The saying "There is no place like home" is so true. Home is our comfort, our base, and where we feel most secure. When we are tired, frustrated, or at the end of a busy day, we want to go home. "Home" elicits lots of warm memories and good feelings. Home is where we get rest.
We leave home to travel and to visit loved ones. We move away from home for job opportunities, or for health or financial reasons, and we return home to visit whenever we can. Even when contemplating the end of our lives, many tell family "take me home" when I die.
Your local funeral director can help follow through with you or your loved one's wishes. A deceased person's body can be shipped to a distant city, to another state or out of the country by car or airplane, for services and or internment. The distance determines the mode of transport. We can transport human remains reasonable distances by ground, such as to Las Vegas or the Bay Area. For shipment to more distant lands, airline transport is indicated. It is recommended that a body is embalmed prior to any shipment, and usually required when shipped by air.
Many airlines ship human remains including Delta, Frontier, American and United. Not all airlines however, ship deceased bodies to all cities. Your local funeral director will contact the airlines, and the receiving funeral director and coordinate the shipment. A deceased person can be shipped in a casket or non-casketed, in which case a thick cardboard container called a "combination shipping unit", is used. When shipped by air, an "airtray " is required, to encase and secure the casket. The cost of the actual shipment can range from several hundred dollars to $1000.00 or more. There are additional charges such as transportation to and from the airport, for dressing, viewing, services locally or out of state, if desired.
All permits and necessary paperwork is prepared by your funeral home and the airline. Shipment out of the country involves the approval of that country's consulate and additional paperwork. The consulate also charges a fee.
A person or their family member can pre-arrange for shipment home. Your funeral director will assist you in this process, which involves deciding on and contacting a mortuary and, or cemetery "back home", and identifying the best and most cost effective mode of transportation. The family mortuary at home will handle all of the services desired on that end.
Returning home for burial is an option that those who have moved away have. Whether you go home to be buried in a family plot near other loved ones or are interred locally, rest well.
[Gail Valentine Taylor, M.S.W. Funeral Director Woods-Valentine Mortuary (626) 798-8941.]