What purpose does a funeral serve?
The funeral ceremony recognizes death and its finality. Funerals are rituals for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief process.
What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are facilitators, listeners, advisors and supporters, caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for transportation of the deceased, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death.
Do you have to have a funeral director?
In Vermont you are not required to have a funeral director care for your loved one. However, your funeral director has knowledge of all that needs to be done to legally complete a burial or cremation. Most people find it very trying to be solely responsible for arranging the details and legal matters surrounding a death.
Why is viewing important?
Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.
Can viewing be limlted to just the family?
Absolutely. Family viewing often takes place privately even though the obituary states there will be no public visitation. Viewing is important for what is often referred as 'closure' and enables close family members to say goodbye.
What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.
Does a dead body have to be embalmed, according to law?
No. Most states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable, contagious disease, or when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier, or if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours.
What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
A funeral director is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should feel free to call us at any time.
Will someone come right away?
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good-bye, that is acceptable. We will come when the time is right. If the death is an attended or expected one, call your Home Health or Hospice representative.
If a loved one dies out of state, can Sayles Funeral Home still help?
Yes, we can assist you with out-of-state arrangements, either to transfer the remains to another state or from another state. Usually dealing with just one funeral home can save much time, effort, and money.
Sayles Funeral Home
525 Summer Street
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
Phone: (802) 748.3955
Fax: (802) 748.9042
Guibord Funeral Home
PO Box 1076
15 Main Street
Lyndonville, VT 05851
Phone: (802) 626.9389
Fax: (802) 626.5069
Grief Management Resources
Social Security Benefits
Guide to Writing an Obituary