Frequently Asked Questions

This frequently asked questions page contains our funeral information and advice. If you do not find the answer to your questions below, please write, call or drop by today to speak with a staff member about your concerns. You may reach us by calling 440-285-2182, emailing us at [email protected] or mailing a letter to Burr Funeral Home, 116 South Street, Chardon, OH 44024.

According to ORC517.06: The board of township trustees shall make and enforce all needful rules and regulations for burial, interment, reinterment, or disinterment. What this means is that a vault is not required by law for burial. However, if a cemetery deems it necessary for an outer burial container, they are allowed to require one be used. When one is required, the purpose is two-fold: First, the outside receptacle keeps the earth from settling, thus preventing the unevenness of the land which makes the cemetery less attractive. Second, it allows cemetery caretakers to more easily maintain the landscape, which is an advantage to you in a more beautiful cemetery at a lower cost. A vault provides more durability than a grave liner. The vault is usually selected by the family because of their desire for further protection of their loved one in addition to the casket. There are many types of outer burial containers, including vaults and we would be happy to show you the differences.

It is difficult to give an average cost because funeral services vary so much. The total cost depends on three main areas: the services selected (funeral home charges), the merchandise selected by the family (casket, outer burial container, printed memorial set, urn, flowers, remembrance jewelry, flowers, etc.) and the cash advance items selected by the family (certified copies of death certificates, burial/cremation/transit permit, clergy and musician honorariums, news paper obituary and death notice charges, cemetery charges and other fees paid by the funeral home for the convenience of the family). At the Burr Funeral Home, we have created packages to represent many common service requests. Along with these packages, you may select to itemize your contract or make changes to any package. According to, national average a family pays for funeral costs could be $8,000 to $10,000, in actuality it depends on what you select. As state above, there are many costs that go into a funeral contract, some of which are not funeral home charges, but cash advance items paid at the convenience of the family. We encourage people to ask questions and find out about the costs so they can make informed choices. At the Burr Funeral Home, we offer many different options, all with honor and dignity shown to each decedent, no matter what  service package is selected.

Cremation is a very personal decision. Everyone should find out what is involved in cremation and be sure to discuss the choice with other family members to be sure they are comfortable with the decision to cremate. Also, if you are considering cremation, we recommend you find out your clergy person’s position. For example, some churches permit cremation, but do not condone it. Whether you choose to be buried in the ground, entombed in a mausoleum or scattered at sea, the most important decision is to have a memorial service. Some people think if they are cremated they cannot have a funeral. A funeral is such a help in recognizing the importance of the life that has been lived. The funeral begins the grieving and healing process for friends and family.

It depends on the child and the circumstance. If a child has just experienced the loss of a grandparent or other family member, it may be necessary to discuss death earlier than usual. Some children mature faster than others and will often ask questions about life and death themselves. Most parents find that even in the preschool years, children want answers about why their pet died or what happens when you die. The important issue is not “when” you tell your children about death, but rather “how” you tell them. It is important to be honest and not resort to false stories such as “God picks the prettiest flowers” or “Grandma is asleep”. Until the age of 5-7 years old, a child’s view of the world is very literal. Use basic, yet concrete terms when explaining death at this age. If the decedent was elderly or ill, explain that their body simply stopped working. Children will have a hard time understanding the idea of death, so do not worry if your child continues to ask questions. Feel free to contact us, and we can try to help or we can send you a practical brochure for explaining death to children, which will advise you step by step on the right words and attitude.

Most families choose to have a viewing because it helps them to come to the reality that their loved one is truly gone. If you do not have an opportunity to view, you can fool yourself into thinking the person has not died. Of course, this is an option for each family because you can certainly have visitation and a funeral without a viewing. In the case of a death due to long term illness, accidental circumstances or traumatic events, an embalmer and restorative artist can work to restore natural form and color, giving family the ability to say good by. Although some people will gawk, most people want to see the decedent because that person was part of their life. Here are some values of an open casket viewing:

  • Provides the family and friends with the confrontation that death has in fact occurred to test the reality – seeing is believing.
  • Without viewing it can be difficult for the family and friends to persuade their own mind that their loved one or close friend is gone. Denial can cause a person to continually expect their deceased loved one to someday “just walk through the door.”
  • Viewing the body is a very special time that allows the family and friends to begin the transition into their new life. That new life is continuing to live onward without the presence of their loved one.
  • Viewing provides comfort and a time for everyone to say goodbye to the deceased in their own personal way.
  • Viewing provides a means of social support. Regardless of the method chosen for final disposition of the body a public visitation can be of great help to family and friends in dealing with the grieving and mourning process.
  • Viewing gives friends, family, neighbors, classmates, coworkers and the community a defined time to come and pay their respects. If they are not given that opportunity, they will “stop by” to pay their respects on their time instead of yours.
  • Viewing of the body should always be considered before final disposition.
  • The open casket viewing is the most personalized part of any funeral ritual or ceremony. Not having the body present at a funeral ceremony or ritual is like having a wedding ceremony without the bride or groom being present.

It is always hard experiencing the pain and sorrow families feel when someone they love dies. What helps us get through it is hearing people later say “Thank you for helping me get through this.” “Thank you for taking care of all the details.” “We were so stressed and didn’t know what to expect, but talking with you made everything easier.” We never get used to death. Confronting death gives each of us a greater appreciation for life… and reminds us each day to enjoy our family even more.

No matter how much we are involved in helping people cope with death — we never lose your sensitivity. Being a part of helping other people cope with loss actually reminds us daily how precious life is. Although we may know what we want to happen when we die, like everyone else, we are in no rush.

Many people falsely believe that everyone has to have a “traditional” funeral. However, we believe that every service should be personalized in order to honor the person who has died and be meaningful to the survivors. We offer alternatives such as humanistic services instead of religious services, visitations with or without viewing, and unique ceremonies to honor the person who has died. We have had fireworks after the evening service, balloon releases, hors d’oeuvres and wine, kegs of beer, toasts with the decedents favorite beverage, butterfly releases, antique cars and trucks in procession; if you can dream it, we can do it. We try to be creative in helping the family make funeral arrangements so the decisions truly reflect their personal preferences and the life that has been lived.

Choosing a casket is a very personal decision. By definition, a casket is a small, ornamental box or chest for holding jewels, letters or other valuable objects. Upon death, we take possession of your most valuable object, your loved one. A casket is a way to view your loved one in a peaceful setting, allowing friends and family to say good bye and start their mourning process. Caskets are made of many materials and prices vary greatly.  To many people, it is important to select a casket made of very durable steel or semi-precious metal. They feel peace of mind knowing the selection they made will help to protect against the outside elements. Often, families will want to select a casket that seems fitting for their loved one; wood for a wood worker or metal for someone who worked in the machining industry. There is no right and no wrong casket and we offer many options to fill each families need.

There certainly are many worthy charities. Experience shows that most people see value in both. For example, if the person died from cancer, a donation to the Cancer Society in memory of the individual is especially meaningful. At the same time, it is nice to send flowers to the family left. There is nothing like the beauty of flowers to soften the sadness and truly express the caring felt by friends for the bereaved. The best way to understand the value of flowers is to attend a funeral where there are none. Then attend one where different floral arrangements have been sent and listen to the families when they see the flowers and read the attached notes.
Ceremony marks every transition in life; weddings, baptisms, graduation, and funerals. We need the service to recognize the importance of the life that has been lived. Through music, poetry, and often scriptures, friends and family can face the reality of the death and begin to cope with grief. The family draws comfort from the gathering of all those people whose lives have been touched by the person who has died.

A Cremation/Memorial Society charges a membership fee for which you receive paperwork for organizing your pre-arrangement and depending, may offer a recommendation on a funeral firm who would provide services at the agreed upon price. Many of these societies are inexpensive, but do not offer many of the services a family might expect. They are usually just handlers and contract out all the work, including embalming and cremation. Many charge extra to get the death certificate signed, obtain certified copies of the death certificate, write and place an obituary/death notice, assist in a burial or service of any kind. At the Burr Funeral Home, we offer over 155 years of trusted service and care to families in the Geauga County area. Unless a death occurs out of our service area, we do not contract out any services. One of our staff meets with each family to aid and direct them in planning their services. When distance precludes a face to face meeting, we will conduct the arrangement conference by phone. In the case of burial or cremation with viewing first, one of our licensed embalmers will prepare your loved one and see that they are ready for viewing. We are the only funeral home in Geauga County that has an on-site crematory, so your loved one never leaves our care. Please contact us for more information.

The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss. A funeral may be held at the funeral home, a church, a park or any other setting a family may choose. Whether choosing burial or cremation as the final disposition, a funeral rite will aide in the healing and mourning process.

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