Where families can go for answers.

Print and share this planning guide with family, friends and your funeral director as you finalize your plans.



Symbols say for us what we could not possibly say in words at this time. When words are inadequate, ritual and the presence of symbols like flowers, food, candles and even the body of the person who has died, help us express our thoughts and feelings.

Examples of Symbols


Flowers represent love and beauty. Accepting flowers from friends is a way of accepting their support.


Friends bring food as a way of nurturing mourners and demonstrating their support.


The flame of a candle represents the spirit. For some, it also represents life’s continuation beyond death.

The Body

Whether present in an open or unopened casket, the body of the person who has died serves as a focus for mourners and helps them acknowledge and embrace their pain.

The Importance of the Body at the Visitation