An aspect of your funeral you may not have thought about is where your body will be kept in the days leading up to the funeral ceremony.
Although you may already have a preference, this guide looks at some of the practicalities involved to help you make an informed decision.
Who is this guide for?
Where will my body be kept before the funeral?
If you don’t state a preference, and unless your family request otherwise, you will be brought into the care of the funeral director until the funeral.
It’s important to bear in mind that some of the larger funeral companies often have central hubs where bodies will be stored on tiered racks. If the idea of many bodies being stored in close proximity - and away from the funeral home - concerns you, the best option for you would be to choose a small, independent funeral director with their own on-site refrigeration facilities. (You are still likely to have company, but on a much smaller scale).
Can my body be looked after at home before the funeral?
Yes. If you die at home, your body can stay there until the funeral. If you die away from home, arrangements can be made for your body to be brought home.
If you are taken into the care of a funeral director there is often the option to be transported to your home leading up to the funeral. And vice versa, should the practicalities of looking after you at home become too much. This will, of course, add to the cost of your funeral.
Your preference for where your body is kept after death and before your funeral may be based on your religious views or guided by practical considerations.
Whatever you decide, the most important thing you can do is to let your dearest and dearest know what you would like to happen. Writing down your wishes in a document for your family to refer to when you've gone, can help minimise further stress arising from confusion about what to do.
Can I check a funeral home's mortuary facilities?
Yes. If you have a particular funeral home in mind and are worried about where you will be kept, then there are a couple of things you can do.
- 1Ask the funeral director to show you ‘back of house’ (the mortuary facilities) or an inspection report by an independent body to give you some assurance that their facilities are respectful and up to scratch. (The problem with this option is that it could be some time after you've visited before you need the funeral director's services and their standard of care could change).
- 2Ask a family member or friend if they could check the funeral director's back of house facilities at the time the funeral arrangements are being made. If they aren't comfortable with that suggestion, get them to ask the funeral director for a copy of their inspection report. If they have any concerns, they should request you are moved to another funeral home.
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