One of the reasons we have cemeteries and headstones as a culture is because of how important it is to have a physical place to grieve. Regardless of your beliefs about the afterlife, being able to make a connection to a grave, a physical location, or a columbarium niche is part of the grieving process. You can talk with your loved one, reflect on your loss, and decorate the spot—all of which help you to heal and move through your grief. (more…)
Archive for the ‘After Death’ Category
One of the primary benefits of cremation is that you don’t have to hold a memorial service right away. With cremated remains, you can take days, weeks, months, or even years to get everyone together to hold a scattering ceremony. This kind of flexibility is important in our modern society, when families are spread out over the globe and can’t always rearrange their plans to travel to a funeral. (more…)
So much of planning a funeral has to do with the making burial preparations, reaching out to friends and family members, and finding ways to cope with your recent loss. And like many major life events and holidays, there is a kind of anticipation that goes into this planning process. Even though you may be feeling completely brokenhearted right now, the need to make decisions and put affairs in order provide a kind of foundation for getting through each day. (more…)
A funeral or memorial service is just the start of your bereavement process. Losing a loved one isn’t something you just “get over” or “recover from.” It’s a lifelong journey of finding ways to cope and enjoying the positive things that remain.
Funerals are a great way to kick start this grieving process, but they often leave a sense of emptiness behind. Once the funeral planning is done and the guests have departed, it’s time to begin finding your new path through life—often with only yourself to rely on.
For many, creating a memorial space at home is an ideal way to begin this journey of healing. In addition to allowing you a physical space to mourn (that’s not as far away as a cemetery), you may find comfort from having memories of the deceased so close by.
- Dedicate a space for the memorial. A mantelpiece is the most common location, but any niche or corner (or even a shelf on the bookcase) will do. A coffee table, a desk, or even an entire room you don’t use may also apply.
- Place an urn or photo in the space. If you had the deceased cremated, you can keep an urn of the ashes in the memorial space. If not, you can place a photograph or beloved item (shoes, a stuffed animal, a favorite hat, a trophy, an award medal, a wedding ring) in the center location. Anything that reminds you of the deceased and brings you joy will work.
- Consider flowers, decorations, and other commemorative items. There’s no rule about how many things you need to put in a memorial space, so feel free to include anything you feel is relevant to your relationship with your loved one. Some people also like to put up seasonal items (in much the same way you might place seasonal decorations at a grave site).
- Burn candles or make offerings. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, you may want to light special candles or burn incense. Aromatherapy candles can provide a double benefit if you choose soothing, healing scents that bring you personal comfort or remind you of the deceased. (Make sure you never leave anything on fire unattended.)
- Keep it up as long as you need. The great thing about a memorial space in your home is that you can keep it up year-round, and with the exception of an occasional dusting, you don’t need to do anything to maintain it.
The need for having a safe, physical space to mourn is why we have cemeteries and memorials in the first place. So much about death is intangible, and making a physical connection with those we have lost is difficult. A personal shrine or memorial space not only gives you more flexibility in your grief, but it allows you to personalize the process so that you can always feel connected.
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to purchase a burial or funeral insurance policy as part of your final plans, the real challenge comes into play. There are countless burial insurance providers out there (which range from funeral homes to traditional insurance companies), and you have options when it comes to choosing the right one. (more…)
Funeral insurance, burial insurance, final expense insurance, preneed funeral insurance—these terms are often used interchangeably to talk about the same thing. With any of these types of insurance, money is paid out to a beneficiary to cover part or all of your funeral costs, including everything from traditional burial to cremation.
Unlike other types of insurance, which are designed around a “what-if” scenario (what if I crash my car, what if I need to go to the doctor, what if my home catches on fire), burial insurance is a guaranteed pay out. As long as you keep current on your premiums or pay the amount required up front, this money will be available upon your eventual death. (more…)
Of all the funeral plans you make on behalf of the deceased, perhaps none is more lasting than the inscription on the headstone. The words you choose to mark the grave will be the first thing people see when they walk by the grave, and the final thing they take with them when they leave the cemetery. These words will also last much longer than your own memories, showcasing your love and affection for centuries to come. (more…)
Although the option to donate your body to science instead of having it buried or cremated has been around for decades, it’s an option many people have a hard time considering. After all, when your body becomes a learning tool for the next generation of doctors and scientists, you are unable to hold a traditional burial. (more…)
One of the biggest trends in funeral planning right now is the “green funeral.” Green funerals (interment options that are ecologically friendly and reduce an individual’s carbon footprint) appeal to people for many different reasons. The obvious reason—that it’s important to preserve the Earth for future generations—is one that most people cite.
However, green funerals also have the advantage of offering affordable funeral options to replace traditional burial. Because you’re avoiding many of the more costly steps of planning a funeral (a hardwood or metal casket, a vault in the ground, embalming, etc.), having a green funeral means you can not only save the planet, but save money, as well.