Grief Support
Community Info


What is embalming?   Embalming is the process to disinfect, preserve and restore the deceased to a natural appearance for funeralization.

How is embalming performed?   Through a small surgical incision, chemical preservatives are injected into the vascular system via an artery.  During the injection process, blood and bodily fluids are drained from an accompaning vein.

Is embalming required?   No, embalming is not required. However, embalming is required by Minnesota Statutes 149A.91, subdivision 3 in the following circumstances: (1) If the body will be transported by public transportation; (2) If the final disposition will not be accomplished within 72 hours after death or release of the body by a competent authority; (3) If the body will be publicly viewed; (4) If so ordered by the Commissioner of Health for protection of the public health.  These rules may vary state to state.

What is a casket?  A casket is a case or receptacle into which human remains are placed for protection, practical utility and for a suitable memory picture.

What are the different types of caskets?  There are two major types of caskets; metal and wood.  In those two types are many different varieties.  Metal caskets are manufactured from bronze, copper, stainless steel and steel.  Wood caskets are constructed from mahogany, walnut, cherry, oak, pecan, poplar and pine.

What is an outer burial enclosure?  An outer burial enclosure is a receptacle for the casket to be placed in at the cemetery.  Its primary purpose is to protect the casket from the weight of the earth and to prevent the grave from caving in.  It may be either a gravebox or a vault.

What is a gravebox?  A gravebox is a concrete product that is unlined and does not seal.

What is a vault?  A vault is made with heavier concrete construction and is lined with a strentex or ABS plastic, stainless steel, copper or bronze.  A vault is air and water resistant. They are painted to match the color of the casket and also have a name plaque on the lid of the vault.

Is an outer burial container required?  Minnesota State law does not require the use of one.  Cemeteries have rules and regulations that may require the use of an outer burial container.  Usually a gravebox is the minimal requirement, however, some cemeteries may require the use of a vault.

What other options do I have within a cemetery?  If a cemetery has a mausoleum, one may be placed in a crypt for entombment instead of being buried in the ground.

What is a mausoleum?  A mausoleum is a building that contains several crypts for entombment.

What is a crypt?  A crypt is a chamber within a mausoleum of sufficient size, generally used to contain the casketed remains of a deceased person.

What about organ and tissue donation?  Organ and tissue donation is a "Gift of Life".  The American Red Cross works to save and improve lives everyday by encouraging people to support organ and tissue donation.  Donation of organs such as the heart, kidney, liver, and other vital organs are helping to save the lives of desperately ill people every day.  Even more people are helped by the dontion of tissues such as bone, skin, heart valves, eyes, tendons and other tissues that are transplanted more often and with greater success.  Almost anyone can donate.  If you are interested, let your family know your wishes.  Carry a donor card and put "Donor" on your driver''s license.  For more information, contact us or the American Red Cross Tissue Services at 1-800-24-SHARE.

May I only donate my eyes?  Yes!  The greatest gift is the maracle of vision.  Eye donation for cornea and sclera transplant is very common today.  The Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, coordinates the eye removal process.  Many funeral directors are Certified Eye Enucleators for the MN Lions Eye Bank which makes this type of donation more accessible to a wider range of donors.  For more information, contact us or the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank at 1-800-937-4393.

Can donation delay the funeral arrangements?  The donation process is usually completed in a timely manner as to not effect the arrangement process.  However, in some circumstances, a short delay may occur.

Will donation effect the appreaance of the deceased?  Usually not.  The careful techniques developed and followed by physicans and trained specialists are designed to prevent any change in the donor''s appearance.

May I donate my body to a university for science research?  If one wishes to donate their human body to university for research, these arrangements need to be made in advance.  Information and signatures must be obtained and secured before the body will be accepted.  Body donation does not effect funeral arrangements. Following funeral services, the funeral home will promptly deliver the deceased human body to the university for medical research. Following this research, which typically lasts about 1-2 years, the donated body is then cremated and the cremated remains are returned to the family.

What is cremation?  Cremation is a process in which a body is reduced to inorganic bone fragments by intense heat in a specifically designed retort or chamber.  After the cremation is completed, the cremated remains are processed and placed into a temporary container, usually plastic or cardboard, and are returned to the family or funeral home.

What is a cremation container?   A cremation container is a leak resistant, rigid container, that is combustible, which the deceased human body is placed into for transportation and loading into the crematory retort.  Crematories require that a cremation container or a cremation casket be used.

What is a cremation casket?  A cremation casket is manufactured from wood or other combustable materials design for cremation.  These units are suitable for a visitation and/or funeral services prior to being cremated.

What is a rental casket?  A rental casket is a standard size casket that is manufactured from wood or metal with a cremation container inside.  This casket has a disposable interior that is replaced after each use.  At our funeral home we rent a solid oak casket.

What is an Urn?  An urn is a receptacle that contains the cremated human remains.  It may be constructed from metal, wood, plastic, ceramic or stone.  Urns may be simple or beautiful works of art that may represent the personality of the individual.

Is an Urn required?  No.  An urn is not required for purchase.  The temporary container provided by the crematorium is sufficient enough for transportation and burial.  However, some families prefer the cremated remains to be placed in a more permanent and aesthetic container, such as an urn.

What options are there with cremation?  Cremation is a choice of final disposition with several options.  These options may be: Immediate cremation with or without a memorial service. Visitation with the body present followed by a memorial service or a traditional funeral that would include a visitation and funeral service with the body present in a cremation casket.  Following the service, instead of going to the cemetery for the final rites, the body is transported to the crematory for final disposition.  Following the cremation, the cremated remains may be buried, entombed, scattered or kept with the family.

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