Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings - Alachua, Citrus, Marion, Sumter Co & The Villages, FL

Home Funerals are Cost-Effective and Legal

Feb 01, 2017 07:24PM ● By Dennis Shuman

Here in Gainesville and North Central Florida, we are fortunate to have Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery providing a natural or “green” burial choice. However, just as we have the option of a home birth for entering this world, we also have the option of having a home funeral prior to any final disposition of the body.

A home funeral occurs when a family and/or friends take possession of and care for the body of a loved one from the time of death until burial or cremation. It is legal in the state of Florida and involves minimal paperwork, transporting and chilling, after 24 hours, of the body. Embalming is unnecessary. Any other activities incorporated into a home funeral reflect the previously expressed wishes of the deceased and the preferences of family and/or friends. This may involve having the body at home for some time, preparing the body, rituals, visitations and vigils, religious services and more.

Throughout history until the mid-1800s in America, there was no funeral industry and families naturally took care of their own deceased. Death and having home funerals were simply part of the fabric of life. Many people today are uneasy with the thought of being with or touching a corpse, even if it is someone they love. We hide from death and shield our children from it. However, once most people have had their first experience with the body of someone they know, that discomfort diminishes, allowing them to be lovingly present during this profoundly spiritual time with the deceased. Home funerals bring people together in a final act of compassionate service for the deceased, promoting healing in the grieving process.

A home funeral occurs when a family and/or friends take possession of and care for the body of a loved one from the time of death until burial or cremation.

A home funeral is virtually cost-free, saving families thousands of dollars. Its popularity is growing nationally and it is our legal right. Home funerals do require adequate knowledge and planning in order to satisfy the law. However, in the Gainesville area, this can easily be accomplished with the support and guidance of Final Friends, an independent group of community volunteers that provide free education, guidance and support.


To learn more about after death options and home funerals or volunteer at Final Friends, call 352-374-4478 or visit FinalFriends.org.

Monthly Newsletter
Get your print copy!
Mail $32 check to:
Natural Awakenings
7797 SW 19th Avenue Rd
Ocala, FL 34476
Global Brief