"Embalming" is not a word that fits into our normal conversation. In the simplest of terms, embalming places a sanitizing and preservative solution into the circulatory system of the body, which then spreads into all body tissues.
When we ask you if we may "proceed with embalming", what we're really asking is if you would like to have friends and family settle around your loved one to say goodbye. The open casket, and opportunity to view often provides the starting step to dealing with the loss of a loved one from our lives.
Frequently our Funeral Director hears a story from a family member that they never had a real chance to "say goodbye". Embalming, dressing in familiar clothing, and a time to settle with friends and family may be the single best opportunity to begin to heal from this loss.
Cremation does not necessarily mean "No Viewing and/or No Service". Cremation is a form of disposition that may be proceeded by viewing. It may be that you would like your loved one present for the funeral service prior to cremation.