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How to Write an Obituary

How to Write an Obituary

Losing a loved one is one of the most emotionally challenging things we can face in our lives. Writing an obituary can help us memorialize the life and legacy of a special person we lost, as well as create a meaningful, lasting tribute to them in their honor. 

As you are grieving and mourning your loss, finding the right words to include in an obituary in a loved one’s memory, as well as communicating the devastating news of their passing isn’t easy. However, creating an obituary is vital in acknowledging and communicating of the loss, and in notifying others important details in regards to their funeral ceremony and services. By writing an obituary, we also get the opportunity to commemorate and tell the world about that special person we’ll always hold dear to us. Beyond all the beautiful and meaningful things conveyed in a well-written and eloquent obituary, an obituary also allows you to pay homage to the life your loved one lived, accomplishments, special relationships and experiences as well as all of the important things he or she should be remembered for. 

Although this is not an easy task, we hope to provide you with some guidance and a point of reference to help you achieve an obituary worthy of every reader’s respect and admiration. Read on to learn everything you need to know to create an obituary for your loved one that does justice to the special and beloved person they were. 

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Deciding between Cremation and Burial

Deciding between Cremation and Burial

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.  

Talk about it with family members

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?

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5 Important Things to Consider When Scattering a Loved One’s Ashes

5 Important Things to Consider When Scattering a Loved One’s Ashes

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.

1)    Ash and Bones

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.

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Can You Still Hold Traditional Funeral Services if You Choose to Do Cremation?

Can You Still Hold Traditional Funeral Services if You Choose to Do Cremation?

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. 

Are Traditional Memorial Services Held Before or After the Cremation Process? 

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. 

How is the Casket Handled in Cremation? 

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. 

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Why Cremation is Growing in Popularity

Why Cremation is Growing in Popularity

When a loved one dies, the kind of memorial service you choose to have for them is incredibly important in honorably commemorating their life and legacy.  In recent years, cremation has become a popular choice of memorial service amongst families in the U.S. In fact according to a 2017 report by the Cremation Association of North America, for the first time ever more Americans are choosing cremation ver traditional methods of burial to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones. 

What accounts for this growing popularity of cremation? Cremation offers a plethora of benefits  that make it the smarter choice for many families on various economic, social, demographic and religious levels. We will explore those factors here so you can decide whether cremation will be the best method of memorialization for your loved one. 

1. More Economical In Cost

Cremation is considerably less costly than that of a traditional burial. This is due to the fact that it is a simpler method of commemoration that requires far less steps and processes than that of traditional burial which requires a casket, embalming, burial plot, etc. All of those individual processes greatly add up in cost. Many families enjoy the simplicity of cremation, and the ease of being able to conduct such a service without having to worry about affording and coordinating all of the other processes required for burial, during an already challenging time. 

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Cremation or Burial?  Which is best for your loved one.

Cremation or Burial? Which is best for your loved one.

Losing a loved one is an incredibly emotionally difficult experience. In addition to arranging funeral and memorial services, and handling their personal affairs you may be trying to decide between a cremation or burial to determine which is best for your loved one. While burial and cremation are both popular choices for memorializing the deceased, cremation has actually surged in popularity in recent years for a variety of reasons. A deeply personal and meaningful decision, there are many factors to consider in determining which will be best for your loved one between cremation and burial.  

We will analyze these differences and factors of consideration to help you determine between cremation or burial to decide which is best for you and your family. 

What are the Differences Between Cremation and Burial? 

During cremation, a body is incinerated so that all that remains are cremated ashes. With a burial the body stays unscathed, and is buried in the ground in its intact state. Burial or cremation can be performed immediately following the decedent’s death, after a funeral service or prior to a memorial service. Also, contrary to common belief, you can still have a viewing of the body or a wake before a cremation, just as you can prior to a burial. With burial, the body is either enshrouded into the ground or entombed in a mausoleum. In contrast, after cremation the cremated remains of the decedent are given to a family member to be used however the family wishes. Cremated remains can either be kept in an urn, scattered at different locations or also buried in the ground if the family wishes to do so. 

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The History of Cremation in the Western World and the U.S.

The History of Cremation in the Western World and the U.S.

Since ancient times, people have been honoring their loved ones through the practice of cremation. While cremation as a method of memorialization has increased in popularity in recent years, cremation has a rich history dating back to as early as the Stone Age. In ancient Greece, cremation began as an act that was associated with celebrating the bravery and valour of heroes who died in war, paying tribute to them with an ending as grandiose to how they had lived their life, serving their land and people. The Romans also honored their military heroes through cremation and the epic and extravagant method of memorialization revealed the status of the decedent. In India, cremation has always been recognized and appreciated as an important practice helping to free the soul on its journey through reincarnation. 

While cremation has been practiced for centuries, the method of memorialization as we know it today did not develop until the late 19th century in Italy. In this article we will take a look at the history of cremation in the western world and North America, and explore how it transformed into the act of cremation we are familiar with today used in modern times.

How Did Modern Cremation As We Know It Today Begin? 

Cremation as we understand of it today started when Professor Brunetti invented the first cremation chamber in Italy in 1873. Prior to the invention of an enclosed chamber in which the deceased would be incinerated using high temperatures of concentrated heat to turn into ashes, people honored their deceased loved ones by burning them on an open flame. Cremation performed in this manner in a cremation chamber was viewed as possibly a healthier method of paying tribute to someone who has passed as compared to traditional burial that was then considered to be potentially hazardous and detrimental to public health.  After Brunetti’s invention, a movement started in Europe and the U.S. to foster interest in cremation as a method of memorialization. This movement led to the creation of the first crematorium built in North America in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1876.

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What to Write in a Sympathy Card

What to Write in a Sympathy Card

When someone you care about experiences the loss of a loved one, finding the “right” words to say or write in a sympathy card can be challenging and feel overwhelming. 

Even the most skillful wordsmith may wonder, “What if I say the wrong thing and make them feel worse?” What’s important to remember is that your message should send a sincere sentiment that feels personal to the person receiving it, while expressing your love, compassion and support. 

To help, we’ve put together some valuable tips to use the next time you need to write a sympathy card. From losing a parent or spouse to saying goodbye to a pet, our suggestions can help you show your support and empathy to your loved ones during an emotionally difficult time. 

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What Is Cremation Jewelry?

What Is Cremation Jewelry?

Losing a loved one is one of the most emotionally difficult experiences one can undergo. If you are mourning the recent loss of a loved one, you may be wondering how you can honor their memory to forever hold them close to your heart. Besides holding a funeral or memorial service for your loved one, and choosing to do a burial ceremony or cremation service to honor their remains, you also have the option of paying tribute to your loved one through cremation jewelry. 

For many, scattering a loved one’s remains or visiting their gravesite from time to time feels too final of a goodbye, not allowing for sufficient peace and closure. Keeping a loved one’s memory and spirit closer through a special token they wear daily would offer tremendous comfort. Cremation jewelry, also known as funeral jewelry, is something you’ve probably heard of before, perhaps in a casual conversation with a friend or simply a movie scene. Although it is unfortunately not possible to bring back your loved one and change the past, cremation jewelry can help you hold a tangible memory of your loved one, to feel closer to their life story and spirit and to help you cope through your grief. 

Cremation jewelry, or funeral jewelry creates an opportunity to honor and preserve the memory of your loved one in a more personal and lasting way. It can be worn as a meaningful and elegant piece, or simply displayed in your home in a special place for you and your family.

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5 Top Places to Scatter Ashes

5 Top Places to Scatter Ashes

Cremation has continued to gain popularity as a preferred method of memorialization for many. One of the benefits of cremation that accounts for its growing popularity is the versatility it offers in the variety of ways a loved one’s ashes can be handled. Families can choose to bury the cremated ashes of a loved one, keep them in a cremation urn or scatter them throughout one or several sentimental locations. Scattering ashes in a special location can make for a very poignant goodbye ceremony especially if the location that you choose possessed deep meaning to your deceased loved one. An emotionally charged and personal decision, choosing the best place to scatter a loved one’s ashes to honor their life and legacy can be very overwhelming, as well as feel unsettling.

If you’re currently wondering where to scatter your loved one’s cremated remains to make their goodbye as special and meaningful as possible, below are 5 of our top recommendations. We hope these suggestions offer you a sense of comfort as you prepare for a final ceremony to honor your loved one. 

The Ocean

A popular choice to scatter a loved one’s ashes, the ocean holds spiritual meaning for many, seeming to represent infinity and the cycle of life itself with its never ending ebbs and flows and wondrous vastness. Many people feel deeply connected to the ocean, and retreat to it as a place of solace and to clear their mind during different times of their life. If your loved one enjoyed being by the sea, and perhaps always looked forward to their next beach day, then spreading their ashes there could be a great option to take into consideration.  

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