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Home Funerals

In recent years, there has been a growing movement for home funerals; families feel that their involvement with after death care has become too limited and look for more intimate, more connected ways of saying goodbye to their loved ones. Whether you are wondering about a home funeral or have never even considered it, the information below can answer your questions. Our staff is also well-equipped to advise families if a home funeral is desired.

What is a Home Funeral?

“Home Funeral” generally encompasses all after-death care that the deceased receives prior to the actual internment of the body; this may include preparation of the body, a viewing, calling hours or a memorial service. Essentially, the body does not enter into the care of a funeral home and is not embalmed.

Why a Home Funeral?

Planning a funeral is a lengthy and involved process, one that sometimes comes down to cutting costs or spending too much time on aesthetic preparations. Some families feel that it is more worthwhile for them to simply deal with the death on their own terms, with their own hands, while being part of the process from start to finish. A home funeral may offer necessary closure; there is more time to spend with the body of the deceased and no need to fit into limited calling hours or watch from afar as various processes take place. In some cases a home funeral is a great catalyst for healing and acceptance.

What You Need to Know

If you believe a home funeral may be the right choice for you, there are a few important points to consider:

  • You must be comfortable with handling a dead body: this includes anticipating any cosmetic or functional problems (i.e. removing a feeding tube, keeping the body at the right temperature etc.)
  • You will need to decide how to ultimately put your loved one to rest: will you want to cremate the body? Will you buy or create your own casket? Where will the final resting place be? Will you need transportation? Consider all of these questions carefully and understand the logistical and financial implications of your choice.
  • You must understand your state’s laws on the matter: regulations and laws around home funerals vary greatly depending on the state. In New Hampshire, it is not necessary to involve a funeral director in every step of the process, however you will need to apply for a death certificate. The way in which you are planning to inter the deceased may also require some research—for example, if you prefer to bury your loved one in a shroud rather than a casket, you will need to find a cemetery that will allow you to do so.

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