Did you know that, in the first 24 hours after a person dies, there are about 70 questions to be answered and decisions to be made. When making arrangements, you will have to decide whether your loved one is to be buried or cremated.  Will you want to have a funeral, memorial service or celebration of life?  Or perhaps you will decide that no service will be necessary.  Will you want your loved one to be embalmed?  Will there be a viewing?  If you decide on cremation, what kind of urn will you select for the cremated remains?  If your loved one is to be buried, which casket will you choose?

In the middle of all of this decision-making, you will be asked if you wish to have your loved one’s fingerprints preserved and if you wish to vv a sample of his or her DNA. These may be procedures that you previously had not considered.  You may ask “why would we want to do either of these things?”.

You will be advised that you will have to make your decision in a timely manner as neither of these options is available after burial or cremation.

If you authorize Kearney’s to collect digitally scanned fingerprints from your loved one, these can subsequently be used for the production of personalized jewelry or keepsakes. Kearney’s works with a company called Eternity’s Touch, which stores the fingerprints in their main archive for ten years before moving them to a long-term archive.

If you decide to proceed with DNA preservation, Kearney’s will send a sample from your loved one to a company called SecuriGene for processing.  Their lab will extract, purify and preserve the DNA sample, seal it and return it to you for safekeeping along with full reports certifying the quantity and purity of the banked DNA.  The information contained in this sample could be used by your family in future for health care purposes or for ancestry tracing. 

Having collected fingerprints, you will have many options to use them in creating beautiful, memorial keepsakes.  You may decide to use them to create a uniquely personal connection to your loved one by having them digitally transferred to a piece of white or yellow gold jewelry that will become a comforting memorial of your loved one. Eternity’s Touch has many more options for you to chose from to allow you to experience the closeness of your loved on every day.

A decision to collect DNA gives you several options.  Medical professionals are increasingly relying on genetic testing to determine different cancer types and hereditary disease risks – these tests have the potential to help other members of the family.  DNA samples can also be used in researching genealogical history through websites like ancestry.ca.

Decisions about collecting fingerprints and DNA are just two of many choices families are asked to consider when a loved one dies.  It is important to keep in mind that, once burial or cremation have taken place, there is no longer the option to choose either of these procedures. 

For more information on both fingerprint and DNA collection, please check out these websites:  www.eternitystouch.com and www.SecureGene.com.