Tyler Waud
Tyler Waud
Who’s going to take in his old dog? Did he have a will? What about his Facebook page? And the bills?

Survivors are often at a loss to answer questions like these at a time of loss.

It’s a time when we all need help.

“I don’t know how many times people have said, ‘Well, I don’t know,’” says Rusty Miller, manager of Wilson’s Chapel of the Roses in Roseburg.

Miller is talking about whether a loved one would have preferred to be buried or cremated, but “I don’t know” could be the answer to many questions.

“One of the things people don’t know is that they can prepay,” says Miller.

Prepaying and pre-planning means many of the most vexing questions about funerals already are answered. But it’s not typical.

That means funeral homes expect to help families through the practical funeral arrangements after a death.

“We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and answer lots of questions,” says Miller.

Additional questions arise when it comes to Catholic funeral Masses. “It’s two steps,” says Ron Rohde, manager of Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud in Oregon City. “First there’s what everyone needs to take care of. Then, for our Catholic families there’s another set of requirements that the church has. We’re Catholic here ourselves, and we pride ourselves on helping Catholic families navigate the requirements for Catholic burial and cremation.”

The funeral director goes through a checklist with families — getting the death certificate, contacting the Social Security Administration and so on.

“We’re a family-owned funeral home and we’ll walk people through it,” says Tyler Waud, an after-care specialist at Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud.

Rohde says families don’t always understand what the church sanctions. “Scattering the ashes, like in ‘The Big Lebowski,’ that’s not preferred,” he says.

Conserving ashes in a home is not authorized, nor is scattering them or creating jewelry from the ashes. “The church prefers you bury [or entomb] all the cremated remains,” says Rohde.