Embalming, in modern times, is the art and science of temporarily preserving a body to be suitable for public display at a funeral. Many choose this option to extend the time between the death and the funeral so that family and friends can gather together for the funeral. However, it is not required, (except in cases of transporting the body cross-state).
Here you can read reasons for and against embalming and decide for yourself what is best for you or a loved one when planning a funeral.
The Pros of Embalming
The three goals of embalming are as follows: preservation, presentation and sanitation.
- Embalming preserves the body.
The process of embalming increases the time between the death and burial to 2 weeks or more. Without embalming, the deceased must be buried or cremated within a few short days. Most deaths are sudden and the extra time can be very useful when family does not live close.
- A More Life-like Presentation
The goal of embalming is to make the body appear relaxed and natural as possible. The process adds color back to the body and fills out areas that may dehydrate otherwise. Seeing the deceased as close to life as possible often helps loved ones to say goodbye. Some funeral homes require embalming for open casket. However, state and federal law does not mandate embalming except in the cases of transportation across state lines.