Mailing Address: P.O. Box 121
Muscatine, IA 52761
Phone: 563-263-0842
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Frequently Asked Questions - Muscatine Funeral Home Nichols Life Tribute Funeral Cremation and Memorial Services

Frequently Asked Questions

We are happy to answer any and all questions which come our way – and we hear some over and over again. Those are the ones we’ve included in this section of the website.

However, if you’re question isn’t listed, don’t hesitate to email us. If yours is an urgent need, please call.

1. What is a funeral?
 
2. How much does a funeral cost?
 
3. How do I make funeral arrangements?
 
4. What do funeral directors do?
 
5. What is a pre-arranged funeral?
 
6. How do I make funeral arrangements?
 
7. What type of funeral service should I have?
 
8. Can I personalize my funeral service?
 
9. Why should we have a public viewing?
 
10. What should I do if a death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
 
11. What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
 
12. Why do we need an obituary notice?
 
13. What is included in an obituary?
 
14. What is embalming?
 
15. What is the purpose of embalming?
 
16. Is embalming mandatory by law?
 
17. What is involved in cremation?
 
18. Do I need a casket if I choose cremation?
 
19. Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
 
20. What can be done with the cremated remains?
 
21. Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
 
22. Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
 
23. Is cremation as a means of disposition increasing?
 
24. Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of AIDS?
 

Question #1What is a funeral?
Answer:A funeral is a time when friends and family gather to celebrate a life and mourn the loss of a loved one. They occur in cultures and societies around the world, and have deep personal and social significance. We know a funeral is the starting point of the recovery process and the first step toward healing.

Question #2How much does a funeral cost?
Answer:The cost of a funeral depends entirely on your wishes for the funeral. Funeral costs are made up of professional services, charges for transporting and presentation of the body, casket costs, vehicle charges, and fees for the minister, cemetery, cremation, etc. Personalizing a funeral is also a factor in the cost. We have many options to help you memorialize your loved one in a meaningful, memorable and affordable way.

Question #3How do I make funeral arrangements?
Answer:You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge, and without obligation.

Question #4What do funeral directors do?
Answer:Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body.

As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

Question #5What is a pre-arranged funeral?
Answer:A pre-arranged funeral is a funeral arrangement made prior to death. You can pre-arrange your own funeral or you can pre-arrange a funeral for a loved one. Pre-arrangement is a way for you to make sure your life is celebrated in a way that is meaningful to you. It also relieves your loved ones of the burden of arranging a funeral for you.

Question #6How do I make funeral arrangements?
Answer:You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge and without obligation.

Question #7What type of funeral service should I have?
Answer:The answer to that question is very personal – how would you like it to be? A funeral service can be open to the public or accessible by invitation only. You can choose a large service or a small one. And, if you’re deeply religious, you can follow the liturgy of your faith.

Perhaps you want something completely out-of-the-ordinary, and that’s possible too. Our funeral directors are trained to provide you with support and guidance to help you plan a funeral that truly reflects your needs and desires.

Question #8Can I personalize my funeral service?
Answer:In a word, yes. We believe that each funeral should reflect the life of the deceased – and no two people are the same. We invite – no, we encourage –you to let us know exactly how you want you or your loved one to be remembered, and we will do our best to create a ceremony that will truly celebrate the life lived.

Question #9Why should we have a public viewing?
Answer:Not every tradition encourages a public viewing, but we believe that they serve a purpose. In making a viewing part of your funeral service, you provide a certain amount of closure to all in attendance. This isn’t just our opinion; studies show that viewing the body helps everyone recognize the reality of death which is an important stepping stone in the grieving process.

Question #10What should I do if a death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Answer:It’s simple: call us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need immediate assistance, one of our funeral directors will be there.

Question #11What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Answer:It’s comforting to know that our funeral directors can help you no matter where a death has occurred.  We’ll take care of everything from bringing your loved one back home; to helping you arrange the service. All you need to do is call us. We’ll take care of the rest.

Question #12Why do we need an obituary notice?
Answer:An obituary notice is helpful for friends and family of the deceased. It informs them that a death has occurred and gives them information about the service.  Obituaries can be placed in newspapers and online.

Question #13What is included in an obituary?
Answer:"Funeral arrangements are being made by the funeral home and will be announced at a later date."

You may wish to add additional details, such as the names of any children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, parents, other close relatives or special friends. You may wish to write about the deceased’s life, accomplishments and legacy. You may suggest preferred charities for memorial contributions and let people know if you would rather not receive flowers.

Question #14What is embalming?
Answer:Embalming is the temporary disinfection, preservation, and restoration of the body. During the embalming process, the body is washed and dressed and cosmetics are applied.

Question #15What is the purpose of embalming?
Answer:Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It 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. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

Question #16Is embalming mandatory by law?
Answer:Typically no. But, certain factors of time, health and jurisdictional legal requirements might make embalming appropriate, a practical necessity or required. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by common carrier, such as airplane or rail or from one state jurisdiction to another.

Question #17What is involved in cremation?
Answer:The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber where the temperature reaches 1,400-1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2.5 hours, all organic material is consumed by heat and evaporation, and the bone fragments are left behind. These are known as the cremated remains, which are then carefully removed from the chamber and processed into fine particles to be placed in a container or urn for the family.

Question #18Do I need a casket if I choose cremation?
Answer:No, you do not need to purchase a traditional casket. But, for sanitary reasons, many state's cremation codes and crematories usually require a combustible, leak-proof, covered container. Commonly, a relatively-inexpensive cardboard cremation container is all you need to purchase. However there are other options available as well. Visit our online cremation container showroom to explore your options.

Question #19Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Answer:By all means, yes. We encourage families to have a gathering – whether it’s a simple visitation, or a more elaborate funeral or memorial service – to support the bereaved and begin to mend the social fabric, torn by the loss of a member of the community.

Question #20What can be done with the cremated remains?
Answer:The cremated remains can be interred in a cemetery plot or retained by a family member -- usually in an urn, scattered on private property or (where allowed by law) at a place that was important to the deceased. The cremated remains can be scattered at sea, or the skies above a special, well-loved place. You can also incorporate the remains into an artificial reef, to be lowered onto the sea floor. There, your loved one provides sanctuary for sea life for years to come.

There are also elegant ways to memorialize a loved one using small amounts of the cremated remains, including art glass, oil paintings, and man-made diamonds. Or you can take a small amount of the cremated remains to include in a piece of cremation jewelry. Please view our online cremation keepsakes and jewelry selection for inspiration.

Question #21Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
Answer:No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment and often follows a traditional funeral service. We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.

Question #22Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Answer:Yes. Cremation does not preclude having a visitation period and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body.

Question #23Is cremation as a means of disposition increasing?
Answer:Cremation as a means of disposition has slowly increased in the U.S. over the past two decades.

Question #24Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of AIDS?
Answer:Yes, a person who dies of an AIDS-related illness is entitled to the same service options afforded to anyone else. If public viewing is consistent with local or personal customs, that option is encouraged. Touching the deceased's face or hands is perfectly safe.

Because the grief experienced by survivors may include a variety of feelings, survivors may need even more support than survivors of non-AIDS-related deaths.

©2014 Nichols Life Tribute Funeral and Memorial Services   All Rights Reserved.

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