"Independently Taber owned and operated. Serving the communities of Southern Alberta for more than 50 years."

5006 - 48 Avenue
Taber, Alberta  T1G 1R8

Tel: 403.223.8778

Funeral Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a gathering of family and friends who come together to honor the memory of a loved one who has died. Funerals provide an important rite of passage. Similar to rituals which mark other transitions in life - such as baptisms, graduations, and weddings-- funerals provide a time for family and friends to celebrate the life of the loved one and share their feelings concerning the loss of this person in their lives. Coming together like this helps people accept the death, which is a critical part of adjusting to the loss. Funerals can be as unique as the people planning them. While they are often held at churches, or funeral homes, they may be held in any location requested by the family. Funerals that remember the loved one in personal ways can be very healing. We all carry memories and it is helpful to share these memories through readings, music, or other forms. Funerals are an important ritual in our lives. They affirm our basic beliefs about life and death, and help us through our loss.

Who is the funeral for?

The funeral is for the living. The deceased no longer has any needs. The funeral provides a place for family and friends to gather for support and to reminisce. It is an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one and allows a chance to say goodbye. The funeral illustrates that a persons life has been lived, NOT that a death has occurred.

What is the difference between a funeral service and a memorial service?

A funeral service is used to describe a service with the deceased person present whether it be in a casket, a cremation container or an urn.

A memorial service is used to describe a service when the deceased person is not present at the service.

What do funeral directors do?

The primary role of a funeral director is to assist and serve people experiencing the death of a loved one. Usually this is immediately after the death has occurred, but increasingly it involves planning ahead of the time of need. The funeral director relieves the family of many details. The director transfers the deceased to the funeral home, arranges for the visitation and gets information to the proper authorities for the death certificate. The funeral home will prepare and submit obituary notices in newspapers and helps fill out claim forms for life insurance, Canada Pension benefits, Veterans benefits, preparation of Funeral Directors Statements of Death and the preparation of all stationary including color service folders. They also secure the location for the funeral, someone to officiate the service and the luncheon to follow. The funeral director is also responsible for preparing the deceased for the service and making certain that its presentation fulfills the wishes of the family. On the day of the funeral, the director takes care of transportation and other logistics including the delivery of floral tributes to and from the different locations in which the events take place.  In all of these activities, the funeral director is the primary organizer and counselor to the survivors of the deceased.

Is it possible to have a traditional funeral service if someone dies of AIDS?

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.

Why have a visitation and/or viewing?

A visitation occurs when the deceased is in a closed casket or in an urn.

A viewing occurs with the casket open. In either case, it allows friends and loved ones to pay respect to the deceased and meet the family. The gift of sympathy is healing. Such events allow the sharing of personal stories, which establishes, in the family's presence, the significance of the deceased..... a requirement to begin the grief process. The opportunity is also provided for people to offer assistance in a personal way. Visitations and viewings are indeed helpful.

What should I say?

The best advice we can give to you is to be yourself. Visitations and/or viewings and funerals are a time for people to come together, share their memories, and to lean on one another. You shouldn't feel like you have to say anything. Your presence is often enough to console the family. A smile and a hug go a long way.

What is the purpose of a funeral?

A funeral in its simplest sense is a tribute to your loved one's life.  It provides an environment were family and friends can remember, tell stories, and celebrate his/her life.  It is also for the survivors.  It gives survivors a chance to begin to deal with their grief.  It also gives survivors a way to honor and celebrate the life of the one they have loved.

What are the key elements of a funeral?

A funeral can include any of the following: private or public visitation with the bereaved family and/or viewing of the deceased; the actual ceremony; and a gathering at the time of cremation and/or burial. Each of these stages offers an opportunity to make the funeral a very personal event, reflecting the unique needs and wishes of those involved.

How soon do we have the funeral?

Usually the funeral service is held three to four days following the death. Factors to consider when deciding on the time of the service are, the distance that family members have to travel to attend the funeral, are there any holidays that would interfere with the burial, what is the schedule of the person that will officiate at the funeral. Yes, you can wait seven to ten days if you desire, however, families have expressed to us that the waiting can be very difficult.

Do they have funerals for pets?

Yes. In many instances, a pet is much like a family member. There are pet cemeteries that offer burial and cremation services for family pets.