When a family contacts a funeral home to handle the remains of their loved one, the specific actions taken by the funeral home depend entirely on the wishes of the family. The two main options typically chosen are cremation and traditional funeral services. Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

Direct Cremations

In the case of direct cremations, where there are no memorial services or body viewing, the funeral home will collect the body from the place of death and bring it to their facility. To minimize the decomposition process, the body is placed in a specially designed-facility or room that can be adjusted to the appropriate temperature. These facilities are carefully regulated to maintain the ideal conditions until the time of cremation. Meanwhile, the funeral home will handle the necessary paperwork and obtain the required authorizations. Once these formalities are completed, the body is released to a crematory, where the cremation process takes place.

However, it is also possible to hold viewing services before the cremation. In such cases, the funeral home will prepare the body for viewing, ensuring it is presentable and respectful. Following the viewing, the body proceeds to the cremation process.

Traditional Funeral Services

In the case of traditional funeral services, the funeral home once again takes custody of the body and places it in a temperature-controlled room until the time of preparation. The primary purpose of preparation is to make the body suitable for viewing, and this involves a procedure known as embalming. While embalming is not legally required in the state of Texas, it is often necessary when there will be a public viewing. Embalming involves disinfecting and preserving the body. Failure to perform these procedures correctly can result in the onset of decomposition and potential health issues.

The Process of Embalming

During the embalming process, the blood is drained from the body, and a preservative fluid is injected to slow down the chemical processes of decomposition. This ensures that there are no unpleasant odors, disfigurement, or health concerns when the body is viewed. After embalming, the funeral home will dress the body in the clothing provided by the family and place it in the chosen casket for the funeral services that have been arranged.

It’s important to note that funeral homes have the expertise and facilities to handle bodies with respect, care, and professionalism. They work closely with grieving families to honor their wishes and ensure that the final arrangements for their loved ones are carried out with dignity and sensitivity.