A funeral is a ceremony for celebrating, honoring, and remembering the life of a person who has passed away. While specific customs, traditions, and practices differ across different cultures and religions, all funerals serve the key purpose of giving the bereaved a special time and place to say goodbye and find comfort and healing in one another.
A viewing — also known as visitation, a wake, or calling hours — can involve an open or closed casket, and is seen as a vital part of the grieving process. Having their loved one present often helps family and friends to accept the reality of their loss, especially for those who may not have seen him or her in a while. The opportunity to come to terms with the death and say a final farewell is an important step on the road to closure and healing.
Embalming is a process used to sanitize and temporarily preserve the body of a person who has passed away. It also can enhance the appearance of a person that has suffered damage from an accident or illness. By preserving the body through embalming, we can give you and your family time to make personalized and meaningful arrangements, including a viewing if desired.
No. Except in rare circumstances, embalming is not required by law. However, we, like most funeral homes do not permit public viewing without embalming. If you opt to not use embalming, usually we can offer a private viewing prior to burial with minimal preparation excluding embalming.
What you’ll say depends upon whether or not you’ve already had contact with the bereaved. If you’ve already offered your condolences, or attended the visitation or service, simply greet the bereaved warmly and express an interest in their well-being. If this is your first meeting since the death and you’re in a public setting, it’s kinder not to bring up the death directly. Instead, say something like, “I understand these must be difficult days for you,” and perhaps ask about when might be a good time to visit, or suggest that you meet for lunch.
The grieving process doesn’t end with the funeral, and it will take time for the bereaved to heal. The family will need your support for months to come, so make sure to check in on a regular basis. Drop a note, make a phone call, and continue to invite them when you make social plans; they’ll let you know if and when they are ready to participate. Reach out to the family on special occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries, especially during the first year following their loss.
You should use your judgment to determine whether your child is ready to attend, and whether attending the funeral will be meaningful to them. It’s important for children to be allowed to express their grief and share in this important ritual. If you bring young children, explain beforehand what they will see and experience, and make sure that they know the importance of being on their best behavior. If your child becomes cranky or noisy, remove them promptly to avoid disturbing those who are mourning.
Yes, with adult supervision we have a play room that can be utilized.
A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in all aspects of funerals and related services. They provide support to the family, guide the arrangement of visitations and funeral ceremonies, prepare the deceased according to the family’s wishes, and ensure that everything goes according to plan. They also arrange for the removal and transportation of deceased throughout the process, and assist families with any legal or insurance-related paperwork they might need to file. They’re experienced at recognizing when an individual is having an extremely difficult time coping with a loss, and can provide extra support and recommendations for professional help if needed.
Absolutely! Our staff has years of experience getting to know families and incorporating their loved one’s hobbies, activities, interests, and unique requests into meaningful and memorable services. Don’t hesitate to make a request because you think it might be too “out there” — we’re honored to work with you to create a service that truly reflects and celebrates your loved one’s individual life journey.
It’s important that you contact the local medical authorities first (as well as the police, if appropriate), and then make sure to give us a call as soon as possible. We will work with you to make the necessary arrangements to get you and your loved one back home as quickly and easily as possible. Calling us will also help you to avoid duplication of efforts and fees.
Definitely! In fact, we encourage you to do so. Choosing cremation only indicates how you’d like to care for your loved one after the service and doesn’t exclude you from celebrating and honoring their life in any way. Whether you’d like to arrange a funeral service before cremation, or wait and hold the service after the cremation, we’re happy to help you design a meaningful service to accompany the cremation.
This will vary depending on the individual and the casket or container used, but usually takes about 3-5 hours.
Cremation of multiple people at the same time is illegal in the U.S. and many other countries, so the cremation chamber is not designed to hold more than one person at a time. In addition, cremation is a regulated process with strict procedures we follow to ensure we’re holding our services to the highest standard possible. All necessary paperwork and fees must be completed with local authorities, and then a checklist is completed at the crematory. A metal disk with a unique ID number accompanies your loved one from the time we receive the person throughout the cremation process, and after cremation occurs we attach the metal disk to the bag containing the ashes. Knowing the level of respect and meticulous care with which we treat your loved one, you can rest assured that you are receiving only your loved one’s ashes.
In general, the government does not regulate the scattering of ashes. Make sure you check with your local regulations beforehand, but most locations are usually okay as long as you are considerate and dispose of the container properly. If you wish to scatter the ashes on private land, you should consult the landowner first.
Yes. Autopsies and organ donation do not affect your ability to have an open-casket visitation.
A columbarium is a place for the interment of urns containing cremated remains. They’re often located in mausoleums, chapels, or memorial gardens, and contain numerous small compartments, or niches, designed to hold urns.
Yes you may. The University of Washington and Lake Washington Technical Institute will accept some bodies for educational purposes and scientific research. It is best to make arrangements with them prior to death. Some deceased processes disqualify.
If a crime leads to a death The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries has a crime victim’s compensation program, that will help you pay for funeral arrangements. We can help you make arrangements with them. For further information contact: http://www.lni.wa.gov/ClaimsIns/CrimeVictims/About/default.asp
We are currently asking people to wear a mask when they enter the building. We strive to keep all of our guests as safe as possible when they visit our funeral home. According to Statista, in 2019 there were 19,177 funeral homes located across the U.S. Out of all of them, we hope you'll trust ours to provide you with a safe, comfortable experience.
We at Kern Funeral Home offer compassion and care at a reasonable cost. We own our own crematory, Our exceptional and licensed staff will also be there for you every step of the way. If you're ready to plan a funeral service, give us a call to discuss your specific needs.
Kern Funeral Home offers funerals, cremation, and burial services. We also support families with our pre-planning services and grief support. Whether you're just looking for a funeral home offering direct cremations or you want to plan a full funeral service, we're here for you.
Our prices are available on our Burial and Cremation Services page. We also offer direct cremations. Contact us for more pricing information or to schedule a preplanning meeting.
We offer direction and guidance in the months following a loss. You don't have to go through this alone. We will support you every step of the way. We offer grief support services, even after your phone stops ringing. If you're struggling with loss, call our funeral home for support.
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