Frequent Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal each respective answer.

A Funeral is a celebration of a life that has been lived, as well as a sociological statement that a death has occurred. This provides a confirmation of reality in the grief process and allows for a climate of mourning. Also, it gives an opportunity for there to be an acknowledgement of your relationship with the individual. Planning a personalized ceremony, helps to begin the healing process. This is also needed by others in their grief process, as they wish to express their own condolences and provide community support by paying their respects. 

Helping others cope with the emotional upheaval of a major loss is a funeral director’s most important job but beyond their supportive nature, they are also required to take care of all the logistics concerning the funeral service. From the moment of first contact, funeral directors and their supportive staff are dedicated to serving your family in a time of need on a 24 hour basis.

This begins with the initial contact of arranging transportation of your loved one into our care, no matter if it is day or night. We also ensure that the appropriate documentation is completed along with this transfer.

When the family meets with us for arrangements, the funeral director will guide you through the decision making process of how you best want to honour your loved one. We then act on your behalf in contacting the applicable service providers such as the church, clergy, musicians, hall, caterer, and cemetery. We also proceed in preparing the necessary supplies that will be needed for the service such as the casket / urn, items of personalization (casket corners, plaques, jewellery, photo enlargements, floral arrangements, candles, slideshows, recorded music, memorabilia), stationary, guest book, and monuments (both lettering and installation). An obituary notice will also be placed on our website and can also be placed with newspapers of the families choosing

We also prepare your loved one for their final disposition. All individuals are treated with respect and we proceed with bathing, dressing, hairstyling and placing the individual in the selected casket. Pending the disposition choice, embalming and cosmetics will take place and / or transfer to the crematorium.

We complete the applicable paperwork; notifying Canada Pension Plan, receiving the death certificate, registering the death with Vital Statistics, submitting the Burial Permits, providing an estimate, submitting payment and honorariums to applicable facilities and individuals, assistance in completing Canada Pension Plan Death Benefit, as well as Survivorship Benefit if applicable, providing a final bill of expenses, providing Funeral Directors Statements of Death (FDSD) and monument permits where premitted. 

The first step is to select a funeral home. Notify them of where the death has taken place at. They will arrange for your loved one to be transferred into their care. To contact Prairie Sunset Funeral Home, please call 780.349.5006 if you have not already done so. We will set up an arrangement time that works best for your family.

To prepare for arrangements, we will be asking you the following:

  • Vital Statistics
  • Their full legal name:
  • Usual residence:
  • Name of their spouse:
  • Their occupation, before retirement: 
  • Their Birthdate:
  • Their Birthplace:
  • Name of their father:
  • Father’s birthplace:
  • Name of their mother (maiden name):
  • Mother’s birthplace:
  • Their Social Insurance Number:
  • Their Alberta Health Care Number: 

Obituary: We can submit newspaper obituaries upon your family’s request. 

Disposition: Please consider if you would like to proceed with cremation or burial.

Viewing: Discuss if you would like to do a viewing. Select clothing that you would like for them to be dressed in. Also, we require permission to proceed with embalming, if applicable.

Service: Discuss the location, preferable date and time of service, clergy / officiant (if there is not a preferred member of clergy, we do have individuals within our funeral home who are able to officiate services and adjust the service to your preferences), eulogy speaker, any other forms of personalized tribute (musical, scripture reading, poems, personal memories, open mike), hymn / music selections (average three song selections), slideshow / photo tribute (can be completed by our facility), memorabilia, pallbearers, cemetery location, reception location, preferred caterer, and menu preferences. 

Viewing can be an asset in the grieving process, as it provides a sense of reality that the death has happened. A cause of death usually approaches in two fashions, either a long-drawn battle with failing health or a sudden passing. In both scenarios, a viewing can provide that opportunity to give family serenity. When the deceased had suffered through an illness or physical changes, we try to restore a healthier, more peaceful appearance of that individual. When the passing is unexpected, a viewing is an opportunity for family and friends to say goodbye and express their emotions in their loved one’s presence. In both cases, it provides a sense of comfort for many. Viewing is also encouraged for children, if the process is explained and voluntary.

The purpose of embalming is to sanitize and preserve the body, as well as enhance the appearance of the deceased. This provides the opportunity to extend the time between the time of passing until the final disposition.

Embalming is not usually legally required if burial or cremation takes place within 72 hours of the death, but each funeral home has their own policies concerning embalming for the safety of their staff and the public.

In certain cases, where a communicable disease is present, embalming is not permitted by law and the body is placed in a sealed metal-lined container instead.

If the body is transported across a provincial boundary, embalming is required by law.

Cremated remains can be buried, placed in a columbarium niche, stored / displayed at home, or scattered. As there is the possibility of distributing the cremated remains in portions, it provides many opportunities to personalize your experience.

Burial can be done in an existing grave/s in which other family members have been buried or a new plot can be purchased.

Columbarium niches are available with the Town of Westlock. 

Cremated remains can be released to the family as well. As such, they can proceed in storage of the urn or have the option to scatter. Scattering of cremated remains is usually permitted on Crown and publicly owned lands but permission must be obtained ahead of time in all cases. In national parks, scattering cremated remains in water is prohibited, but remains can be “cast to the wind”. In provincial parks, forests and wilderness areas scattering is allowed anywhere, but permission is required to scatter remains over lakes and rivers.

Some cemeteries have special areas where cremated remains can be scattered and individual plaques may be placed there.

There are several important issues to consider before scattering, as scattering of cremated remains is permanent and cannot be reversed.

• There is no permanent place to identify with the deceased and if done on private property, it may be sold in

future years.

• There may be restrictions at parks, lakes, and such places and they may not be accessible in the future. There is also no guarantee that the location will be in the same condition in the future.

• There is likely not a way to place a marker to identify the scattering location for future generations.

Keepsake urns and memorial jewelry are a common practice of providing multiple individuals with their own amount of cremated remains. There are some unique methods of personalizing your memorialization as well. These possibilities include: creating a memorial tree, placing into fireworks, placing in helium balloons, creating coral reef, creating a diamond, hand blown glass, glass paperweights, or used in paintings.

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Frequent Questions

Grief Support


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