What Is Embalming?

Embalming is the process used to preserve bodies temporarily for transportation or public viewing. It is done to delay decomposition and ensure that the body looks presentable for some time. Preserving the body is done to allow the loved ones of the deceased the opportunity to say goodbye. They can spend some time with the body and grieve over their loved one who has passed. This allows them to honor the life of their loved one as well as to get much needed closure.

Embalming isn’t something new. It has been used through time over thousands of years. It dates back to the ancient Egyptians. This ancient society was able to slow down the rate of decomposition in a process called mummification. They perfected the technique to the point that many of the bodies that were buried thousands of years ago have been retrieved having undergone minimal decomposition.

Other ancient civilizations have also been known to use embalming for preservation of dead bodies. These include societies in Asia and South America.

Embalming today is used to preserve bodies temporarily. Loved ones are therefore able to view the body for longer. The body will remain in good condition for several weeks to allow for mourners to view it. This is beneficial where cultural tradition demands a longer viewing period.

Embalming can also help to facilitate transporting the body over long distances. If you need, for example, to repatriate your loved one to their home country, you will need to have the body embalmed as a transportation requirement. You will otherwise be required to cremate the body and then have the ashes repatriated.

Samantha Milano 12/04/18