologized and said he was not sent for full autopsy but it was performed by mistake. How can people be assured that their wishes are carried out at a time like this? The trooper showed me where he filled out the paper; no autopsy. I would think that people who were working with remains would be more careful to follow writtin instructions. Are mistakes like these common? What can one do to be sure that autopsies are not performed?

My father was embalmed.. I was watched as he was bathed and dressed. I noticed he had a few stiches at the top of his hip. When I asked they said that was the opening for takin out the insides. Is this right. Please tell me what it is. i am wanting to know the whole embalming procedure,incidentally he had lukemia. He was 61. Would you be able to give me any information as to what chemicals r used for embalming and the whole procedure prep of body etc. Thankyou so much. I do admire the way you have encouraged everyone to feel at ease on your site. Hope to hear from you Amber

A new funeral home opened in our city. The paper announced the owners and stated that one funeral director is a certified eye enucleator. What is that? Someone told me that the eyes are removed from the body and something is placed in the eye socket. Is this true?

Is it leagal to bury a body without a coffin/casket?

Can I have the funeral for my grandmother in my house?

Hello... Your site is quite an interesting resource... One quick question--- How is an embalmed body stored? Does it require refrigeration as well? I always wondered if funeral directors have to remove the body from the casket between viewings (overnight), or if the whole casket with the body is placed into refrigeration... Thanks for you answer! :)

My family took pictures of both my grandmother and father in their caskets. This is pleasing to me because my father looked better in his casket then he did the last few weeks of his life. He died of cancer. How is taking pictures of the dead looked upon in your profession, and is it done very often today in the USA.?

My family took pictures of both my grandmother and father in their caskets. This is pleasing to me because my father looked better in his casket then he did the last few weeks of his life. He died of cancer. How is taking pictures of the dead looked upon in your profession, and is it done very often today in the USA.?

Well,My grandfather died this past October.It has been very hard for me and my family to fully get over it because in his casket they parted his hair on the wrong side,put way toomuch makeup on him ,and made his mouth look like he was wearing a mouth piece.When I saw his body I started crying because he did not look like the way he used to look.I was wondering what morticians use as reference to see how the person really looked , and I was thinking the way he looked may be because he died on a Sunday and we had the funeral on Friday.How much in advance do the morticians embalm teh bodies before the funeral? Thanks for answering please e-mail me an answer soon Thanks again!!!

Hello. I've written to you before and have appreciated the information you've given me, as well as the kind way you've responded to my questions. Anyway, now for my current question: one of my very best friends recently committed suicide (she shot herself in the head with a gun), and she was found in her home by her husband. He, of course, chose to have a closed casket at the funeral, but told me that he would have the funeral director allow me to view her body at the funeral home prior to the funeral if wanted to. I was somewhat hesitant, but decided it might help me deal with the reality of the tragedy if I did view her body. Upon doing so, however, I was quite taken aback when I saw her. She did not even look like the same person I had known for 25+ years....her face looked like a wax figure, and she appeared to be wearing a wig. Her husband said that the police told him she had a single bullet hole in her forehead, so I'm wondering why she looked so artificial and almost deformed. Is this a common physical occurance that results from a contact gunshot wound, or could it be a result of her being dead for 6-8 hours before she was found and refrigerated at the morgue? I almost wish now that I had even viewed her body. Thank you for your answer.

I have always been interested as to why the top of casket lids only open on the left side. Are there caskets that do have the top open from the right side? I live in Michigan and I have never seen one or know if they exist. I would think that if they are not manufactured, perhaps they should be in cases involving disfigurement on the right side of the face whether natural or as a result of a trauma/accident or perhaps by choice of the family.

Are clothes always put on the lower half of the body (and especially, shoes)? If so, why? If they are, I have never been able to understand the reason for this since only the top half of the body is shown in the casket. In my state of Michigan, they do not display the full body.

About how long does embalming fluid last iside of an average person?Did embalmig of a body change over the years?I would really like for you to ansewer my question i need it for one of my classes thanks a lot Maddy Miller

My 15 year old nephew is dying from cancer. He will likely pass away very soon. How long after the death does the funeral home usually embalm? How will the body REALLY look after a battle with cancer? Thanks

Would it be wrong for a person to be buried nude?

hello, my question is regarding the embalming process,is the embaler also the person who does the make up on the deceased or do you have a cosmotologist do the hair and make up? thank you

I want to be a mortician when I grow up and I really dont understand what they do so could you describe what you have to do to become one like what types of schools you have to go to.

Hello. I am studing to be archaeologist and I was wondering about something. There have been events when we recover coffins sealed in lead and when it is opened the body is prefect. Such as with the queen Catherine Pare. I was wondering if the lead had something to do with it. Thanks for the help. KAREN

I have a very immaculate funeral coach that I am very proud of. It is a 1970 S&S Victoria on a Cadillac chassis with very low miles. I spoke with a funeral director about potential work e.g. transporting bodies to desired locations or funerals. Is there a market for this sort of service and if so, who could I contact?

Hello. I have a few questions as what Iam about to begin to do , I have no clue as where to start. This is very involved. I live in Arizona and my father (who died 9 weeks ago) was buried in Ohio. All of my family is buried in Illinois in a catholic cemetery. The women he was married to at the time of his death seems to have been married to my dad even though he was not divorced from his previous wife ( he was married 4 times). The thing i need to know is this, his mother and father are buried in Illinois along with my other relatives. I would like to find out how i go about relocating his body to Illinois and in the family gravesite there. What kind of Lawyer do i need, and I beleive I would have to prove that she was married to my father while he was already married, as i know she will have a fit over this. She had my father buried where all her family is buried. I want to have my fathers body relocated home What do i need to do to start this process? I know this is fresh and has only been 10 weeks, but I know my father would not have wanted to be buried there. He died of lung cancer. Any questions that you can anwer would be greatly appreciated.

Your site is excellent. I'm trying to process the grief over the death of my mother and your site is providing many answers that the Director who handled my mother's funeral did not/would not. My mother reposed on Easter Sunday, (4/15/01). When her remains were picked up from the hospital, the individuals who came to the hospital did not ask permission for embalming. We live in Lancaster, CA and my prior experience when my father passed was that my mother was asked to sign a form authorizing embalming. This was not the case when my mother passed. Although it is now after the fact, should permission have been given prior to the embalming being done? I'll ask the next question separately as requested on your site. Thank you for your time and this tremendously helpful forum that you provide. Fr. Michael

Hello, I am currently doing a report for a job shadowing project I did with my physiology class, and part of the report is doing a vocational abstract. I chose to shaddow a funeral director, in Martinez California, at Connolly and Taylor Funeral Directors. My question is what could one expect to make (money wise) starting out in your profession? I thank you for your prompt response, and hope to enter your profession after I graduate from high school, I wanted to go to the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science, but found out that it is moving to American River College, so I will go there. Thanks, Demetri Nikolakakis

Another question, if you don't mind. I and my family took notice of the fact that on the first occasion of viewing of my mother, her body was extremely cold and rigid. I raised this question to one of my sisters who had lost her husband a few years ago and she stated that the mortuary had frozen my mother's remains because she passed on Easter Sunday and the first viewing did not take place until the following Wednesday evening to allow out-of-town family to get to California. Another sibling stated that too much embalming fluid had been used while another said that the rigidness of her body was due to rigors (I used to be a nurse and if I am not mistaken, rigors usually subside relatively soon after death.) The condition of my mother's remains (rigid/hard) was disturbing...when my father passed, his body was supple and, although cool due to lack of circulation, was not icy cold. In fact, his arms and hands were warm to the touch which was actually comforting rather than distressing. The Director did an exceptional job in preparation of my mother's remains. She appeared very lifelike and only sleeping and much younger in a comforting, natural and pleasing way not in a forced or unnatural way. The exceptions to her preparation was the fact of her body being the extremely cold, rigid condition of her body and in dressing her they did cut the dress (even though it was actually too large for her as she had lost wait in her later years) and when they dressed her, the area near the jugular/carotid where the embalming fluid was introduced - though covered with a gauze pad - was visible. The question, simply put - though perhaps difficult to answer - could the coldness and rigidity of my mother's body be in fact attributed to her remains being (simply put) frozen solid, rigors, over embalming or a combination of those factors? Thank you again for your time.

One more question, if you don't mind. I can see you've addressed different questions concerning translation of remains from one location to another. My question is similar only with a slight difference. My religious community (I am a priest and member of a religious order)is acquiring an extensive amount of land. The Abbey will be constructing a fairly large gothic church with crypt beneath the Church. My mother was a very strong supporter of our ministry and work and the request/invitation was made that my family and I consider a request to have my mother's remains transferred to the crypt which will be beneath the Abbey church. There are no objections from my siblings as they know our mother would have been honored by this and that she would approve. I realize that California law may be different from Arizona law, but do you foresee any problems particularly in obtaining a court order to allow disinterment and transfer of my mother's remains to the Abbey Church given that there are no objections from my siblings? When we considered transferring my grandmother's remains from St. Charles cemetary in Long Island to the New Camden Cemetary in New Jersey, I was told that in addition to a court order we would need to coordinate this through a funeral director as the director would have to arrange - after obtaining the court order - for exhumation, transporting to the new cemetary and interment. Summing up... 1. Would the court - in your opinion - be more accommodating of the request given the intent for the final resting place and the existing agreement from my siblings? 2. Not to discount the capabilities of any Funeral director, would you foresee the cost to be (as someone speculated) the same (if not more) than my mother's funeral (the mortuary costs alone were nearly 6000.00). 3. I'm told we would need to buy a new vault that 'seals' and that we would not be able to use the concrete vault that her casket was placed in. Thanks again.

Hello again, I am contacting you to find out if there are any more mortuary science colleges in the US Texas and westward, that you would reccomend. I am interested in coming into the funeral professions and would like to consider all of my options for education in this field. I don't want to go into the business for the money, but do want to own my own funeral home eventually. Thank you for your prompt and courteous response to my last question. I still do plan to go to SFCMS (American River College), once I graduate from high school. Thank you, Demetri Nikolakakis

Good morning. Where I live, in Oregon, funeral homes absorb the cost of a child or infant's funeral. Even the casket costs and services. Is that a common practice across the US?

I have noticed a tendancy for the profession of funeral directors to run in the family, more so than other professions. Do you have any insite as to the cause of this? I am also interested in entering the profession, but have never even heard of a woman funeral director. Is this just due to coming from a small town, or is particularly hard for a woman to break into the field?

My father died of a heart attack at age 50, eleven years ago. I was 15 at the time, so my perceptions may have been off, or I was being protected. I asked the funeral director what clothes we should bring. He told me to bring everything except shoes, that the feet swell at death and they cannot wear shoes. Could this be factor? I have since had an image in my head of people up in heaven running around in their socks.

Hello and thank you for your prompt response to my previous questions. I have Tourette Disorder, and occasionaly twitch or make a faint grunting sound and it can look odd or to some even scary. This could be a problem as I plan to go into the funeral industry as a Funeral Director/Embalmer. I was wondering if you thought this would be a problem for me to go into this industry. I have also been talking to a funeral director whom I job shaddowed a few weeks ago, and he said that he has been talking to the manager of the funeral home he works for, and that he might be able to get me some sort of internship, and that what I would be assisting with is wake's, transfers (first calls), and viewings. I was wondering what a wake was, and what it would entail. Thank you again for your prompt response(s) to my previous questions.

hello, i am very glad i came upon your site. i am dying of a terminal illness and do not have insurance nor the funds for a proper burial. my family do but they have not spoken to me since i told them about my lifestyle and do not want them to have anything to do with my body after my death. i have lost most everyone important to me within the last 2 years from the same disease i have and i do not think a service of any kind would be suitable for me. this may sound strange, but do you know anything about donating a body to science? i truly think this is what i am going to do but do not know anything about how to do this. i am sure that since you are in the business of funerals the idea of not having one is strange, but i cannot get the idea out of my head. i will never rest in peace if my family got their way and pretended they were supportive of me while i was alive, i know my mom would use the occasion of my funeral as a social activity for her pity . thank you and sorry if my question is an odd one.please do not use my email address if this is going to be posted on your site. thank you,

Hi I just graduated from High School in Columbus, OH and have desired to go into this profession for awhile. I know that there is the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science nearby, but I'd really like to go to a HBCU. Could you tell me what if any HBCUs are accredited by the NFDA? Particularly Clark Atlanta University or Tennessee State University. I also read on your site that you recommend obtaining a bachelor's degree as well as going to a 2 year school designed specifically for Mortuary Science. Would I be able to attend an HBCU for for years and then go to CCMS or any other school like this? Are there any Mortuary Schools in the Southern United States? My apologies for asking so many questions and thank you for your time!

I have heard that sometimes cemetary personnel will open caskets and remove jewlery and other valubles from the deceased person. Have you heard of this being done? I heard this from a guy at work who used to be a county worker and dealt with cemetary personnel on occasion, who told him they often remove valubles from the deceased. I don't know if there is any truth to this, and find it rather despicable that they would do this, let alone tell about it.

Not too long ago my mother-in-law passed away to cancer and the family was there at the moment of her last breath while she was at home in her bed. Needless to say there were a lot of family members there and everyone took their turn entering the bedroom to pay their respects... except my father-in-law, her husband. Oh, he did get some time.. but he was never alone with her. Months later he confessed to my wife about resenting the fact a little that he was not left alone with his dead wife; I mean, all he wanted to do was a final kiss, caress, whatever, of his souldmate for 35 years. This struck me and in the weeks to follow I made a number of inquiries into exactly what was legal vs. illegal regarding close contact with the dead. And what I found was quite revealing. We marry someone for life but as soon as they die the body becomes part of a process of disassociation purely for the sake of state health laws, funeral association dictates, or local codes. In other words, the dead cease to be the 'property' of the family.. or of the spouse. My point to all this... in my wanderings I have discovered folks who would have liked far more intimate private time with their dead loved ones than a simple viewing alone in the parlor. Some have even suggested a consumation of a final act of sexual love. These people are not hardened necrophiles... just folks who would have wanted to express some final act of love and compassion that, to be quite honest, is far less 'invasive' and seemingly 'abusive' as embalming. My question to you is that which many have posed to me... can the spouse request an intimate encounter with their dead loved one either by simple request at time of making the funeral arrangments or by a provision in their will? Following the issue with her father my wife has acctually asked me if there were a way should she die if we could have an intimate 'moment' together before she's rushed to her grave. We were put on this planet in God's image to love and procreate... yet this act is taken away at death. Can arrangments be made, presumming the body is in a proper condition, to allow for this expression of bereavement? I thoroughly enjoy your site and your replies are very good and inciteful.

my mother died of liver cancer four months ago,my dad died of brain cancer 1 month ago.my question is my mother was wrapped in plastic when i touched her arm i could feel the plastic wrapped around her couldnt see it but could feel it although my dad wasnt why did the funeral director do that?

There are names for people, pets, planes, and trains, and CASKETS too! The Patriot, Misty Rose. Why don't funeral directors tell us this? Also, they do not mention the adjustable bedding system? My mother died in 1996 and I wanted to see her to be with her in person because I wanted to be alone with her to say goodbye. I never knew we could do this until I reached your site! GOD BLESS YOU for helping so many people! If I lived in Bullhead City, you would be the funeral home for me!

My father passed away on July 2, 1982 and he was full of fluid when he died. His caket linens were wet so I asked the funeral politely if he could change them. Is it hard to get rid of fluid from the body after death?

Thank you for your informative and very user-friendly web site. I think it is a rarity. My question is whether it would be possible to place dentures in a body after embalmment or would embalming the body make the jaw rigid and unable to open? If you're wondering about the question, I am a writer in the middle of a story and need to know if this is plausible or not. I mean no disrespect and think you are providing a wonderful service.

is there a history of any fd of haveing a body that has been declared dead and brought into the prep room only to find that the person is still alive?

Hello, I was wondering how long does it take to become a mortician? Like the least to the largest amount of years. I just graduated high school & I am interested in this field of work. I hope that you can help me & it would surely be appreciated. Thanks again.

Hi. I have a few questions. My grandmother passed away about a month ago and she was dead for 5 days before he showing. Hey fingers looked much longer than normal. What causes that. And also, she had a little slit (like a small 1 in cut) underneath hey right eye. What was that for? And also I was wondering what they do with the teehth? Leave them in? And do they really wire their mouth shut? Ok, one more. I know you put like make-up and stuff on them.. but are their feet like black and blue. Like if I looked under the other half of the body would it be like blue and black?? Please reply. I was just wondering! Thanks alot! :)

How deep are graves generally dug (in California at least). I have heard that they are sometimes dug as shallow as to allow 18 inches above the outer burial container, to as deep as six feet. Is the six feet really nesescary any more with outer burial containers and such to prevent the access to the remains by animals.

Do AIDS patients suffer tremendously before death and are you fearful of catching it when embalming an AIDS patient? What really is horrifying is small cell lung cancer! I saw a picture of soeone who had it and God Bless his soul. His head was 3 times bigger than his body! Could you still have an open casket for such cases?

You have a beautiful funeral home! My first question has to do with steroids. I am 36 and a few years back, my 2 friends died from injecting them! My one friend weighed almost 400 lbs when he died! How doyou embalm someone or how do you remove them from the place of death! I have ead where it is more difficult to embalm someone when they did steroids or injected heroin or other drugs! I have NEVER used drugs and never want to! You guys have to extremely fit to lift heavy people! How do you stay fit? Thank you for your time and God Bless you all!

How long does it take for an average person in a mortuary program to become 'comfortable' around dead bodies? I am graduating from Cal State with a degree in business, and am very interested in applying my undergraduate work in your profession. However, I fear that I won't ever be comfortable around the dead, which would obviously affect my success. In Kentucky, where I am from, funeral directors are very well respected, and I hope to command their respect some day too. Thank you for your time.

I was told a while back, when I was in high school,that when they bring a body into the funeral home that the body is scrubbed,is that true and what do you use? Also, someone once told be that they heard of a person that died and once they died that there skin Bubbled up. What would cause that? I think your site is wonderful. Thank you for answering my question.

i recently turned 50 y.o. i have realized just within the last few years that i have a void within my very existence because i followed other peoples' agenda for my own life's fulfillment. i genuinely feel i have thus far wasted a natural talent for contributing to what i perceive as the ultimate tribute to a human soul who has passed on, i.e., the overwhelming privilege of being involved in the final burial preparation of one of God's own children. the mere thought of the satisfaction one must feel to be intimately involved in the knowledge of the human soul's next journey toward their final resting place and becoming one with God brings sincere tears of joy to my eyes. bottom line (sorry it took me awhile to get to it): taking into consideration the education required and my high level of desire to do this, do you believe i am too old at this point in my life to endeavor to become (at least in some capacity) a provider of mortuary services? my health is not 100% (diabetes), but my will is! thank you in advance for your honesty. God bless.

First let me say your site is wonderful. Now my question. My 9 month old daughter died July 1, 2001 from liver failure. She was born with gastroschisis and was totally TPN dependent, thus the liver disease. She had a central line, ostomy, and g-tube. My question is what do you usually do with holes like that? Would you use the CVL to embalm her? I am just curious. I was very strict about her medical care and took care of her pretty much exclusively. I wanted to ask the funeral home but didn't want them to think I was crazy. Thank you for your time.

Thank you for an informative and helpful site. My husband and I are both professional counselors who would like to start our own funeral business. I will be returning (hopefully) to school next fall to pursue a degree in mortuary or funeral services. I am curious about the start up cost of a funeral home and whether there are many partnerships in this line of work. We are not too interested in working for someone else at this time in our lives. We are not afraid of getting a business loan but are wondering if it is manageable without getting into too much debt. By the way, my father is a mortician for a branch of the military and will retire (again) soon. I have always had such respect for the profession and the people who take care of those we care about and love. Thank you in advance.

When i get out of school i am hoping on becoming a mortician. At this time i am doing a senior report and i was wondering how do you embalm a body? Also what are others things you would do for the preperation of the body?

Hello! I have an associates degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors degree in education. I have taught in the classroom for 8 years and, even though I love it, I am ready to move on with my life. I am comfortable with death and the entire process that it involves and have even dressed and applied make up to the bodies of my sister and my stepmother. My family knows that they can depend on me for these types of duties. I have always viewed this as a gift and a blessing because we all need people who can tend to and take care of these things. I live in Longview, Texas and I would like to know how to begin to get the education that I need to be a funeral director or an embalmer in Texas. Can you give me any information of the requirements and licensing procedures? Thank you---Tammy W.

Hi, Someone asked in the earlier questions about witnessing as embalming and the reply given was about that certain laws govern the right of keeping that process private to outside people. So my question is because I noticed that the funeral director said family or authorized personnel can witness this practice, is that really exact that if my loved one dies I can with the funeral home O.K. can sit in on the embalming perspective? Also one of the readers asked is their a video of an actual embalming and the answer is yes and it is called unlocking the mysteries of embalming, if you go to www.comm-part.com you can order the video. p.s. thank you for the pictures and the answers to the questions. J.R.

Hi, I must say your site is quite facinating. I recentley graduated from highschool, and I am attending a junior college. I am interested in becoming an embalmer. I was just wondering, Are there any requirements in order to get into a school of mortuarty science..and if so what can I do to prepare to enter the college? I live in the bay area and I'd like to enroll at the college of mortuary science in san francisco. Where is American River College?

I thoroughly enjoyed your website and find it very imformative. I plan on attending Gupton-Jones College to further my education in this field. My one question is, 'When a person is in a horrific accident, how do you implicate restorative art to repair their features?' I guess what I am basically asking is what is the technique. I realize you take classes and all on the subject, but could you explain exactly per say how you restore a nose or lips? This is one of the fascinating parts of the art thats interests me. Thank you.

Can a normal layperson purchase an embalming machine or any of the utensils used in the field? I have a friend who wants to construct a haunted house in Virginia Beach that runs all year round. He is willing to spend money on the actual products, such as an embalming machine, table, etc... He thought you might know because I wasnt sure if you could buy them with out a license. Thank you.

First off, I want to commend you for your candor and honesty about the funeral business. It's nice to see someone willing to answer questions about a subject that most people consider taboo. I have long had an interest in funeral service. I am considering a career in the profession, but I have quite a few questions. Here is the first of several: 1) How much time does your job consume and is it possible to have a normal life with hobbies, time off and full nights of sleep? Might I have time to explore other interests, such as acting? - I appreciate your taking the time to answer our questions. One more question: Do you want my other questions in one lump sum or 1 by 1? I'm either going to be a funeral director/embalmer or a film-maker/actor and want to make as informed decision as possible. It's a tough decision indeed, considering I have a great interest in both. Thanks again.

Question number 3: Will a mortuary school allow a prospective student to witness an embalming before he or she enrolls? Personally, I'm not positive I would still to be an embalmer after watching and don't want to waste thousands on tuition if that's the case.

Is it possible that you send me some actual hands on embalming procedure pictures for I am working on research paper on my career as a mortician. Thank you for your cooperation.

During the embalming process is the fluid in stomach area drained? I ask this question because of a wrongful death of my father. He died within 24 hours of having a surgery. His cause of death was reoccurring hemorrhaging. This is information will help bring closure to me. They said since no blood was in his mid-section that he started hemorrhaging all at once and it wasn't a continous bleeding that led up to it.

Are there any guidelines byu OSHA stating the use of rental caskets Thanks

Hi Guys -- I'm curious: In the standard curriculum at mortuary school, how (if at all) is the topic of necrophelia covered? Is it part of an ethics or legal course, and is there a body of sociological work that even exists that would-be morticians are exposed to? Thanks for your consideration and for an intriguing and generous site. Best, Rick Koster


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