Natural Burial and Cremation by Willwerscheid West Heights - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a home funeral?

A home funeral is another option in the preparation and care of a deceased family member.
The emphasis of a home funeral centers on the family and their circle of friends in performing
many of the functions a licensed funeral director would normally perform. The home funeral
may incorporate the planning and carrying out of family rituals and spirituality that is unique to
each situation. A home funeral may be as simple as a gathering at one’s residence for a time of
sharing memories to actually preparing the deceased for burial or cremation within the home.
At the time of death state law require that certain procedures be carried out such as the filing of
death certificate information. When a family decides on a home funeral, the family may wish to
perform many of those procedures on their own. How long can before I have to bury or cremate the decedent?

Minnesota Statute 149A addresses this issue through three options:

A.) If the decedent is embalmed by a licensed funeral director, there is no time limitation as
to when burial or cremation needs to take place. Modern non-toxic embalming chemicals
that slow down the natural process of decomposition but do not stop it are available when
considering embalming.

B.) When embalming is not performed, but dry ice is used to preserve the decedent, families
have up to 4 days before burial or cremation.

C.) When embalming is not performed, but mechanical refrigeration is used to preserve the
decedent, families have up to 6 days before burial or cremation.

(Dry ice and mechanical refrigeration can not be combined for a total of 10 day.)

source url Why are people choosing home funerals?
1. New or old family traditions.
2. A pathway to emotional healing.
2. An awareness of ritual and spirituality.
3. Final expense considerations.

go site How safe is it to have the deceased at home for a period of time?

There does seem to be some confusion about this. At the exact time of death the body begins the
natural processes of decomposition. Many factors go into how rapidly this process progresses.
Therefore family and friends need to understand and recognize that evidence of decomposition
will be present. They are ways to slow this process down but the process does not stop.

The transmission of disease from the deceased to the living is another area of concern and
confusion. The cause of death is really the determining factor in the probability of disease
transmission. Certain viruses, prions, fungus, and bacteria continue to live in the tissue of the
body. It is important that families are aware of that those risks exist and observe the use of
personal protective equipment such as gloves and face masks during the preparation of the body.

Families also need to recognize that the disposal of wet and soiled material need to be properly
disposed of. This ensures the safety of all those present.

enter What sort of transportation do I need?

Minnesota Statute 149A states that the deceased must be transported in the prone position on a
rigid tray or cot. The use of a van or large SUV would be appropriate. The proper documentation
must be completed before any transport can occur. The staff of Natural Burial and Cremation can
assist with all the transportation needs.

What is the difference between a natural burial and a green burial?

Natural burial and green burial are both environmentally sensitive alternatives to contemporary
burial practices.

In its purest form, green burial is the interment of a deceased in the ground in its most natural
form. The main purpose is to allow the body to return to natural elements the quickest way
possible. No embalming chemicals, caskets, or burial vaults would be use.

Unfortunately a true green burial is very difficult to achieve in Minnesota. Natural Burial
is the recognition that there are more environmentally sound methods of burial while still
acknowledging certain limitations of pure green burial. An example of those limitations would
be the use of power equipment to dig a grave in the winter months.

Phone: (651) 457-7938       Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.        235 Wentworth Ave, W. West Saint Paul Minnesota