Most people believe that a funeral home is required for the care and transportation of a body after death. In North Carolina, as in almost all other states, it is legal to have family-directed funerals or to designate someone (in your pre-planning process) to carry out these tasks. This includes care of the body and transportation from one location to another. It may be preferable to hire a funeral home to take care of these tasks. Knowing that there are choices in how a funeral home is used, allows more control of the financial aspect of after-death care. There is no wrong or right way – it’s a matter of preference and comfort level.
Funeral homes play an important role in supporting grieving families and caring for the dead. They assist to transport the body, care for the body, provide families with burial containers, assist with obituaries, facilitate funeral services, and file important paperwork such as the death certificate. Many people benefit from the support of a funeral home. If you would like the support of a funeral home, know that not all funeral homes charge the same prices. Not all funeral homes are open to our requirements at Carolina Memorial Sanctuary and not all are open to assisting with only certain aspects of after death care and supporting an in-home funeral. We most frequently refer people to Asheville Area Alternative and Groce Funeral Home, as they support green burial and provide a price break to our guests. To learn more about your choices related to funerals and funeral homes, visit the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to funeral education.
Home Funeral – DIY (Do It Yourself)
Home funerals put the care and transportation of the body into the hands of friends and family. For those who are willing and able, taking care of some or all of the aspects of after-death care can be profound and beautiful. Home funerals might be a new concept for some and thus surprising. Just remember that this is the traditional way for caring for a body; you may have even heard stories from your grandparents about bodies of loved ones being laid out in the parlor while the family dug the grave and cared for the body. For those who would like to have a home funeral and would like some guidance and support, our sister organization, the Center for End of Life Transitions, supports families with in-home funerals as an act of service. They also offer a 3-day workshop, Home Funeral & Death Care Midwife Training, for people who would like to learn how to care for a body on their own.
EMBALMING IS NOT REQUIRED BY LAW IN ANY STATE!! Most people are unaware of this. It is a highly invasive and costly procedure. Embalming only delays, by days, the process of decomposition. Pass this information along to your loved ones who may be considering conventional funeral options.