What purpose do funerals serve?
Funerals are our way to recognize death and its finality. Funeral rituals are found in every society around the world, and they have been well documented since the beginning of recorded history. They allow a community to gather to support each other in a loss, as well as celebrate a life lived. The services provide a way for loved ones to affirm the dignity of the dead, and they help friends and relatives begin the grief process. They are important because they remind us that each life is special. You are significant, and funeral rituals allow us - the living - the opportunity to reflect on this.
What is the purpose of public viewing?
Viewing of the deceased is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions around the world. Many grief counselors report that viewing in some form is important in the grief process because it helps the bereaved recognize the reality of death.
What does a funeral cost?
At the Cournoyer Funeral Home and Cremation Center, you will find complete itemized pricing for each facet of a funeral. In general, total funeral costs can range from approximately $1,650 to about $9,000 (plus any additional cash advances, merchandise or services selected). Of course, there are many considerations within this range. We do not offer any funeral or cremation “packages” for the simple reason that we feel that “packaging” limits or restricts the choices available to families today. For more detailed pricing information, please feel free to contact us directly, or simply download our Price Information Guide by clicking here.
I've heard that a funeral is the third most expensive purchase (after a home and car) that a person will make. Is this true?
No - this is false. This is a myth that has been perpetuated by critics of American funeral service and irresponsible journalists who lack basic investigative skills. In 2007, the price of an average home in the United States was approximately $220,000. A new car averages about $28,000 although you can easily spend $45,000 or more on an SUV or luxury automobile. A traditional funeral is not inexpensive, they can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $11,000. However, anyone who has ever remodeled their home, arranged a wedding, paid for college, been treated in a hospital overnight or undergone cosmetic or restorative surgery, replaced a roof, or purchased quality furniture will tell you that there are plenty of purchases that easily exceed the price of a funeral.
I am considering cremation. Can you help with arrangements?
Yes, we have been providing cremation services since 1959. In 2000, we expanded our cremation services significantly; our new name even reflects our commitment to providing these services: Cournoyer Funeral Home and Cremation Center. We are also able to provide many different services associated with cremation, such as Ceremonial Scattering by air or at sea, for example. Cremation services may range from a traditional complete funeral service with viewing to a simple direct cremation. If you would like more detailed information about cremation options please contact us directly.
How much does cremation cost?
Funeral arrangements that include cremation as the final form of disposition can cost $7,000 and more for a service that includes embalming, visitation, and funeral service in our chapel or your church. You may also choose a Traditional Cremation which starts at $2,980 and with the minimum typical additional cash advances, merchandise and services selected, the total cost would be approximately $3,500. Or, we will be pleased to discuss even simpler options which may better fit your individual budget constraints. For a more detailed conversation about your particular cremation pricing guidelines, please contact us directly.
I have heard that I can save money by joining a memorial society. Is this true and where can I find a directory of memorial societies?
The web address of the non-profit memorial society movement in the United States is the Funeral Consumers Alliance. Will you save money? Not always. In fact, in some instances, you may pay even more than if you were to investigate the prices at your local family owned funeral homes in advance yourself.
How much do caskets cost?
As with almost any tangible product, caskets are produced to sell within a wide range. Some fine hardwoods and some bronze caskets can sell for over $10,000. Here at the Cournoyer Funeral Home and Cremation Center, we prefer a more simple approach and do not focus on what might be selected for merchandise. Our caskets on display range in price from a mere $465 up to $1,885 - and you will not find any of the 'fancy' or very expensive caskets. We do offer a wide selection of caskets available from various manufacturers such as Florence, Vermont and Matthews Casket companies. Plus, we even offer several home made caskets from Connecticut Casket company.
What is a vault, and how much do they cost?
Outer burial containers, or vaults, surround the casket and support the weight of the earth. Most are also designed to prevent water from entering the casket. At the Cournoyer Funeral Home and Cremation Center, we offer simple grave liners for $995, and burial vaults begin at $1,295. Although there are no state or federal laws saying that a burial vault must be used, most cemeteries require some form of outer enclosure.
I've heard that funeral homes are supposed to provide all of their pricing information. Is this true?
Yes. All funeral providers are required by federal law to provide you with a General Price List of all the services the funeral home can provide. You must also be given a Statement of Goods and Services Selected which lists all of the items you have chosen. Some funeral homes do not comply with these requirements.
Unlike many funeral homes, we try to provide you with as much access to our prices as possible. We have also taken the extra steps of including all of our pricelists for you to keep, not just the required ones. Please click here to download our complete Price Information Guide.
I have several 'special requests' for my funeral. How can I be sure that they are honored?
After you have given careful thought in regards to what you would like for your own funeral, the easiest way to ensure that your requests are known and honored is to put them down in writing. Make sure that you give copies of these notes to your family members and your funeral home. It is not recommended to include your requests in your will - a will is typically read long after the funeral takes place.
We have developed a comprehensive Memorial Planning Guide which can be downloaded by clicking here. This guide is specifically oriented to all of the personalization methods we regularly use here at our funeral home. However, there are many areas which you may expand and truly design your own personalized remembrance. You can fill this out in the privacy of your own home and have the peace of mind knowing that you have expressed exactly what you want.
Should children attend funerals?
The best way to answer this question is to ask the child. Generally, children beyond the age of four can express for themselves whether they wish to attend the funeral or not. Extra care should be taken to explain to the child what to expect. If a child indicates a willingness to participate in the funeral, parents should comply and offer their support. If the child does not want to participate in the funeral, every effort should be made so as not to force them to go.
How long does grief last?
This is probably the most common question asked by the bereaved. Because every grieving person is a unique personality, there is no single answer to this question. In most cases, the pain associated with the grieving begins to subside considerably in the second and third years following the loss. This means that there are more good days than difficult ones, and that the sometimes heavy feelings in earlier months are replaced by more hopeful, optimistic feelings.
What helps the grieving process?
Even though grievers often feel helpless, there are important steps and actions they can take to make the grieving process flow more smoothly and toward a more rapid resolution. Here are some ways to cope with the pain of loss:
- Seek out supportive people - Find a relative, friend neighbor, or spiritual leader who will listen without judgment and provide you with support as you sort your way through grief.
- Join a support group - Being with others who have had a similar loss is therapeutic and helpful.
- Express your feelings - Do this by confiding in a trusted friend or by writing in a journal. Expressing those powerful emotions can diminish their potentially negative effect.
- Take care of your health - Eat balanced, nutritious meals. Rest properly, and find an exercise that you enjoy and do it regularly. If you experience physical problems, consult with your physician.
- Find outside help when necessary - If your bereavement feels too heavy for you to bear, find a counselor or therapist trained in grief issues to provide guidance and support.
Where may I receive additional information concerning grief recovery?
We have many resources available for you, including a great deal of written material to assist you at this difficult time. Call us; we can help you.
Can you help us with sending memorials to the funeral?
For floral tributes, look at the section labeled Local Florists at this web site. Please also know that we maintain a memorial envelope center in the funeral home. These simple pre-addressed envelopes make it very convenient to make memorial contributions to local charities that the family chooses.
What should I do if death occurs away from home?
If the death occurs out of state, you should call the Cournoyer Funeral Home and Cremation Center first. We will handle all necessary arrangements and coordinate transportation with another funeral home. Because of our membership in several national organizations, it is extremely likely that we can save you money if you contact us first.
Can you help me with a memorial for my cemetery?
Yes. Since we opened in 1915, we have worked very closely with the Kaufhold family at Peterborough Marble and Granite Works in Peterborough, NH. They have stone memorials of all varieties, shapes and sizes. We will be pleased to work with you in obtaining a memorial with the finest in both materials and workmanship.
Can you help me understand what I am entitled to from Social Security?
We can assist you further if your questions are not answered on our Social Security Information page (located in our left navigation bar), or you may visit www.ssa.gov for more information.
Can you provide us with military burial rites?
Yes. We have contacts with every branch of the armed services if a funeral detail from the actual branch of service is desired. In Jaffrey, we are very fortunate to have the John Humiston American Legion Post #11 and the Jaffrey Memorial Post #5613 Veterans of Foreign Wars. These are very active posts and generally have a group of up to 10 members who provide honors at local services.
What is Hospice and where can I find more information?
Hospice is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments, but this is just the beginning. For more detailed information, please visit the Hospice Foundation of America.