Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

Ask Your Funeral Director: Is embalming required?

‘There is a place for embalming, but it’s not necessarily for everyone.’

By Jason Meidl, funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services


Kids say the most amazing things and at times the most inappropriate things and we love them for it. My children are no exception, and my four-year-old comes up with the best one liners I have ever heard come out of a person’s mouth. One subject that is spoken a lot about in my household is… you guessed it… death. My kids are amazingly comfortable with the idea of death and know exactly what my job is. Granted my four-year-old’s understanding is a little bit different than my seven-year-old’s, but that’s to be expected. One thing I have noticed lately is my youngest daughter’s fascination with business cards – mine specifically. She has formed this new habit of making sure people know that I have a business card for the funeral home. This in itself is harmless until we are in a grocery store chatting with an elderly couple that we have known for years and she looks up with her serious face and says to the couple, “Did you know my dad has a business card and it’s for his funeral home, and if you need his help, you just call him and he will be right over.” Thankfully, coming from this sweet little girl it was taken by our friends the right way. Kids will say the darndest things.

Here are some questions I received recently:

“Is embalming required, and what is it?” – Doug

Embalming itself is the treatment of a deceased individual to temporarily preserve and slow down decomposition using embalming chemicals that for the most part contain formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, ethanol, humectants, and other wetting agents. The three main reasons for embalming are temporary preservation, restoration and presentation, and sanitation.

In the province of B.C., there is no legal requirement for someone to be embalmed. There are definitely times, that as a funeral director, I would recommend embalming like in the case of a delayed time from time of death until visitation, traumatic deaths, and contagious diseases to name a few. At these times, I would give my professional opinion whether I felt embalming would be beneficial. Also, there is a cost associated with embalming so I would want to make sure the family is aware of this.

There is a place for embalming, but it’s not necessarily for everyone. You should never be told that you have to embalm your loved one. I have seen in my career viewings that were only made possible because of embalming and seeing how important it was to these families that this happened.

“Are you locally owned?” – Frank

This is a question we have gotten a lot since we opened. We are locally owned and operated. Creston Valley Funeral Services is owned by the Meidl and Kemle family, all of whom are located here in Creston.

Interesting Fact of the Month:

Obituaries for the common person did not become commonplace until the 20th century. There is evidence of obituaries from the 1600s, but it was only customary for public figures to have their deaths announced to the community or even to the whole country. It was not until the 20th century that obituaries for non-prolific individuals became more common. These were often announced in the local paper, giving the date of death and the details of the funeral. This is something that is still done today, as well as the use of online methods through social media, to publicly announce a death.

Keep the questions coming! Email me at jason@crestonvalleyfuneralservices.ca.

READ MORE: Ask Your Funeral Director: What sort of support do you provide for the loved ones left behind?

Creston Valley