Frequently Asked Questions
It is common to have questions about the funeral process. This section answers some commonly asked questions to help make this process easier for you. If additional questions arise, please feel free to contact us directly at the funeral home.
What is a funeral?
A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person, prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories, and to celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step in helping the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.
How do most people commemorate life at a funeral?
Traditionally, Canadians chose to have a visitation/wake. A wake normally involved one or two days of visitation, with the casket present. This provides friends and family members with an opportunity to say their good-byes and pay their respects to the family of the deceased. The visitation/wake is then followed by a funeral service—in a church or in a funeral home.
However, these days, some families are choosing alternatives, such as a simple memorial service, without the body present. Often, this service takes place at the cemetery, so the memorial service and internment happen in one place, at the same time. We will help you and your family make decisions about these details that reflect your beliefs and your desires.
What type of service should I have?
If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you, but it is best to consider what the deceased may have wanted. Services are usually held at a funeral home or a place of worship. There are a wealth of different services, ranging from traditional religious or military services, to something a little more unique. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.
Can I personalize a funeral?
Of course you can! In fact, more and more people are opting for non-traditional, personalized services. There is no one way to celebrate somebody’s life. Let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honor your wishes.
Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?
It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that is either posted in a local newspaper or online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and provides them with information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth, as well as the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children, or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you might also wish to include a short sentiment on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.
Who are funeral directors and what do they do?
Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond all of this, funeral directors are there to provide emotional support and personal guidance in the wake of a loss.
What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are here to help. Funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
What if a death occurs away from my home town?
We can arrange to have the remains transported from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have the remains return to the community.
What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body. It also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of a body impacted by a traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows for the possibility of an open-casket viewing.
Do I need to have an embalming?
No. In fact, some religions forbid embalming. Some countries do require embalming by law in order for remains to leave or enter the country. If it is not against your religious custom, embalming is generally recommended, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.
How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of the funeral depends on the services selected. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000; however, the most basic of services can cost as little as $1000. The cost includes all professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.
What drives the cost of a funeral?
Funerals are labor intensive A funeral's cost extends beyond the merchandise, and includes the services of the funeral director. Their role in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other figures involved after a death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of forty hours per funeral, and the cost of operating a funeral home is included as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.
What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?
In Canada, funeral services are regulated provincially and this information can be found on the Canadian Consumer Information website at www.consumerinformation.ca.
Cole Funeral Services:
2500 Baseline Road,
Ottawa, Ontario K2C 3H9
Telephone: (613) 831-7122