Cremation is becoming a popular choice for families as a way of memorializing their loved ones. It is a common misconception however, that if you choose to do a cremation for your loved one, that you cannot hold a visitation, wake or other traditional funeral services. You need not be concerned about this. In truth, it is not only accepted to hold a visitation or funeral service before a cremation; it is completely appropriate to do so. The important thing is to honor your loved one in a way that will be sentimental and meaningful for you and your family that also abides by your loved one’s personal wishes. One of the benefits to choosing cremation is that families can enjoy more freedom in choosing which kind of ceremony they would like to hold to pay tribute to their loved one. So, the key takeaway here is that most likely, your needs and wishes can be accommodated to honor your loved one before or after cremation.
While a traditional memorial service can be held prior to or after the cremation process, it is more common for it to take place before, This also enables you to have the opportunity to hold an open casket as well. Usually, in a wake, family members visit their loved one prior to the funeral service, with the casket present and the body of their loved one embalmed inside. With visitations on the other hand, it is not necessary for the casket or the body of the deceased to be present. Visitations usually occur one day before or the same day as the memorial services.
If your loved one is cremated prior to visitation, a “rental” casket would be used for the visitation or wake ceremony. The exterior of the casket would be of a hardwood shell, and would look as such to any one viewing it, but the interior would contain the cremation container holding your loved one’s remains. The hardwood shell casket would be re-used while the interior will be cremated with the deceased, making it a more environmentally conscious as well as economical option than if you were to use a cremation casket.
Anytime a loved one passes it is usually a very traumatic and emotional ordeal, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their passing. However, there are those deaths that hit a little closer to the heart, and those are generally considered deaths of the immediate family.
A parent should never have to endure the soul-numbing agony of losing a child. When a child is lost, both parents and siblings lives are changed forever. Depending on age, and the circumstances, siblings will typically feel a great deal of guilt after the overwhelming sense of shock has subsided. It is only after these powerful feelings have been honestly and completely experienced that true healing can begin. Siblings often times seek to start rebuilding their lives relatively quickly after their grieving process. The process for parents on the other hand, can be quite a bit longer. A complete recovery is next to impossible. Most parents never even consider the possibilities of their children dying before them, much less having to actually deal with the reality of that loss. It is crucial that compassion, patience and understanding be the rule of the day. Most parents will feel anger and great frustration combined with feelings and thoughts of “why not me?” Support groups and marriage counseling can be invaluable tools as each parent may feel that they are the only ones that have endured such a tragic event, when in reality many people have experienced the same feelings and can be invaluable resources in the healing process.
Losing a spouse can have a crippling effect on your entire being, mind body and soul. A loss such as the loss of a spouse can be one of the most deeply hurtful experiences ever. Most widowers will always feel that a significant part of their life is forever gone. These feelings are normal and should be embraced, not ignored or denied. It is also often the case that the spouse makes all of the funeral arrangements; this can leave the grieving widower dangerously exhausted. This exhaustion is as much psychological, as it is physical, and if not properly monitored can often times result in hospitalization. Strong involvement from family and friends is crucial during this time of mourning. Some people enjoy doing activities with others that were similar to those that the couple had formerly engaged in together. However it would be a mistake to assume this for everyone. Just the thought of those activities may be way too painful for many to even comprehend. The main key, as with the passing of most loved ones, is just to be there for the widower. Try to make sure they stay active and reinforce how much they are loved, and just as importantly, needed.