No matter how you choose to memorialize a loved one after their passing, it is a decision that carries great emotional sentiment. While the more traditional method of memorializing a loved one through a burial can seem like a much more straightforward process, the process of cremation can feel mysterious, foreign, and even scary in comparison. Choosing cremation to pay homage to your loved one carries many benefits such as lower cost, more personalization options after in regard to your being able to scatter the remains in various locations, and it is even a more eco-conscious choice for the environment. You may find that cremation is the best choice for you to pay tribute to your loved one and to honor their life and legacy in a meaningful way.
If you are arranging a loved one’s funeral, and are curious about cremation, we have assembled a basic guide to the process, so you are best prepared and know what to expect.
Cremation is the process of transforming a person’s remains through intense heat, flames, and evaporation into “ashes.” While most people think of these ashes as resembling that of fireplace ashes, cremated remains are more complex in composition, containing tiny fragments of bone as well.
After a loved one passes, no matter what end-of-life plan that has been chosen for them, handling their remains is a sensitive and emotionally charged experience. Similarly to how a loved one’s burial in a cemetery is a ceremony of tremendous sentiment, scattering a loved one’s cremated remains can hold significant emotional and spiritual meaning too, symbolizing their loved one’s return to nature or delivery to heaven. Paying tribute to a deceased loved one in this fashion will help bring peace and closure to friends and family.
After the decedent’s funeral ceremony and cremation process is complete, you may choose to place your loved one’s remains in an urn and bury them at a Cemetery or scatter their ashes. If you choose to scatter their ashes in a special location or locations, there are some things to consider to best prepare you to memorialize your loved one successfully and meaningfully. We have put together an easy guide of helpful tips to keep in mind during this experience.
It’s important to know when your receive your loved one’s remains after the cremations process has been completed, what you receive may not look anything like ash at all, or what you may have expected. Cremated remains do not resemble firewood ash, some having the texture of coarse sand and powder with hard, fragments of bone mixed in.
We will all be confronted someday with the thoughts and decisions about what happens to our bodies when we pass on. Death is as much a part of life as is birth. In life we must confront choices, as in death. Honoring the body of our loved ones upon their death is as old a tradition as any other in the human experience. We have different ways to pay respect, but the respect is the same. And yet we often find this topic too uncomfortable to discuss, and so our final wishes may be unknown.
What are your wishes? Does your family know? Have you considered the options available?
These may not be Sunday dinner conversations, but they are important ones to have. If you do not let your loved ones know whether you would like to be cremated or buried, they will have to make the decision for you. Isn’t it better that they know what you want so they can honor you and your wishes when the time comes?
With respect to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic we’re living in, times are tragic, traumatic, and tricky. We are left with so many questions about how to console one another, and ourselves. People we love are passing away, friends are losing their loved ones. In addition to people we love dying of COVID-19, we are unsure how to lay to rest our departed and how to appropriately comfort those we love who are mourning. So, let’s take a minute to address the elephant in the room — should we be attending funerals during this pandemic?
There are two answers to this. First, it depends on your level of comfort being around others or if you prefer to stay at home for safety. Second, and even more importantly, it depends on what the family has decided to do for the funeral arrangements. Families are deciding between a few options for funerals. If the family does decide to hold an in-person service, they may limit the number of people in attendance or keep the gathering to immediate family members. Some might even postpone services until after social distancing guidelines are lifted.
Funeral home staff members have been particularly helpful with providing alternative solutions for funeral arrangements. Some funeral homes are offering virtual services, such as live streams of memorials or other tributes. Others are providing online guest books where friends can leave notes of condolences and other personal anecdotes.
If the family prefers to hold an in-person funeral service, whether you choose to attend in person will depend on your level of comfort. For instance, if you have a family member at home who is immunocompromised, you may not feel comfortable attending the service and potentially increasing you and your loved one’s exposure to the coronavirus. However, if you do feel comfortable with personally attending the memorial to offer your condolences and pay your respects, the funeral home will most likely be observing social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to increase the safety of all those in attendance.
Most likely, yes. However, beyond the practice of wearing masks, the most important factor to preserve yours and others’ safety while attending an in-personal funeral service is to engage in social distancing. In adherence to social distancing guidelines, you may be attending an outdoor funeral with seating, six feet apart from one another. You will want to keep distanced from anyone who does not live with you in your household. Make sure to wash your hands often as well. It is an unfortunate and difficult fact of these sensitive circumstances to not be able to show affection as support for your family members and friends, but it’s best for now. You can hug and kiss those in your household who are accompanying you to the service, but otherwise your presence will serve as the best demonstration of love and support you can give.
When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends often are confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral – all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional duress. What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider should you use? Should you bury or cremate the body, or donate it to science? What are you legally required to buy? What other arrangements should you plan? And, as callous as it may sound, how much is it all going to cost?
Each year, Americans grapple with these and many other questions as they spend billions of dollars arranging more than 2 million funerals for family members and friends. The increasing trend toward pre-need planning – when people make funeral arrangements in advance – suggests that many consumers want to compare prices and services so that ultimately, the funeral reflects a wise and well-informed purchasing decision, as well as a meaningful one.
Funerals rank among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make. A traditional funeral, including a casket and vault, costs about $6,000, although “extras” like flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards or limousines can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line. Many funerals run well over $10,000.
Costs of Funerals rank among one of the most expensive purchases people will ever make. We take a look at the costs associated with funerals and what you need to know when arranging or preplanning a funeral.
The Funeral Rule allows funeral providers to charge a basic services fee that customers cannot decline to pay. The basic services fee includes services that are common to all funerals, regardless of the specific arrangement. These include funeral planning, securing the necessary permits and copies of death certificates, preparing the notices, sheltering the remains, and coordinating the arrangements with the cemetery, crematory or other third parties. The fee does not include charges for optional services or merchandise.
These are costs for optional goods and services such as transporting the remains; embalming and other preparation; use of the funeral home for the viewing, ceremony or memorial service; use of equipment and staff for a graveside service; use of a hearse or limousine; a casket, outer burial container or alternate container; and cremation or interment.
There are many reasons to consider preplanning your funeral. The most important one is that it takes away from your survivors the pressure of making a decision under very difficult circumstances.
Prearrangements also let you choose exactly how you want to be memorialized and allows for personal preferences in all aspects of the funeral service.
In years past, preplanning your funeral was considered taboo. However, more and more people are becoming educated about the funeral process. Learning more about what is involved in this event and planning ahead is a major benefit for your loved ones.