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…)
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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…)
When planning a funeral for a United States veteran, you may be eligible to receive a U.S. flag to be draped over the casket or to accompany the urn. This service is provided free of charge and with a great respect for the service provided by the deceased.
Although burial flags are most often offered when an individual is having a traditional military funeral or burial, this doesn’t have to be the case. You may be able to receive a flag even if you don’t hold a service at all. (more…)
One of the oldest and longest-standing funeral traditions is that of buryingfamily members in a private cemetery on your own land—but it’s a tradition few people uphold today. What was once a common practice started to disappear as national regulations intervened and required that burials were overseen by local health and sanitation codes. The prevalence of convenient funeral homes also provided an affordable alternative. The result is that these days, burying a loved one anywhere but an official cemetery is a tricky business.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a family cemetery on private land. Although you will be restricted by the laws in your particular state and county, there are steps you can take to begin establishing a private cemetery. (more…)
One of the biggest trends in the funeral planning industry is to find ways to combine the traditions we’ve all come to recognize with more earth-friendly memorial options. From cremation to direct burial, there are dozens of ways you can reduce the strain on the environment when a loved one dies.
Funeral flowers are part of this trend toward simpler, cleaner burial, and many families opt to have “in lieu of” donations made or to cut out the flowers altogether. Another option is to give potted plants or useful funeral bouquets—ones that show your sympathy but also provide a secondary service. Funeral flowers that are also herbs or fruit-bearing plants do just that. (more…)
It’s not uncommon for a family to wish to take their grief out of the public eye and hold a private mourning ceremony just for close friends and relatives. Whether the deceased was a public figure, died a newsworthy death, or simply wished for the funeral to be kept small, you can hold a funeral or memorial service by invitation only. Most of the funeral plans will stay the same, with one or two notable exceptions.
Obituary: You’ll need to strategize the obituary to make it clear that the funeral is open by invite only. One option is to skip the obituary and death notice altogether. By not publicly announcing the death, you won’t need to worry about those who aren’t invited stopping by. You can also put in an obituary but word it carefully. You can mention that it will be a “closed funeral” and ask for prayers instead of flowers or visits. (more…)
As you plan a funeral and prepare for the memorial service, you may want to gather items for display on a memory table. Many funeral homes ask you to provide mementos and pictures of the deceased as a way to create a visual representation of a life well-lived. In addition to the slideshows or enlarged photos for display you already have planned, these items can be nicely arranged near the guestbook or entrance.
Memory tables have the advantage of being personalized to each unique individual. Because you choose items that were precious to the deceased or that signify an important moment in his or her life, no two memory tables are ever the same. You also have the flexibility to set it up any way you want. (more…)
Although florists make it easy to order funeral bouquets no matter what the time of year, it can be nice to take a seasonal approach to sympathy flowers. Not only is better for the environment to order in-season flowers (those exotic blooms you can order year-round are usually shipped all the way from places like Brazil), but they’re also a more fitting symbol of death. Like the circle of life, nature comes and goes, and being reminded of the turn of the seasons can be nice for the grieving family.
Spring Funeral Flowers
Spring flowers tend to be light, cheerful, and fairly low-cost overall. Many of the spring bouquets embrace a “wildflower” approach—especially in areas where these blooms can be found growing naturally. Choose among flowers like: (more…)