Dust To Dust | 4 Things You Should Know About Cremation

When you are in the process of making plans for your own funeral and end-of-life arrangements, it is likely that you will be proposed a question that you may have not given much consideration in the past: Do you wish to be cremated?

As simple as the question may be, you might want to give the idea some consideration before just opting for a traditional burial. The easiest way to enlighten your mind is to learn a little about cremation services and why this is a logical choice for as many as about half of the US population who say yes to cremation.

1. Transitory Remains Can Be Important - In a society where moving around is easier than it ever has been before, being laid to rest in a cemetery may not be the most logical choice. When you have your remains cremated, you become more transitory and left behind family members can just take you with them wherever their life may take them. Therefore, you will never be left behind or have to be concerned that you are making it difficult on any of your family members by choosing a specific burial location.

2. Cremation Is Typically Less Costly – When you eliminate a casket, vault, burial plot, and headstone from the total list of costs associated with your death plan, you can save a lot of money. On average, cremation will cost about $1,100, whereas you could spend much more than that on just a casket.

3. Cremation Is Considered More Natural Than Traditional Burial – Cremation eliminates the need for embalming services if handled soon after your death. Plus, you will not be placing foreign materials in the ground during your burial. Therefore, this is considered to be a more natural option.

4. Cremated Remains Can Be Transformed – You may not know it, but your ashes can be used to create an array of different things after you are gone. You could become an actual simulated diamond or piece of fine jewelry. Remains can be incorporated into a painting, a firework, or biologically added to the roots of a tree.

When you take a look at some of the facts and reasoning, it is easy to see why so many people go ahead and opt for cremation instead of traditional burial. When you are asked this question during your pre-planning process, make sure you take some time to think about the benefits and whether this could be the most logical choice for you.

To learn more, contact a company like Suess Bernard Funeral Home Inc. with any questions or concerns you have.

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2 Ways To Pay Funeral Expenses

When it comes to funeral expenses, it is no secret that it can be hard for a grieving family. Not only is the family devastated at the loss of a loved one, but they have to worry about how to pay for it as well. Luckily, many funeral homes understand that this can be a hard time, so they try to make the process as simple as possible for the family. There are a couple things that you can do now to ensure that when you pass away that your family has the finances that they need to take care of the funeral. Here are a couple options for you.

1. Prepay For The Funeral

One great option is to prepay for the funeral. This means that before you pass away you meet with a funeral director and start planning the funeral. You can pick out the casket, the headstone, and you can even plan the program if you want.

There are two reasons that preplanning the funeral is a good idea. The first is that it takes away the stress of planning the funeral from your family. During their time of grief they don’t have to go through and plan everything.

Second, you can get the total bill before you pass away and prepay for it. This means that when the time comes, your family’s last concern is worrying about money. Many families appreciate it when their loved one thinks ahead and prepays for a funeral. This can really help them during their time of grief.

2. Use A Life Insurance Policy

Some people are unable to afford a funeral before they pass away, or the death happens so unexpectedly that they never even thought to preplan a funeral. That is why having a life insurance policy is such a good idea. Life insurance policies are designed to be “paid on death” to the family. This means that the moment you pass away, the claim will be made and the money will be given to your family.

When you calculate how much money you need for life insurance, you should include the amount for the funeral. That way even if finances are tight for your family, they can use money from the life insurance policy to pay for the funeral. You should get a life insurance policy right away, even if you are young and healthy.

These are just a couple ways that you can pay for a funeral. 

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Ashes To Ashes: 4 Ways To Honor Your Loved One’s Remains

Knowing exactly what to do with your loved one’s ashes can be difficult, especially if they didn’t leave any instructions. When it comes to cremation, you may think that scattering the ashes is the only option you have available. If you don’t want to part with your loved one’s remains, you should know that there are many ways you can honor their memory.

Have a Private Burial

If you like the idea of burying your loved one’s ashes but don’t like the idea of a cemetery, it’s okay. By choosing a wooden or biodegradable urn, you can choose a burial location in your own yard. This will allow you to create a living memory to your loved one, especially if you design a small garden around the burial site.

Divide the Remains among Loved Ones

It can be difficult to choose a proper burial location, especially when family members are spread out in different cities and states. Cremation allows families to respectfully divide the remains so that each person is able to hold on to a memory of their loved one. There are many unique urns that can be separated so that several people can retain a portion of the remains.

Keep Them with You In A Synthetic Diamond

Human remains contain carbon DNA. That DNA can be extracted and used to create synthetic diamonds. The process doesn’t require the use of all the ashes, which means you can have use a portion of your loved one’s remains to create the diamond and keep the remaining ashes for yourself. Because all humans are different, each diamond comes out a slightly different color. Some of the colors include blue, yellow and white.

Immortalize Them in Paint

If you’ve decided to create a memorial inside your home, you may want to consider having your loved one immortalized in a painting. Artists can mix ashes with oil paint and create beautiful works of art for you to hang on your wall. Whether you choose to have a portrait of your loved one painted or you would prefer an abstract piece, a part of your loved one will live on forever in a beautiful painting.

Losing a loved one is painful. If you’re looking for a loving tribute for your lost loved one, you should consider the options that are listed above. These ideas will allow you to say goodbye to your loved one while holding on to a lasting memory. If you’re looking for cremation services in your area, visit Final Care Cremation Services.

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Writing The Perfect Obituary

If you are called on to help with the funeral planning and write an obituary for a recently deceased friend or family member, consider it an honor. This is a way to create a tribute to the person that will be read by people at the funeral service and in the community. It’s a timeless memorial that may even be read by future generations. The funeral home can give you some examples of good obituaries and other resources to help. Here are a few tips to help you create that perfect written memorial.

Do the Research and Make It Accurate

Little mistakes on names and dates on an obituary are embarrassing. Put the time in to make sure all of the information is accurate before giving it to the funeral home.

  • Double-check all dates, events and facts.
  • Make sure that the names of people, places and businesses are spelled correctly.
  • Proofread several times.
  • Have someone else do a final proofreading.
  • Use the computer’s spell checker, or if it is written out, have someone else check the spell, too.

Celebrate the Person’s Life, Not Their Death

Traditionally in funeral planning, the obituary is considered the deceased person’s “death notice,” but it should be focused on the life they lived. This written memorial should bring up the memories you want people to have when they read the obituary.

  • Include the person’s struggles and accomplishments.
  • Emphasize the things for which the person was passionate.
  • Note any key events and milestones in the person’s life.
  • Try to give people a glimpse into what was important to the person.

This will be read by people who didn’t know the person at all. With that perspective, write the obituary so they will learn a little about the person and wish that they had met them.

Make It a Way to Say “Thank You” to Friends and Family

The obituary is also a way for the deceased to express gratitude to those people who meant so much to them.

  • Mention the people who most influenced the person and how the person was impacted.
  • Include a range of influence, both large and small. Mention the friend that financed the person’s successful business venture, but also include the great granddaughter who made the person smile with her little poems.
  • Let the deceased tell these people “Thanks for all you did for me” through the obituary.

Write for the Future Readers of the Obituary, Too

Everyone attending the service will take home a copy of the obituary. People may also cut them out of the newspaper. The obituary may be read during special occasions in the future as a way to include the person’s memory. Your obituary allows people to recall the person and celebrate their life years from now. Contact those at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home for more information and tips.

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Four Ways Pre-Arranged Funerals Or Cremations Benefit You Financially

When most people talk about the benefits of pre-arranging a funeral or cremation, they talk about conveying your last wishes, having control over the service and relieving your family of the burden of planning a funeral while in grief. But those are not the only advantages. There are also several financial benefits including the following:

1. Prepaid funerals are an exempt asset for Medicaid purposes

In order for Medicaid to cover an elder’s nursing home care or medical bills, that individual needs to have basically no assets or cash. However, there are a few assets that are exempt – that means the elder can still qualify for Medicaid benefits in spite of having those particular assets.

In addition to a home and a single car, irrevocable burial or cremation contracts are also exempt. You have to spend all of your money before Medicaid can kick in, so you may as well spend some of it on a pre-arranged funeral.

2. You lock in today’s prices

Even if you are not worried about receiving Medicaid payments, you can still benefit from the way a prearranged funeral locks in today’s prices. When you pre-arrange a funeral, you pay upfront, and when you die, that money covers your whole funeral.

If you were to simply set aside the cost of a funeral, you have no way to ensure those funds will cover the cost of a funeral several years or decades down the road. Even if you have plenty of money to cover future expenses, you will pay more for a funeral in the future simply because of basic inflation.

3. You help your family weather delayed insurance payments

By paying for your funeral in advance, you save your family from having to pay for it. Even if you have an insurance policy that is ample enough to cover the cost of a funeral, keep in mind that claims take a while to process.

As your family waits for the insurance payment, they may struggle to come up with the cash to pay for a service, or they may have to use high-interest credit cards. By paying in advance, you save them this financial hassle as well as possible interest, penalties and fees.

4. Most funeral homes offer built-in cancellation policies

If you are on the fence about prearranging your funeral, you will love that many funeral homes offer 30-day cancellation periods. That gives you time to get through any buyer’s remorse and make sure you have made the right decision. It also ensures that if you find a better price at another home like Marine Park Funeral Home Inc two weeks later you can get your money back and rebook.

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Advantages Of Pre-Planning Your Funeral

Funerals are a way to remember those who have passed on. Some people have specific wants or needs that must be present for their own funeral. There are some advantages of pre-planning your funeral months, even years in advance.

Prepaying Is an Option

If you choose to pre-plan your funeral, you may be delighted to know it is possible to prepay for your funeral. In prepaying, you can pay the funeral home directly via one lump sum, or you can make monthly installments. The funeral home will place your money into a trust fund, which is accessed upon your death. The other option is the funeral home will buy a life insurance policy and make themselves the beneficiary. Before signing any paperwork, be sure to check with a lawyer to verify that all the legal steps have been followed.

Plan Your Own Unusual Funeral

Pre-planning your funeral gives you the control to be as creative as you want. Consider these few celebrities that have had unusual, yet creative funerals.

  • Michael Jackson was buried in a gold-plated casket.
  • The ashes of Hunter S. Thompson, a well-known journalist, were shot into the sky as part of a fireworks display.
  • The music industry icon James Brown’s clothes were changed three times during his funeral.
  • Joan Rivers demanded that her funeral be one of laughter and fun.

If you want to, be as extravagant as you want. Talk it over with the funeral home and give them an idea of what you want. They will draw up a pricing guide for you based on today’s prices. You can arrange to have doves or butterflies released after the funeral.

Easier For Your Loved Ones

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to pre-planning your funeral is that things will be made easier for your loved ones. When a person passes away, it is an intensely emotional time for the family. If you have already made all the major decisions, they will be able to focus more on their mourning and less time on what music to play. A few ideas to preplan include

  • The type of flower you want based on its special meaning to you
  • Who will be the pallbearers
  • Which cemetery you are buried in
  • The type of coffin you have
  • The exact wording for your obituary
  • How long the funeral should be
  • The selection of songs and who should sing each

A loved one passing away is a difficult time for families. It is possible to pre-plan your funeral, so everything you want is put into action after your death. Your loved ones may find comfort in the fact that they have less to do and more time to mourn your passing. Talk to a professional like Ryan-Parke Funeral Home for more information.

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Important Funeral Planning Tips For Veteran Memorials

Losing a loved one is never easy, and properly honoring the life of a lost loved one is very important. If you have lost a loved one who was a military veteran, then the process of honoring their life and service through funeral planning becomes even more important.

Those who chose to serve in the military are owed a huge debt of gratitude for their courage and sacrifice, and the following funeral planning tips can help you to create the most fitting sendoff for someone who devoted their life to military service:

  • Ask military friends to speak: Of course, most of the speakers at this event will be family members. That being said, one of the best ways to honor a veteran at a memorial service is to have a brother in arms share some of the mutual experiences they had in the service with your loved one.
  • Include pictures of military service: Being in the line of duty is a very different experience from civilian life. If possible, try to convey the level of sacrifice by showing pictures of their military service days.
  • Use patriotic colors and decor: Forego the black, and focus on red, white and blue. 
  • Include the right music: Your dearly departed loved this country so much that the sacrifice of military service was well worth the emotional and physical cost. Chances are, if they had the chance to choose the music for the service, they would want the military anthem and other patriotic themes played.
  • Read letters or journal entries about the duty: If possible, find some letters or journal entries from your loved one’s time in the service. A personal and eloquent statement about his love for his country can be incredibly touching in such an environment.
  • Display any awards received in service: Not everyone who serves in the military earns an award. If your loved one went above and beyond his call of duty and earned himself an award, then it can be a wonderful tribute to display these items at the memorial services.

Some of these suggestions are somewhat simplistic, while others might require a little bit of planning and work on your end to bring to light. Some of these suggestions will not be suitable for your particular veteran, so take some time to consider these tips to see which ones will work for you.

In the end, funeral planning is never easy. This is an emotional process, and requires you to work hard when you are trying to mourn. By following this advice, however, the funeral for your veteran can be a very memorable event, and the planning process can be very healing for you. If you need assistance with the funeral planning, work with an experienced funeral home, like Pineview Funeral Service

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For my mother's funeral, my sister and I spent a lot of time thinking about flowers for her funeral. We wanted beautiful, colorful flowers that reflected upon her energetic spirit and her love of bright, bold color. However, when we began to plan out her funeral with the funeral director, we were surprised to learn that different types of flowers had different meanings. Based on their meanings, some were appropriate for a funeral, and others were not. We had no idea about this, but I instantly became fascinated with the topic. I created this website to help educate others about the meanings of flowers and which are appropriate for funerals.


March 2015