Frequently Asked Questions

We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes. If you have further questions related to funerals, please contact us and we will do our best to give you the most reliable information possible.

Discussing Death with a Child

How can I help a grieving child?

Here are five simple ways to help a grieving child:

• Be there for the child. Listen when they need to talk, and hug them when they need comfort.

• Share fond memories about the loved one with the child, and encourage them to share their own memories.

• Encourage the child to draw a picture or write a letter to their loved one. These items could be placed in the casket or displayed during the cremation.

• Frame a picture of the loved one for the child or give the child another memento to remember their loved one by. (i.e. coins that were in their pocket, a favorite pin, etc.).

• Involve the child in the funeral. Let them read a poem or letter they have written, sing or play a song during the service, or even just attend the funeral with family and friends.

How can we protect children from the loss?

It is impossible to protect children from the pain of losing someone they loved. Trying to hide the death from them will only delay their inevitable realization that the person is no longer a part of the child’s life. It is better to include children in the mourning experience and teach them a healthy way to deal with their feelings.


Funeral and Funeral Service Questions

What is the purpose of a funeral?

Funerals fill an important role for those morning the loss of a loved one. By providing surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share thoughts and feelings about the death, 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 that death is 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 even for those choosing cremation. 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 Mangano Funeral Home offers these tips for smart planning.

1. Be an informed consumer. Don't be reluctant to ask questions.

2. Today's funeral director offers a variety of options to meet your financial needs and wishes. Families should discuss all options with their funeral director when making arrangements.

3. When selecting a funeral director, choose one who is licensed and has a good reputation in the community. Give thought to this decision as you would when choosing a doctor, attorney or other professional.

4. Be prepared! Avoid the burden of making decision while under emotional stress by organizing details with your funeral director ahead of time. Remember ... preplanning doesn't necessarily mean prepaying.

5. Plan a personal and meaningful ceremony or service to help you begin the healing process. Getting through grief is never easy but having a meaningful funeral will help.

6. Contact Mangano Funeral Home for more information on making meaningful arrangements.

What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.

Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. Contact us at (631) 586-3600 to explore the possibilities.

Why should we have a public viewing?
There are many reasons to view the deceased. It is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process, by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well.

Why do we need an obituary notice?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on the Internet.

What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body.

As caregivers, 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 at the funeral home or in the community.

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at (631) 586-3600. If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there within the hour. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it's acceptable. Then they will come when your time is right.

What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Your funeral director can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact your hometown funeral director of choice immediately. They will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to their community. They may engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death who will act as their agent.

What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

Is embalming mandatory by law?
No. But, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need be observed.

Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service. We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.

Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Yes. Cremation does not preclude having a visitation period and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body. Cremation opens the doors to a number of different funeral options. From traditional services to contemporary celebrations, cremation gives you the flexibility to personalize the services for yourself or a loved one. To learn more about cremation, please visit theCremation section of this website or contact us for more information.

Is cremation as a means of disposition increasing?
Yes, but not dramatically.

Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of AIDS?
Yes, a person who dies of an AIDS-related illness is entitled to the same service options afforded to anyone else. If public viewing is consistent with local or personal customs, that option is encouraged. Touching the deceased's face or hands is perfectly safe.

Because the grief experienced by survivors may include a variety of feelings, survivors may need even more support than survivors of non-AIDS-related deaths.

How much does a funeral cost?
Funerals can cost as little as $1000 for a direct disposition. (Direct disposition includes registering the death, a basic casket or container, and transporting the deceased to a cemetery or crematorium) For an adult, full-service funeral, consumers choose to spend an average of $5000. This includes all professional services, including transfer-of remains, embalming, and other preparation; use of viewing facilities and the facilities for the ceremony; hearse, limousine, and the purchase of a casket.

What determines the cost of a funeral?
The family of the deceased does. The cost of a funeral will depend on how elaborate or how simple a ceremony is desired. Funeral directors offer a wide variety of services to choose from.

Has this cost increased significantly?
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.

Why are funerals so expensive?
In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings or birthday celebrations. The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer.

Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral.

Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.

What recourse does a consumer have for poor service or overcharging?
While most funeral homes provide outstanding services, sometimes things can go wrong. Funeral service is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and state licensing boards. In most cases, the consumer should discuss problems with the funeral director first. If the dispute cannot be solved by talking with the funeral director, the consumer may wish to contact the FTC by contacting the Consumer Response Center by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357); TDD: 1-866-653-4261; by mail: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580; or on the Internet at www.ftc.gov, using the online complaint form. You may also choose to contact the local Better Business Bureau, or your state consumer protection office.

Who pays for funerals for the indigent?

Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals. Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them for the indigent. However, funeral directors often absorb costs above and beyond what is provided by agencies to insure the deceased a respectable burial.

Cemetery Common Questions

The answers below are here because these are the most commonly-asked questions. If yours isn't listed, we invite you to call us. We're here to provide the information you need, when you need it.

- Are cemeteries running out of space?
Just like other open spaces, cemeteries are impacted by increased population density in both urban and rural areas. Cemetery spaces are a finite resource, and as such, are at a premium in some regions.

- What is Perpetual Care?
"Perpetual Care" usually refers to the correct terms Permanent Care or Endowment Care. These Care funds are collected with each Interment Space sale to maintain the grounds, roads, and buildings of the cemetery.

- Can the vault be personalized?
Yes, we can show you the wide range of personalization choices, including customized nameplates and military insignias.

- Are there vaults for cremated remains?
Yes, we offer urn vaults, designed for in-ground burial of cremated remains.

- Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.

- Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes, for a nominal fee. Our state-of-the-art cremation facility is set up to allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.

- Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
No, embalming is not required for burial. It is always your choice. Your decision may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body with an open casket; or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing; or if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the burial.

- Must I purchase a burial vault?
In most areas of the country, state or local laws do not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, many cemeteries require that you have such a container so that the ground will not sink. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.

- What are the advantages of a mausoleum burial?
Mausoleum crypts are both clean and dry. They offer a viable alternative for those who simply have an aversion of being interred in the ground. Furthermore, with the growing shortage of available land for cemetery use, mausoleums will allow for a maximum number of entombments in a minimum amount of space.

- What is a columbarium?
A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden setting, is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains.