Modern Embalming ensures that relatives and friends can view the person who has died with the sense that the person is peacefully asleep while also giving the deceased the dignity and respect they deserve by ensuring that they look their best.
Embalming is a hygienic treatment of the body, ensuring freedom from possible infection to the living and at the same time, affording a sense of consolation to the bereaved by restoring a life like appearance to the deceased.
Declan Finnegan was the first Funeral Director in Cavan to qualify as a professional embalmer in 1993 and his professional competency in this field is highlighted by the certificates he has being awarded by the British Institute of Embalmers on completion of his studies and passing all relevant examinations. Declan is a member of the Irish Association of Funeral Directors, the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association and the Cremation Association of North America. He is also a founding member of the Professional Embalmers Association of Ireland, a former National Executive Member of the British Institute of Embalmers and a former President of the Irish Division of the British Institute of Embalmers.and is constantly updating his skills.
For years, embalming has been a point of great interest for people. Let’s get one point of contention out of the way before we get any farther. Embalming is not required by law. So what is embalming, why do we embalm people. Let’s look at it.
What is it?
Embalming is the replacement of bodily fluids with a preservative solution. Historically this has been done with formalin (that are not formaldehyde based) solutions. The process also includes the disinfecting of the body and preparation for visitation by setting the features of the deceased so that they are more visually appealing.
Why do we do it?
We embalm for many reasons. Funeral directors, embalmers, and others assisting in the preparation of human remains for final disposition must refrigerate or embalm the remains upon receipt.” The reason for this is simple: refrigeration and embalming serve to slow the decomposition process. But there’s more. Most traditional funeral homes will tell you that it’s best for visitation. Embalming fluid contains pigments. In addition to disinfecting and slowing decomposition, it enhances the appearance of the deceased by returning color to their face and hands.
If there has been an autopsy or a traumatic accident, it is highly recommended that some form of embalming and reconstruction take place. While we can’t forbid you from seeing them in that condition or require that you have to do it before seeing your loved one, we can tell you that after these events, it is highly recommended that you have some type of preparation.
Is it possible to have loved one’s hair and makeup done?
The visitation of your loved one is an important time for not only the family but also for the loved one themselves. They deserve the dignitary and respect to look their very best. Families are advised provide a photo of the deceased as this will guide the embalmer on how the person would look and wear their hair style and makeup. The embalmer can follow with your wishes, giving your loved one dignitary and giving you a lasting memory that they are at rest and not forgotten.
What is the Elemental stance on embalming?
It is our opinion that if embalming is to take place, it should be done with eco-friendly fluids. To families that have a tradition of visitations with embalming, this is the best option.
It may not make the choices easier to hear “it’s up to you”, but the truth is that your comfort and need for closure can only be assessed by you and your family. Some families have zero need to see their loved one a last time. Some have a cultural imperative, and want them to look their very best for their last big day. Whatever your tradition is, we can just make sure that your wishes are carried out.