Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel & Crematorium

Frequently Asked Questions


Question Topics:

Funeral & Memorial Services

What is the purpose of a funeral?

Funerals provide surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to recognize the death of a loved one and to share thoughts and feelings about that person. Funerals are the first step in the healing process. The ritual of attending a funeral service provides many benefits including:

  • Providing a social support system for the bereaved
  • Helping the bereaved understand death is final and part of life
  • Integrating the bereaved back into the community
  • Easing the transition to a new life after the death of a loved one
  • Providing a safe haven for embracing and expressing pain
  • Reaffirming one's relationship with the person who died
  • Providing a time to say good-bye

It is possible to have a full funeral service when choosing cremation?

Yes. The importance of the ritual is in providing a social gathering to help the bereaved begin the healing process.

I've never arranged a funeral before. What do I need to know?

At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist in making funeral arrangements. This will not be an easy time, but we offer these tips for smart planning:

  • Be an informed consumer and ask questions
  • Choose an independent funeral home
  • Discuss all service and payment options during the funeral arrangements
  • Make sure you receive a copy of the funeral home's General Price List
  • Be prepared to make decisions and organize details in advance of need
  • Plan a personalized and meaningful ceremony to help you begin healing

What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors are caregivers, event planners, coordinators and administrators. They make the arrangements for the transportation of the deceased, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the deceased.

In addition, funeral directors are listeners, advisors, and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups in their community.

How should I select a funeral provider?

There are several ways to thoughtfully select a funeral provider. The first, and perhaps most important is by reputation. The reputation, and length of time in the funeral business, is usually considered the best criteria. Seeking out the opinion of other families that have been served by a particular funeral provider will often paint a clear picture of what you can expect. Ask questions about the quality of service and staff.

Second, look to the funeral directors association in your state. These associations can tell you a lot about the history, the ownership, staff and even community participation of many funeral providers.

The third option is to visit the funeral facility, meet the staff and consider how your family and deceased loved one will be treated.

What is the benefit of having a Funeral Director at a memorial service?

There are many benefits to having the funeral director at the memorial service. At a time when you are grieving, and under a considerable amount of stress, the funeral directors work to make sure everything flows smoothly. They contact and coordinate clergy, musicians, friends, photographers, family and others to seamlessly create a memorial that is just right for you. The funeral director has the ability to design and print memorial folders, produce tribute videos and create meaningful displays. The director also communicates with florist and other vendors to make sure all products and services are delivered in a timely and interconnected way. Often the funeral director will help in the development of the memorial program, even going so far as to find a celebrant or officiant when the family does not already have one. Funeral directors deliver flowers, cards and gifts; making sure that they are cataloged, arranged and delivered to the family after the memorial.

Funeral directors understand how to work with staff from churches, public buildings, parks and other venues. This knowledge and experience is invaluable when putting on an important event in sometimes as little as three days.

At Smith Lund Mills our goal is to work to ensure that even the smallest of details are covered, giving you peace of mind. For a more detailed look at how we can help bring value to the memorial service, please click here.

What types of funeral services exist?

Every family is different, and not everyone wants the same type of funeral. Funeral practices are influenced by religious and cultural traditions, costs, and personal preferences. These factors help determine whether the funeral will be elaborate or simple, public or private, religious or secular, and where it will be held. They also influence whether the deceased will be present at the funeral, if there will be a viewing or visitation, and, if so, whether the casket will be open or closed and whether the remains will be buried or cremated.

Why have a public viewing?

Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children as long as the process is explained, and the activity voluntary.

How do I explain death to my young children?

Sometimes in trying to anticipate children's pain and sadness, we tend to want to protect them, even to the point of not wanting to tell them about a death in the family, or not allowing them to attend the viewing or a funeral service. Children have a keen sensitivity to things happening around them. The best approach is to be honest and understand that children grieve as well. Smith-Lund-Mills has free brochures and booklets available upon request relating to children and grief.

Embalming Questions

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the deceased while at the same time enhances and allows for greater control over appearance. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to gather and arrange for an appropriate tribute for a life lived.

Is embalming required by law?

Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required. However, after the first 24 hours of death, refrigeration or embalming is required. Embalming may be necessary and recommended if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. Refrigeration in most cases can be used in lieu of embalming. In cases where the death was caused by a contagious disease and viewing is requested, embalming is required for public viewing. In the State of Oregon, the deceased may not be out of refrigeration for more than 6 hours total from the time of arrive at the funeral facility and the cremation or burial.

Cremation Questions

Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?

Cremation is a form of disposition, as is burial. Cremation does not preclude having a funeral or memorial service. Having a service is an important component to healing after a loss and maintaining psychological and physical health into the future. Giving family and friends a chance to say goodbye and mourn their loss helps people cope and reduce the chances of complicated grief response at a later time.

A meaningful memorial service that is personalized to reflect the life of the deceased could include:

  • A visitation prior to the service 
  • An open or closed casket 
  • Special music
  • Memorial slideshow
  • A ceremony at the funeral chapel, your place of worship, or other special location
  • Participation by friends and family in the service
  • Having the deceased urn present at the service
  • Commonly, cremated remains are placed in an urn and committed to an indoor or outdoor mausoleum or columbarium niche wall, interred in a family burial plot, or included in a special urn garden.

    Cremation also gives families the option to scatter the remains in those special locations meaningful to the family and the deceased. Today, cremated remains can even become part of an ocean reef or made into keepsake jewelry.

    Where can I get more information on cremation?

    We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral or memorial service with a cremation. For more technical information about the cremation process, we encourage you to view information online at the National Funeral Directors Association..

    Funeral and Cremation Expense Questions

    What does the average funeral cost?

    In 2012, the average national cost of an adult, full-service funeral was $7,045. This includes a professional service charge, transfer of deceased, embalming, other preparation, use of viewing facilities, use of facilities for ceremony, hearse, service car or van, and metal casket. This average increases to $8,343 if a vault is included. Cemetery and monument charges are additional. (Source: 2012 National Funeral Directors Association general price list survey.)

    What can you tell me about ads in the paper for direct burial or cremation? The prices listed seem low.

    The saying "You get what you pay for" is true in the funeral profession just as it is when purchasing consumer goods and services. There is value in choosing a licensed funeral director who is willing to openly and frankly discuss specific costs for the services you have in mind. Estimates can be given for arrangement's taking place now or in the near future. A funeral director will gladly help you create a detailed cost estimate showing the various charges involved and will help you make adjustments to fit your budget without sacrificing quality. Beware of "bargain" cremation services, often there are hidden or additional charges. Simple and direct burials at competitive prices are available from licensed funeral directors without compromising the dignity of the deceased or the quality of the farewell they deserve.


    What are the benefits of pre-planning?

    Death is not always an easy thing to talk about, especially if it's your own that you are thinking of planning for. But pre-planning is one of the most considerate and loving things a person can do to spare survivors any unnecessary hardships or complications. Pre-planning also insures that your wishes will be carried out as you intended, that there will be no family disputes or involvement by others who may not know what you wanted. Pre-planning should always be done with a reputable establishment that will be there when you need them. Our professional funeral directors and pre-planning consultant will be happy to discuss your ideas with no obligation or commitment to buy.

    What is pre-financing?

    It is possible to lock in todays prices for a funeral or cremation, even if a death is many years away. With several pre-payment options including funeral insurance and funeral trust acts accounts. Many people say that pre-paying allows for peace of mind, knowing that their family will not have to worry about any financial burden for their funeral arrangements.

    If pre-planning is not done, when will I find out how much the funeral will cost?

    At the time arrangements are made, your funeral director will give you a detailed written statement that shows the price of all services and supplemental items selected. There should be no hidden costs or surprises in your funeral bill.

    What to Do If a Death Occurs

    What should I do if a death occurs at home?

    When a death occurs, Smith Lund Mills Funeral Chapel personnel are available to assist you at any hour, seven days a week. Please call 541-942-0185 for assistance.

    Will someone come right away?

    If you request immediate assistance, yes. If your family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say goodbye, this is also acceptable. Once notified, we usually arrive within the hour. This varies depending on the location of death and time of day.

    If a loved one dies out of state, can Smith Lund Mills Funeral Chapel still help?

    When a death occurs away from home, Smith Lund Mills Funeral Chapel can assist you with out-of-state arrangements and transfer the deceased to a preferred location. Please call 541-942-0185 for assistance.

    Very nice people, very professional, very efficient & organized."
    Jean M.


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