There are many options for a final disposition when you pass. One option we will spotlight on today is cremation. There are many reasons you may choose cremation, from cost efficiency to sentimental reasons (other members of your family might have chosen this route and you want to stay with tradition). Whatever your reasoning may be, there are many things you can still do with a cremation service that you might not know. For example, you can still do a traditional funeral service but skip the burial. Even if you aren’t burying your Loved One, you can still do a casket viewing, as many funeral homes have a casket available for families to use for this very reason. This allows for friends and family to say their final goodbyes and gain closure.
Cremation services can be a bit more customized than you might think, as you can hold a service before or after cremation, or if you want, you can do both! When you choose a service prior to cremation, you may do a viewing as mentioned above, and after has the cremated remains (or “ashes”) present. In both instances, you can customize the service with slideshows, pictures, memorabilia, keepsakes, etc. You can choose to have a religious ceremony or non-religious if that’s your preference.
Some things you should think about when you begin planning:
1. Location: First of all, you should consider where you would like to have the event. You can choose a funeral home of choice (our funeral home has hosted many receptions, and we also can do catering). Some may choose a clubhouse as a location (Local VFW or other organization they are involved with), some choose a church, or family home. (Always double check your type of event is ok with the venue!)
2. Theme: Next, think of a theme. Was the person who has passed into the outdoors? Did they have a hobby or passion? Often times, these can be tied in when planning as a theme, or guide. If they loved fishing, you could have fishing lures as a keepsake to hand out, or you can use their old waders and favorite fishing pole as a prop next to the cremated remains or casket. The possibilities for a theme are endless and completely up to you.
3. Catering: Many local restaurants offer catering choices for events wherever you choose to have them. Again, this is completely up to you! If you have a family that loves to cook, make it a fun memory by gathering together and creating a feast for the service. (Make sure to check with the location of the event that outside food is OK to bring in before you choose this option!)
4. Details: Customized displays, photo tributes, video presentations, eulogy readings, poem readings, karaoke, whatever you choose to do, the sky’s the limit here! We have customized details in so many funerals and memorials, these truly are the ones family members talk about for years! We have hosted a cow themed funeral, a classic car themed funeral (we even transported the casket in a custom classic vehicle provided by the family!), and of course traditional funerals as well. Just remember, this is your sending off of your loved one, so make it perfect, and rememberable.
5. Mementos/Keepsakes: Some families choose to give out small urns with a portion of the ashes in them, necklaces, keychains, etc. We work hand-in-hand with companies to create unique memories for you with your Loved One’s ashes within or fingerprints on them to create that sentimental piece that stays with you long after the funeral or memorial service. It can also be something as simple as a figurine of their favorite thing, a baggie of their favorite candy or treat, or even a mini bottle of Jack Daniel’s or their favorite liquor.
6. Placing of the ashes/after the funeral or memorial: Scattering ceremonies are common after a service, usually in a place special to the person who has passed. You have the option to bury the cremated remains (“ashes”) in a cemetery, You can place the urn in a cremation niche or a mausoleum, or you can take them home to keep near forever. While it is understandable to want your Loved One near, it is also nice for family members to be able to visit a special place or marker to pay their respect. You can do this by placing a memorial bench, statue, etc at a cemetery or planting a tree or placing an item of choice at a special spot that everyone can visit.
In closing, the ability to customize a Cremation Funeral or Memorial is completely up to you. Ask us how to make this the perfect event, we will do our best to accommodate requests you might have to bring your ideas and dreams to light in honor of your Loved One!