Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a compilation of all the FAQs throughout the website. We have included some of the most burning questions that clients ask and have provided some very helpful answers.

Should you have a question that does not appear in our FAQs, please don't hesitate to contact our offices and ask any one of our Funeral Coordinators, Managers or Directors. We will be happy to help.

We have listed the FAQs in sections below for your easy reading:

Funeral Planning FAQs

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation.  A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life.  A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home or a place of worship.  There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional.  Our Funeral Coordinators are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can.  There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life.  There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the Funeral Coordinator know exactly what your desires are and they will honor your wishes.

Do we need to have an death notice and what is included in one?

The decision to have a death notice is entirely the choice of the family. However, if you choose to have one, notices can be placed in a local newspaper, on radio or even on television.  We will place a notice on our website with all the necessary details so that friend and family can look for any updates with regards to time, location and special requests. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service.  Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city and date of birth and the date of their passing.  It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren.  Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased.  Our online obituary and memorial pages offer you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

Who are Funeral Coordinators and what do they do?

Funeral Coordinators are in charge of all the logistics following a death.  They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body.  Beyond the logistics, Funeral Coordinators are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, J. E. Guide Funeral Home & Crematorium Limited operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

What if a death occurs abroad?

We are here to help, we can assist in arranging to have the body transported back home from anywhere in the world.  We will guide you in every step of the process and help you to make the proper arrangements.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness.  Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

Do I need to have an embalming?

No.  In fact some religions forbid embalming.  However, embalming is required in order for a body to leave or enter the country.  If it is not against your religious custom, embalming may be recommended, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have.  The cost includes all professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, purchase of a casket or urn and many other services.

Burial Services FAQs

What is required to open and close a grave?

There is a fee related to opening and closing a grave. This fee is payable to the Municipal/Regional Corporation which manages the cemetery. These fees can range in price from cemetery to cemetery. The cost can also vary depending on the difficulty of opening the grave site (e.g. if the grave site is in a particularly difficult place or contains concrete slabs etc.).

Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?

The ability to bring your own resources to open and close a grave is dependent on the cemetery and the Municipal/Regional Corporation it falls under. Some Corporations allow families to dig their own grave and others absolutely forbid it due to safety issues, damage to cemetery property and the protection of other grave sites, In the case of the latter, the opening and closing of the grave is conducted by cemetery grounds personnel only. However, regardless of the guidelines and restrictions, the Funeral Home will help families who would like to make these arrangement themselves.

What happens when a cemetery runs out of burial space?

When a cemetery runs out of burial space, it will continue to operate and serve the community as there are provisions in the Act to allow for the re-opening and sale of grave sites. The Act states that a "grave shall be re-opened within seven years after the burial of a person above twelve years of age, or within five years after the burial of a child under twelve years of age, except for the purpose of burying another member of the same family, in which case a layer of earth not less than one foot thick shall be left undisturbed above the previously buried coffin; but if on re-opening any grave, the soil is found offensive, such soil shall not be disturbed, and the grave shall be at once closed up."

Can I purchase a plot if my family does not already have one?

Yes a family can purchase a cemetery plot and the cost varies according to the Municipal/Regional Corporation that governs it. Your loved one must be buried in the grave site and three (3) months thereafter, you can apply to purchase. However, some cemeteries do not allow purchases for various reasons such as limited availability within a District. In a case such as this, plots can be re-used every seven (7) years in accordance with the Act.

Can my loved one be buried in a District/Municipal cemetery other than where they resided?

Most cemeteries allow persons who lived outside of the district to be buried in them, so long as a family member or associate who owns a plot has agreed to allow the grave site to be used

How long after a death must an individual be buried?

There is no law that restricts the length of time between death and burial. However, the condition of the body may play a critical part in how soon after death the funeral should take place. Other Considerations that will affect timeline include the need to secure all permits and authorizations, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site, religious practices or the possibility of post-mortem or forensic investigative procedures.  

Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?

No.  Embalming is a choice which depends on several factors such as:

  • The timeline between viewing of the dressed body and the funeral service
  • Preservation of the body due to an extended time between death and interment
  • Public health laws require embalming if the body is to be sent abroad

What options are available besides ground burial?

Besides ground burial, some cemeteries offer interment in lawn crypts or entombment in mausoleums.  Additionally, some cemeteries provide choices for those who have selected cremation which include placement of cremated remains in a niche of a columbarium or interment in an urn space. 

Cremation Services FAQs

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

No, but some kind of receptacle is required. However, there are other options to using a casket:

  • A Rental Casket is available where the body is placed in a tray which is then placed inside a decorative casket. Prior to the cremation, the tray is removed from the Rental Casket and placed into the cremation chamber.
  • There is also the option of using a Tray which is a type of coffin with no top. This type of coffin is typically used in Hindu pyre cremations, but is available to anyone regardless of religious background.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No.  Embalming is a choice which depends on several factors such as:

  • The timeline between viewing of the dressed body and the funeral service
  • Preservation of the body due to an extended time between death and interment
  • Public health laws require embalming if the body is to be sent abroad

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes. Most families make such a request and the Funeral Home will allow immediate family members to view the deceased.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Yes. Our sky view crematorium is designed such that families can witness the cremation, safely from an outer enclosure while the body is placed in the cremation chamber.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

Ashes can be kept at home, interred in a burial ground or site designated for such a burial or scattered in the sea. However, these methods of disposal are guided by laws and regulations. For further details, please see Chapter 9 - Disposal of Ashes in the Cremation Regulations. (Click here for link to document).

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

We have developed rigorous operating policies and procedures in order to minimize the potential for human error.  Additionally, since crematoriums can only cremate one body at a time and ashes must be removed and processed prior to the cremation chamber being used again, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.

How long does a cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual.  For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,600 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do I need to supply an urn?

No. A hand crafted clay urn is provided to the family at no additional cost. However, the family may purchase a more ornate urn from the many on display at the Funeral Home or bring their own.