Funerals

Mesa Funeral Homes | Arizona Cemetery

We use the word funeral to refer to many things from the entire funeral process and all the different types of services to the individual funeral service itself.  The loss of a loved one can be sudden and devastating or drawn out and devastating or a relief to see suffering ended.  Regardless of what may happen, we experience grief, each person in a different way.  Many times when we know that death is coming, or just for peace of mind, visiting with your funeral home about Advanced Planning is a good idea. Pre-Planning can be very general or detailed to the point of addressing and planning every detail.

When a Death Occurs

When a Death Occurs, in addition to beginning the grief process and the feeling of loss, there is myriad of questions and a real feeling of being overwhelmed.  Those that have planned ahead do not seem to experience this overwhelming feeling.  The Arizona Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers produces a brochure that is handed out to each family we serve or has any questions.  Click here to read or down load the brochure (pdf file).

In Arizona there are Funeral Arrangers, which are individuals licensed to arrange funerals but are not funeral directors with their extensive experience.  At Mountain View only licensed funeral directors will meet with families that have experienced the death of a loved one.

Embalming Permission

Embalming, which is required for a public viewing, is a choice and your decision. You will be asked by your funeral director for permission to embalm after he explains your options.  The value of being able to view and say goodbye is documented.  Your decision needs to be based on your families needs.

Funeral Arrangements

Your funeral director will call you for a convenient time to meet and make arrangements for the services you desire.  It is usually better to do the arrangements at the funeral home, but we will do what ever necessary to accommodate your situation, including coming to a home or facility.

There are many questions that you will be asked to guide you and complete the legal documents and help you to prepare an obituary.  Some important information you should bring would be a birth certificate, social security number, military form DD214, parent’s names, including the deceased mother’s maiden name, relatives you wish to list in the obituary and where they live.  You may also wish to write up ahead of time or come with information about organizations they belonged to, military service, things they enjoyed, accomplishments etc.

The funeral director will present you with a General Price List and other applicable price lists and explain them fully.  He or she will then answer any questions to help you make an informed decision about the type of service you desire.

Whether final plans are for burial or cremation, the same service options exist.  Usually a service with the deceased present is called a funeral and if there is an urn or there is no presence the service is called a memorial service.

Funeral Service, Memorial Service or Celebration of Life

A funeral or memorial service is an important part of grieving, and often the first step in the healing process. For thousands of years, funerals have been the preferred means of expressing grief and paying tribute to loved ones.  What ever you call the service, it is truly a celebration of a life lived and remembered.

When dealing with loss and grief, there is no single solution that meets the needs of every individual. The type of service chosen is largely based on the personal preferences of both the survivors and the deceased. The important thing is that you acknowledge the passing of a loved one in a way that is meaningful and helpful in your healing, and that you realize you are not alone. Mountain View and our licensed funeral directors are trained to help you through this difficult time.

A funeral service that is both meaningful and memorable should be as unique as the individual being remembered; it can reflect their personal values, interests and experiences. While planning a funeral service requires making many decisions during a difficult time, you want to organize an event that honors and highlights your loved one’s life.

Personalization

A funeral is so much more than a way to say goodbye; it’s an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special.

Today, a funeral can be as unique as the individual who is being honored. From simple touches like displaying personal photographs to events created around a favorite pastime, funerals can reflect any aspect of a person’s life and personality.

Following are questions you can use to help you decide how to personalize a service:

  • What did the person like to do?
  • What was the person like as an individual?
  • What was the person like as a professional?
  • Was the person spiritual?
  • Was the person proud of their heritage?

For additional ideas on personalizing a funeral, please contact your local NFDA funeral director.

What did the person like to do?

Often people have hobbies that become more than just a casual pastime. Their activity could have been as much a part of who they were as their smile. Why not showcase that important part of their life during the funeral?

Incorporating a hobby can be as simple as:

  • Displaying items used for their hobby; e.g. sports equipment, gardening tools, or collections.
  • Personalizing the casket or urn with a symbol of their hobby.
  • Displaying trophies or awards they won.
  • Creating a picture board or presentation featuring pictures of them engaged in their hobby.
  • Having someone speak about the person’s passion for the hobby.

By adding these or other personal touches to a funeral, the service becomes a reflection of the person’s life and personality.

What was the person like as an individual?

One way to enhance a funeral is by bringing a piece of the person’s personality to life. Consider what made that person special, what made them who they were? Then find ways to link their individuality to traditional aspects of a funeral service.

As an example, an avid cowboy or cowgirl may want to ride of into the sunset one last time. Tasteful ways to honor their wish include:

  • Using a covered wagon rather than a hearse
  • Having their saddle and riding equipment displayed
  • Playing western music
  • Having their horse walk in the procession
  • Having a barbecue after the service

Other themes you may want to consider:

  • Military honors for a member of the armed forces
  • Tailgate party for a sports enthusiast
  • Harley-Davidson rally for the Harley owner

What was the person like as a professional?

Many people take great pride in their career. Perhaps they dedicated a lifetime to a profession that transformed into more than just a job. If this holds true for your loved one, you may want to consider ways to include their professional life into their funeral service.

Following are two examples of how you could incorporate a profession into a service:

For a teacher:

  • Have the choir or band from the school perform during the visitation or service.
  • Encourage students to write essays about the person, which could be displayed.
  • Invite a past student to speak at the service.

For a fire person/police officer:

  • Incorporate any honors or traditions that their department has established.
  • Use fire trucks or police vehicles in the procession.
  • Have bagpipers play at the visitation or service.
  • Display their uniform and equipment.

Was the person spiritual?

Through organized religion or personal beliefs, most people have some sense of spirituality in their life. Often those values are from the very core of who the person was in life. Therefore, you may feel it is important to incorporate the individual’s sense of spirituality into their funeral service.

Following are ideas on how to incorporate spirituality into a funeral service:

  • Hold the service at the person’s parish or religious facility.
  • Have someone read excerpts from a key religious publication (i.e. Bible, Koran, etc.).
  • Decorate the funeral home with symbols of the person’s faith.
  • Have the person’s cremated remains scattered at a place of spiritual significance to them.
  • Read a prayer that touches on their key beliefs.
  • Include sacred music from the religion in the service.

Visitation

A visitation, or a time for friends to express their sympathy, can be held the night before or just prior to a funeral or memorial service.  It is meaningful whether the deceased is present or pictures and personal effects are used.  The visitation time is very helpful in the grief process and even though it is a difficult time, it can be very gratifying to hear all the stories about your loved one.  It is amazing what you will learn, that you never knew.  Any of the suggestions in the “personalization” explanation are encouraged to be used during the visitation.  This is a perfect time to share the life works, interests, family history pictures and even a video of the deceased’s life.

Committal Service or Graveside Service

We would usually use the term Committal Service to describe the service at the graveside of an earth burial interment or inurnment, entombment in a mausoleum crypt or placement in a columbarium niche following a funeral or memorial service.  The committal service at the place of interment is usually fairly short.  The minister or facilitator will not usually be over 5 minutes.  A Graveside Service is normally a standalone service that is not following some sort of a celebration of life.   It is usually longer with a message by the minister or facilitator and may be up to 30 minutes long.  Both services may also be enhanced by music, a dove release, balloon release or anything that gives the family solace and personalizes the deceased’s life.

Final Disposition

Final Disposition is not a warm word but a legal definition that describes what will happen to the deceased.  It is described on the Arizona Death Certificate as basically Burial or Cremation.

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