Why do people choose embalming?

When a person has died, they may look very different to how they did in life. Embalming can restore their appearance as much as possible and some find this helps them with closure either for the funeral or beyond.

As embalming slows down the natural deterioration after death, it is often recommended if the funeral is not due to take place right away. This allows you more time to visit your loved one in the chapel of rest or bring them home before the funeral. Also, it gives families who need to travel for the funeral the chance to visit them in the chapel of rest. Embalming can also help those who are undecided about whether to visit or not and need more time to consider this.

The embalming process

During embalming the natural fluids of the body are replaced with a solution to help preserve, sanitise and improve the appearance of the person who has died. The solution is a combination of formaldehyde, natural oils, colourants and water, which help restore the appearance of the skin.

How long does embalming take?

Embalming can take between 2 to 4 hours to complete, depending on the techniques used. You may be asked to provide a photo of your loved one. This can be useful when applying make-up and styling their hair, to help resemble the way they looked in life.

Does embalming affect a cremation?

The products used in the embalming process do not have any effect on a cremation and those who are embalmed can still be cremated safely.

Does embalming affect a burial?

This depends on the type of burial you choose. In many circumstances you can have a burial once a person has been embalmed. However, if you’re considering an eco-friendly funeral or a woodland burial, embalming isn’t allowed as the chemicals may contaminate the local environment.

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