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Leanne1986's avatar

In general, how long after a death can you expect a funeral?

Asked by Leanne1986 (24171 points ) August 22nd, 2012

Providing the death was expected due to illness and there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding it. There are also no religious needs to think of.

I know this depends on when the funeral directors can do it as well but, in general, how long is the time between death and funeral?

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17 Answers

snowberry's avatar

My dad was cremated. I waited until I was ready. We had the memorial 6 weeks later, and had a party instead of a funeral. We had an open mic, and everyone reminisced and told funny stories about my dad. Much much better in my opinion.

I rented a hall because I didn’t want to deal with the death-like atmosphere of a funeral home.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Usually 2 days or so has been my experience. Just never do two in one day. That is so so hard.

DigitalBlue's avatar

In my experience it always seems to be 3 or 4 days after passing.

bkcunningham's avatar

On average, three days.

Shippy's avatar

When my mom passed away due to circumstances we waited I think some 8 days. I was out of town and a whole lot of things so it was delayed. A friend of mine waited a day I think? he was cremated quickly. I also wondered as it felt very long, 8 days and I was concerned. I did wonder what the maximum length of time would be. If any one knows. I know Muslims for example do it hours later.

Leanne1986's avatar

The longest gap between the death and the funeral that I have personally known was about 3 weeks. I’m not sure why but that seemed like a long time to me, the death was expected (cancer) so I can only imagine that was how long they needed to get the family all together.

jca's avatar

Within a few days, usually. Maybe a few more days if the people planning are waiting for guests to come from out of town, across the country, etc.

wundayatta's avatar

It depends on the religious custom. Some religions require you to hold the funeral immediately. Some in three or four days. And if you don’t have any tradition, like my grandma, you can have the body cremated and the memorial service held months later when people can make it.

gailcalled's avatar

In the orthodox Jewish tradition, the law is within 24 hours, for health reasons.

However, in modern times, that is often impossible to manage.

My mother died on the Sat. of Memorial Day Week-end. The Synagogue who owned the plot in the cemetery wouldn’t pick up the phone on the Jewish Sabbath.

The cemetery crew wouldn’t work on Sunday, and in this case, on Monday, since it was federal holiday.

Gathering the family from far and wide was also an issue with few seats left on planes during the holiday week-end.

Thanks to the magic of refrigeration, we had the funeral and burial on Wed.; the rabbi forgave us.

Embalming is also forbidden in the Jewish faith, if you adhere to the laws.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Leanne1986 Please accept my apology for not understanding what it is you are asking. I personally don’t expect any particular time gap between the death and the funeral. There are just too many factors involved, even considering the ones excluding religion and questionable circumstances.

In addition, you and I live in different countries, so that could be a factor that comes into play. Depending upon why you are searching for an answer, a recommendation would be to seek out an answer from local funeral directors.

JLeslie's avatar

Depends on the family I would guess. Do they want to wait for long distance relatives to have time to fly in? Religion plays into this a lot usually, as people mentioned, but since you exclude that, I think there is probably no rule. I would guess it costs money to store the body while waiting for a funeral, unless of course the body is cremated and you store the ashes yourself. My experience is if they are not Jewish it can be anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. Usually sooner rather than later, but it certainly varies.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The mother of a friend died in January and was cremated. Her ashes were interred this summer. They had a very nice memorial service at the cemetery.

augustlan's avatar

All the ones I’ve been involved with have been somewhere between 3 days and a week after the death.

Kayak8's avatar

It depends entirely on the family’s wishes and desires and method of preservation selected. With cremation, the time can extend into months and, with embalming, it is typically three to four days as indicated above in a number of posts.

Anything shorter will likely be due to religious reasons (for Jews and Muslims in particular) and anything longer would indicate that cremation is likely involved.

Also as indicated above, you have to account for weekends and holidays. Most cemeteries do not have grave diggers available on Sundays so that can bump things out a day or two (holiday Monday).

I must ask, why do you ask?

creative1's avatar

It really depends on what the family wants or needs, it typically with in 3 days in my family. But every family is different.

DaphneT's avatar

Normally, around here, we can expect a funeral to be 3–4 days after death. For my dad, we waited till the weekend, about six days, to make it easier on family members to travel, but it seemed to leave a lot of time between death and burial. For my sister, she died on a Wednesday and funeral was on Saturday. That seemed too short a time and I felt rushed. So it varies with the circumstances and family needs.

I know that longer periods are usually due to autopsy requirements and other outstanding issues that have to be resolved before the body can be released to the family. Those are probably the hardest to deal with.

bewailknot's avatar

Seems like around here 4 or 5 days, longer if there are family members coming from far away. Most people try to avoid the weekend since the funeral home charges extra.

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