Skip to content

Ask Your Funeral Director: Focusing on the Past

‘When the time comes for my funeral, I hope my family and friends don’t just focus on the mistakes I made in my younger years, but rather on the man I have become.’
Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

By Jason Meidl, Funeral Director at Creston Valley Funeral Services

I recently had an interesting conversation with an older gentleman as we were pre-planning his funeral. I joked about how there was no way that this mild mannered, soft-spoken man had ever done anything that would be considered wrong or against societal norms. He winked at me and said, “None that you know of. We didn’t have the internet so what we did stayed in the past where it belongs.”

This really got me thinking about how as a society, we at times can focus on a person’s past because it is so readily available for everyone to search. We lose focus on the person standing in front of us. I really hope that when the time comes for my funeral, my family and friends don’t just focus on the mistakes I made in my younger years, but rather on the man I have become. Who we are today is truly due to the mistakes that we have made and how we have learned from and overcome our struggles in life. I am not be a perfect human being, but then again, who among us can make that claim.

“Is there a cost if I want to delay a funeral ?” - George

This question that can be answered in two different ways. The easy answer is yes… and no. When we are talking about a funeral where the body is present, the funeral home may recommend embalming, depending on the time for the delayed service. There would be a cost for the embalming. Some funeral homes may also charge a daily storage fee after a certain amount of days for storage of the body in a cooler.

When it comes to cremation, cost may be incurred if the family wants to store the cremated remains at the funeral home. Funeral homes in B.C. are allowed to charge a storage fee after 60 days but only if they indicate to the family that they do that. The body storage fees and cremated remains fees are based on the individual funeral home. Delayed services are more common now, especially in the winter months when families want to hold off until the spring to allow more people to attend. These are all options that you can and should discuss with your funeral director.

“Do I need to bring clothing if my loved one is being cremated?” - Brenda

Every funeral home that I know of will always ask if you would like your loved one dressed, whether it is cremation with no viewing, cremation with viewing, or for burial. For some people they are okay with the funeral home shrouding the body and for others there is a peace in knowing that their loved one has been dressed in their favourite set of clothing. There is no right or wrong answer here. Many people find it comforting to dress their loved one in something they liked to wear such as a football shirt, comfy pyjamas, or a nightdress. It’s a way of continuing to care for someone in death as in life, which can bring some comfort when you are grieving.

Funeral Facts

When we think of crossroads, we think of a choice on which way to go. In medieval Europe, “crossroads” had a whole other meaning related to the burial of those thought to be profane.

A profane burial was one where the body of the deceased was desecrated and not given the same burial respects as required when a person died and the soul left for heaven.

In Europe, from the 16th century to the pre-modern era, profane burial practices were observed, where the bodies of suicide victims were buried across the crossroads. Suicide was considered an act of felony and unholiness. According to folklorists and historians, crossroads were chosen to confuse the spirit of the restless victim. The choice of the four paths would not allow the spirit to come out until dawn as the ghosts of the suicide deaths were considered susceptible to demonic control. The last recorded crossroads burial was in June of 1823 when public outcry and condemnation of this practice forced the government at the time to abolish this practice.

Keep your questions coming to!

READ MORE: Ask Your Funeral Director: Can I customize my funeral?