Burial & Entombment
How is the body cared for if burial is chosen? Most people are familiar with the concept of burial, also called “interment,” as under the ground in a cemetery marked with a monument. Another option is entombment, whereby a body is placed in a niche in a mausoleum, an above-ground structure. In both cases a casket or a shroud surround the body.
Before burial, a person’s body may be embalmed, but embalming is not required. The main reason to embalm is to help the living say goodbye with a viewing. We can certainly view our family member without embalming, as our families often choose to during "Family Time" (a brief goodbye before cremation). The deceased looks much as they did at the time of their death. However, when embalming is chosen we often hear families say, with relief in their voice, how good they look. Again, embalming is not required and we treat all families with the same respect, however they choose.
What is embalming? Our licensed embalmer cleans the body, sets the features, and then performs surgical procedures to inject preservative chemicals. The embalmer then dresses and styles hair and does makeup as instructed by the family. They are laid in a casket that can be closed or opened, or opened for a private time.
Why do this? For some, one's physical presence is a continued way of being part of the family. Psychologically for the living, seeing a loved one in death may help to understand what has happened, helping the grief process.