A woman wearing a black coat.

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

When it comes to funeral planning or just attending a funeral, unfortunately, there are several funeral misconceptions out there. From the funeral cost to who should attend the funeral, we want to help put these funeral misconceptions to rest.

 

Below are five common funeral misconceptions and why they’re not true.

 

1. Funerals Are Too Expensive

Many families think that planning the perfect funeral is out of the cards for them. According to CNBC, more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings. This means that they don’t have enough savings to cover an unexpected expense, like a funeral. They may settle for direct cremation or opt not to have a funeral because they can’t afford it.

 

However, many funeral homes offer alternative payment options, like crowdfunding, financing, or life insurance assignment programs. Whatever your family’s situation, they’ll work with you to find the best option, so you can plan the funeral your loved one deserves.

 

2. The Body Must Be Embalmed

Whether it’s your religious belief or another personal reason, you can choose not to be embalmed. However, if you want to have a viewing or an open casket at the funeral, you may need embalming. You should talk with your chosen funeral home to see what their specific policies are regarding embalming and open-casket viewings. You may be able to have a private viewing for your immediate family.

 

3. You Can’t Have a Viewing with Cremation

This is absolutely not true; in fact, funeral directors encourage families to have a viewing with cremation. You can have the viewing and the funeral service with the body present before the cremation occurs. Viewing the body has many benefits, including helping with the grieving process and accepting the reality of the death and a chance to say goodbye.

 

4. Funerals Are Only for Those Who Are Religious

Funerals aren’t just for those who are religious. Secular funerals, also known as humanist funerals, are on the rise since more and more Americans are identifying as non-religious. Ultimately, the funeral experience is about processing grief and honoring your loved one.

 

Secular funerals provide more personalization opportunities, such as choosing unique funeral songs, readings, and poems. The funeral doesn’t even have to take place at a church; it can be at a funeral home, family member’s backyard, park, beach, or another location. You also can work with a funeral celebrant to create a meaningful funeral service that honors your loved one’s life.

 

5. Funerals Are Only for Adults

Studies have found that children benefit from attending funerals. It helps them accept the death, say goodbye, and honor their loved one’s life. Although, depending on their age, children have different understandings of the permanence of death. By around age nine, children understand that everyone is going to die someday. However, parents should always use their best judgment to determine whether their child should attend the funeral.

 

What other common funeral misconceptions have you heard? Share them with us in the comments!