Secret information revealed
about cremation & funerals

By Paul Larson


MILLBRAE – Doyou ever wonderwhat happens behind the scenes when ever you attend a funeral? What are the“secret rituals” that take place at your local funeral establishment? Is reality like what has been witnessed in countless movies and TVshows like “Six Feet Under” or “CSI”?Read on to find out.

Since writing my last article on the Truth about deceptive cremation practices I’ve received such an overwhelming positive response that readers wanted more. Spreading the word on“cremation societies” who imply falsehoods via junk mail was just the tip of the iceberg and it was asked that I write a follow up.“What other information would sparkreader’s interests?” I asked. The answer wassimple…just answer the questions that I’vebeen asked over and over.

A few of the many frequently asked questions are as follows:

Question: Is embalming done on premises at the Chapel of the Highlands?

Answer: While some other funeral organizations will take your loved one to a central facility for preparation, especially those with many locations or owned by an out-of-state corporation, all necessary embalming and preparation takes place locally at our Chapel in Millbrae. If someone dies out of the area it may be necessary for us to contact a mortuary local to the place of death to assist us with embalming, but that instance is not thenorm

Question: Has a body ever come back to life while at the Chapel of the Highlands?

Answer: Even though television and movie productions will have you thinking otherwise I have never seen a deceased human remains pop back to life. According to the California Health & Safety Code Section 7180 the official definition of “death” is the “irreversible cessation of circulatory functions, or irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem. A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards”. So, with the above definition in mind, at the time of death medical determinations are required by a physician or coroner before the deceased is even allowed at our Chapel.

Question: Is cremation friendly to the environment?

Answer: Well, there is currently a debate about mercury and other toxic substances being released into the atmosphere during the cremation process, and other newer concepts including “green burials” have been introduced into the public mindset. Still, when someone passes awayand is cremated or buried or both (cremated remains can be buried too) there is always some final place that the remains go. Experience has taught me that the concept of “time” is relevant. Over “time” our remains will ultimately break down to their basic elements no matter how simple or elaborate the funeral is at this point in “time”.

If you ever wish to discuss cremation, funeral matters or want to make preplanning arrangements please feel free to call me and my staff at the CHAPEL OF THE HIGHLANDS in Millbrae at (650) 588-5116 and we will be happy to guide you in a fair and helpful manner. You may also visit us on the internet at