Frequenly Asked Questions (FAQs)

What purpose does a funeral serve?

Every civilisation recorded in history has practiced some form of ceremony in relation to the death of someone. We acknowledge every occasion in life including birthdays, christenings, graduations, weddings. One of the biggest hurdles we face is the loss of a loved one and the care and support from our family and friends is vitally important. It's not just the coming together to support the bereaved, but the acknowledgement and celebration of a very special individual who has had an impact on our lives.

What do funeral consultants do?

A funeral consultant will not only assist you in the planning of a special celebration of life for your loved one, but support you and your family as much as they can in coping with your grief. They are not grief counselors, but can help you with advice and if necessary point you in the direction of a counselor if required.

Do I need to be invited to a funeral or can anyone go?

Any one can go to a funeral if it is advertised, if it is not advertised and the family hasn't contacted you directly, this means it's normally private and out of respect for the family you should not attend.

Can children go to a funeral?

Children should be given a choice as to whether they attend a funeral or not, Sometimes toddlers or babies can be disruptive, but if they are of the immediate family it can sometimes be a welcome relief to have them present.

Do I have to wear black?

No, people no longer wear black to a funeral and it is no longer inappropriate for people be dressed in colourful clothing, in fact some people request guests attending to be dressed in colours.

What should I say?

Try not to avoid the grieving; it is important to identify yourself to the family. It is nice to acknowledge their loved one and maybe offer a lovely memory such as "Your mum was a lovely person and will be sadly missed".

How can I help?

Depending on the circumstances, help can vary from cooking a meal, doing some shopping or just being a good listener; never stop them from expressing their feelings.

What can be done prior to death occurring?

You can still contact a funeral home prior to death occurring. You can even put most details in place, in regards to selections and what type of service you and your family would like. Of course the only thing that can't be organized is the date of the funeral.

Can I make a pre arrangement when death is not imminent?

Yes at Harrison Funerals one of our consultants is more than happy to help you make a pre arrangement at any time.

Is there a charge to meet with a consultant to place a pre arrangement on file?

No. At Harrison's we are more than happy to spend time with anyone who wishes to make a pre arrangement.

Does a pre arrangement take a lot of time?

It takes approximately two hours.

Can some one come to my house?

Yes. The appointment can take place at our premises which gives you a chance to look them over or alternatively we can come and see you in the privacy of your own home.

What are the various methods available?

The deceased person can be buried, cremated, entombed or donated to a University for Scientific Research.

Burial or Cremation?

More often than not, people will have specified at one point in time whether they want to be cremated or buried. Sometimes in the case of a parent who has already buried their partner, their wish may be the same. It really is a very personal choice and one which can not be taken lightly. It would seem that the majority of people in today's society prefer cremation, that is not to say that burial is still not a preferred option of some families.

What can I do with my loved ones cremated remains?

Sometimes this may be an easy decision. If your loved one has already requested what is to be done with their remains you may wish to carry out these wishes. If the decision has not been made, there is no rush, a decision can be made at any time, either directly after the funeral or years down the track. Some people wish to take their loved one home for awhile. There are many sites in different cemeteries that have sites for cremated remains. You may wish to scatter the ashes in a special location. You may require approval from a local authority for this.

What is embalming and what is its purpose?

"Embalming, in most modern cultures, is the art and science of temporarily preserving human remains to forestall decomposition and make it suitable for display at a funeral." (source: wikipedia.org)

Embalming achieves three things:

  1. Sanitation (disinfects)
  2. Preservation
  3. Presentation (appearance)

Does the law require that a dead body be embalmed

No. Depending on the length of time from death to the funeral service, if the deceased needs to be repatriated (moved) interstate or overseas and finally the condition of the deceased all plays a part in the decision for embalming.

How do people donate their body to science?

At Harrison's we deal directly with the University of Adelaide to assist with those who wish to donate their body to science. There are certain criteria that must be met in order for the University to accept the deceased person for study. This can be discussed with the family at the time of donation.

Can I change my mind after I've applied to donate my remains?

Yes, you can change your mind, just make your family aware.

How do people select a Funeral Director?

If a family hasn't had the need to use a funeral home in the past it can be a bit daunting trying to decide which one to use. Sometimes if someone in the family has attended a service somewhere or a referral from someone else can assist in making the decision. Factors to consider may be reputation, location and cost. But if you are able, a visit to the funeral home to meet with the staff is certainly a good way to make a decision.

What are the benefits to taking out a pre-paid funeral?

It relieves the burden of a difficult task from your family.

When you take out a pre-paid funeral it is paid for at today's prices

If I do a pre-paid funeral where does the money go?

Once a pre-paid is organised with Harrison Funerals, the money and contract are sent to Funeral Plan Management who hold the money in trust until the funeral.

Will my contract cover my final expenses?

Yes, as long as your family stay with the original plan on the contract. Sometimes families wish to add items such as memorial cards or a book, extra flowers and sometimes even upgrade a coffin which incur additional cost.

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