Planning a funeral can be a very difficult process for anyone, but it can be needed for mourners who want to pay their respects to the deceased and those who simply need closure after a death. It can also be a way to honor the deceased and even celebrate their life rather than simply mourn their death. If you need to plan a funeral for someone who has died, note a few things you might need to know about the process and then discuss your wishes or other questions with a funeral director for any other information you need.
Embalming is a process where the remains of the deceased are filled with various fluids that help to slow down the decomposition of the body. This can be needed so that persons can view the body at a funeral that occurs many days after a death; without embalming, a body can begin to change color and even emit very foul odors.
While embalming is not legally required in all areas and especially if the remains are to be cremated, it may be required if the deceased person had a certain communicable disease that would make their remains dangerous to handle or to show during a funeral. If you're concerned about embalming, discuss your options with a funeral director to note if it can be avoided before a funeral, or if you should have remains embalmed to help preserve them.
For severe injuries and other such cases
If the deceased was severely injured in a car accident or other such circumstance, or they went through chemotherapy or for other reasons their appearance changed severely before their death, don't assume that you still need to have their remains put on display. A funeral home might offer a closed casket service, where the lid to the casket is closed and photos alone are displayed. You might also have a private burial with just a memorial service, which doesn't involve the person's remains at all.
Usually you can personalize a funeral service as long as your plans are legally allowed in your area and are affordable to you. This might include releasing butterflies over the gravesite or having individuals read poems and quotes that were the favorite of the deceased. A funeral director is usually familiar with local laws as to how they apply to personalizing funerals, and the cost of things like ordering butterflies in boxes for their release. Discuss your ideas with him or her for the best advice on how to personalize a funeral.