As a 22yr veteran embalmer let me assure you that we embalm for, yes, temporary preservation, as well as disinfection of the body, but also, and in my opinion the most important part of my job is to restore a peaceful and lifelike appearance to your loved one, as well as repair any damage done by accident or disease. I strive to achieve a look of peaceful serenity. This is especially important when your loved one has suffered a long, debilitating disease or sickness. It's been my experience that when mom or dad looks peaceful and at rest and no longer has the look of sickness and debilitation it makes letting go much, much easier for the family as mom or dad no longer looks like they are suffering and in pain. It is amazing how much better a good, skilled embalmer can make someone look if they take the time to make the extra effort. A lot of what we are able to achieve is due to quality chemicals, but it really comes down to the skill and ability of the professional embalmer. We are not, nor have we ever striven to create future museum pieces. I try to create a lasting memory. We all will decompose and turn to dust eventually and once we are dead and buried how that process is achieved really does not matter. None of us will know the difference. Viewing the properly embalmed and prepared body is very beneficial and therapedic for many and aids the bereavement process. Remember the funeral process is for the living, not the dead.