What is a body embalming? Why is it necessary? Embalming is usually not required by law but is performed and done to a large percentage of bodies that will be traditionally buried in the ground. Even for those who will be cremated but will have a viewing with the body present require embalming.
Embalming is the preservation process that dates back to the Egyptians and slows down the decomposition of the body. This gives family members or others time for the viewing (or wake) and burial. The embalming process if considered to be rather simple if the body did not suffer any disfiguration due to an accident or illness.
Embalming the body consists of the removal of blood from the deceased and replacing it with a solution that preserves the body and slows down the decomposition. Preservative chemicals are injecting into the arterial system with the blood and fluids drained from the venous system. Instruments are used to pierce the internal organs and preservative chemicals are injected into the body's cavity to delay decomposition.
Immediately after death, the body begins to decompose and embalming slows down this process. The body's protein are converted from a liquid into a gel state which prevents bacteria from growing. If an autopsy needs to be performed, vital organs are removed and immersed in the embalming fluid and then replaced in the body by a preservative substance or powder.
The embalmer will then dress the body and apply makeup or cosmetics that are age and gender appropriate. For some bodies, cosmetics can also be used to restore or rebuild certain physical features. The process is performed by a licensed professional which can be either a funeral director or a licensed embalmer. If a body needs to be transported to another state or the deceased died from a contagious disease, then the embalming process needs to be done.
Refrigeration can also be used to hold the body in a process state for a few days and is usually more cost effective than embalming. If you are planning to move the body to another state for the funeral or burial, you should check with a memorial funeral home or funeral society to see if there are any state regulations on embalming. There is not much information on the internet as of today, for someone to view a embalming, but this is something that may be done eventually to most of us or someone we love.
It is a good idea to understand what the process of embalming is consists of. Normally during an embalming process, the family is not present so you may not actually view a embalming of your loved one. Generally, most people do not have a desire to view so it is done privately by the licensed embalmer.