Answering Tough Questions Concerning Cremation As A Second Choice

When a loved one leaves life unexpectedly, you may want to give them a glorious funeral and lavish burial to show your respects. However, with the costs of a traditional funeral and burial coming in at more than $7,000 on average, the traditional methods you want may not be the most financially feasible. In these cases, cremation is always an attractive second choice because the bill can be thousands of dollars cheaper and much more affordable. However, not everyone wants to be cremated, and if you are in charge of making decisions for a passed loved one, it can bring about some rather tough questions.

What should you do if you are unsure if cremation would be something your loved one would have wanted?

When someone close to you passes away without a plan in place, it can leave you trying to guess what they would have wanted, which can be tough. The best way to find out about how they felt about cremation is to ask the closest living friends if the topic was ever mentioned. You should also take into consideration the religious beliefs of your loved one, as some do not agree with cremation. For example, people of the Jewish faith are usually not accepting of cremation as an end-of-life option.

What are your other options if cremation proves to be out of the question?

In some cases, your final conclusion will be that there is no way you can have your loved one cremated, due to whatever reasons, without feeling you are making a bad choice. If this is your situation, talk openly to the funeral home director about your dilemma. You may be able to find help paying for a traditional burial. For example, you may be able to set up a crowdfunding page to raise funds and put off the actual burial until a bit later. The funeral home director can also help you find ways to cut costs, such as opting out of embalming, which alone can save you as much as $1,290.

It is never easy to be left with big decisions about cremation and funeral arrangements after someone passes away, but this is all too often the case for many people. If you are struggling with decisions about whether your loved one should be cremated, be sure to talk openly with the funeral home director for advice and information to help you out. 

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Asked To Arrange A Funeral For Someone From The Philippines? Learn Their Traditions

If you are asked to plan a funeral for someone in the United States that is from the Philippines, you may find that they have different traditions than what you are used to. Below is information about these traditions so you can be prepared, and plan the funeral in the right way. 


Make sure you have a good florist on hand. Flowers are seen at almost any funeral, but the people from the Philippines use flowers to not only decorate the home or funeral home, but they give flowers to the family members as an expression of their respect and love for the deceased. You will be asked to place flowers all over the room the deceased is placed in. Some common flowers you may need to purchase are lilies, orchids, and mums. Roses may also be used. Because the wake lasts for a few days, the flowers are also used to mask the scent of the deceased. 


If the deceased person is from Manila, one of their traditions is hollowing out a tree trunk to bury the dead in. In some cases, the person that is ill selects the tree themselves. If the family wants to do this, help them find a tree that they can cut down either in their yard or in an area where you are allowed to do this. Provide them with the tools they need to hollow out the tree or hire someone to do it for them.


Some Philippines today take time to honor the dead. In many cases, they hold a wake that lasts for a few days. In some area, the wake is held in a family member’s home, or the home of the deceased. In other areas, the wake is held in a funeral home. Contact a local funeral home, such as Sosebee Funeral Home, for further assistance.

You may be asked to place festive funeral lights draped around the casket, along with some flowers, a box for people to pay a contribution, and a nice registry book with a pen near the casket.

In most cases, warm drinks and food are served by the family of the deceased throughout the wake. There may also be activities outside the home or funeral home, such as playing musical instruments, such as a guitar, singing, or people conversing with each other.

Talk with your family members that live in the Philippines about the traditions they follow so you can make sure you do everything in the right way.

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How To Plan Your Own Cremation Services

Have you decided to be cremated when you pass away? No matter how old you are at the present time, if you are planning your own funeral services, you are doing your loved ones a huge favor. Dealing with your death will already be difficult for them, and having to take care of funeral plans would be an added burden during a hard time. 

Meet With The Funeral Director – Planning your own funeral is something you want to do in person. Meet with the funeral director who can help you set everything up. From selecting the urn where your remains will be kept to planning a reception, the funeral director will make all of the arrangements for you. Be sure that you keep a record of all payments you have made, whether it is a partial payment, or whether you have paid for the funeral in full.

Involve A Trusted Person In Your Plans – Whether it’s a trusted friend or a family member, it just makes good sense to have somebody oversee things at the time of your death. That person should be aware of all that you have done in arranging for your cremation services. Be sure that this person knows where important papers are kept. Besides keeping pertinent records in a safe place, think about giving copies of them to the person you have selected to carry out your wishes.

Arrange For A Display – Some people, especially those who are not familiar with cremation, have a problem because there is no actual body to bid farewell. Consider having a display that will make things more personal. In this display, you could include photographs of you from the time you were a baby through present days, a collection of awards, items that depict your interests and hobbies, and even favorite articles of clothing, like a cowboy hat, tennis shoes or hiking boots.

Plan The Services – One of the great parts of planning your own funeral is that you can write your own obituary and there won’t be any mistakes. Besides including information about your birth place and the date you were born, consider adding interesting facts that many people don’t know about you. Which childhood memories are dear to you? What are your philosophies on life? Don’t be shy about writing down your accomplishments, as these are an important part of your life. Music would be a lovely addition, whether you select favorite hymns, classical music played on the piano or another instrument, or any other music you love.

Best wishes on planning your cremation services. Contact a funeral home, like Richard H Keenan Funeral Home, to get started today.

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Planning Your Estate? Two Reasons Why You Should Consider An Organic Burial Pod

In addition to detailing how you want your assets to be delegated, a large part of effective estate planning is allowing you to describe your final wishes.  While you may believe that your only two options are either a traditional, casket burial or cremation services, there may be another alternative available to you in the very near future: the burial pod.  A burial pod is essentially a biodegradable coffin that allows the human body to return to the soil while simultaneously nurturing a tree that is placed above ground, directly above the pod.  Although the idea of a burial pod is still in its infancy stages, use this information to learn more about why you may want to consider adding this to your final wishes.

Burial Pods Are More Sustainable

One of the most compelling reasons why burial pods are such a great option is because they are the sustainable choice.  Of the nearly two million caskets manufactured in the United States each year, approximately 75 percent are made of metal.  In addition, many coffin manufacturers apply a toxic finish onto the metal caskets that they produce, which can be harmful to the environment.

With so many people on the planet, you can only imagine how difficult it is for the environment to absorb and decompose such a large amount of metal and toxic materials.  Choosing a burial pod is the environmentally-safe option because the pod is comprised of biodegradable materials that are not harmful to soil.  Once the burial pod is approved for widespread use, choosing it can be your way of protecting the planet for future generations.

Burial Pods Create Beautiful, Sacred Forests

The aim of the burial pod project is to transform the look and feel of traditional cemeteries.  There are some people who are very afraid to visit cemeteries because the somber aura given off by row upon row of hard, gray headstones may not be appealing to them at all.

Using burial pods transforms cemeteries into beautiful, sacred forests, where people can go to nurture the tree that is placed on top of where their loved one was buried.  Instead of a place shrouded in mystery and fear, you can be laid to rest in an oasis that your friends and family will feel comfortable visiting.

Once the notion of the burial pod gains more traction, it will likely be offered as a viable alternative by crematories and funeral homes all across the country.  Consider a burial pod as your final resting place so you can leave a lasting legacy.

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3 Things You Can Do To Prepare For Your Death

Just as everyone was born, everyone will eventually die. Although it is not something people like to think about, it is important that you prepare yourself for the fact that at some point you will pass away. Here are some things that you can do to make that process easier on your family.

Prepay For Your Funeral

What many people do not know is that you can prepay for your funeral years in advance. This means that even if you aren’t close to passing away, you can choose a funeral home and start making payments on the funeral.

The reason this is such a good idea is that it takes away the burden from your family when you do pass away. Since they will be grieving your passing, it might be more than they can bear to come up with funeral expenses as well. This is especially the case if your family already struggles financially.

Additionally, you can save money by prepaying for the funeral. You will get the current market rate, so that even though inflation may hit, you can still get the same price. This is a major incentive for many people.

Consider Preplanning The Funeral

If you know that the end is drawing near, you might want to preplan the funeral. Whether or not you chose to prepay for the funeral, you can choose the casket, the flowers, the location, the program and so much more. Preplanning the funeral can take the stress of planning the funeral off your family. In addition, it can be very therapeutic for everyone involved. Your family can know exactly what you want, and you can enjoy planning the whole experience together.

Get Life Insurance

Many people think that life insurance is only for people in their younger years. Although young people, especially young parents, should have life insurance, it is also available for people in their elder years. The great thing about life insurance is that it is paid upon death. This means that your family doesn’t have to wait to get their money. If they need money to pay for living expenses, or funeral expenses (assuming you didn’t prepay) they don’t have to scrounge for the funding.

Your family will appreciate the fact that you thought enough about them to take care of their financial well-being with a life insurance policy.

These are just a couple things you can do to prepare your family for your death. Contact a service like Shepherd Funeral Home to learn more.

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The Advantages Of A Granite Headstone Over A Bronze Headstone

When choosing between a headstone, you’ll usually be choosing between bronze headstones and granite headstones — or bronze monuments and granite cemetery monuments. Both of these materials are often used because they last a long time and look very attractive, but granite has a few benefits over traditional bronze.

There Are More Color and Pattern Selections

Granite can be found in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can personalize it based on the preferences of your loved one. Bronze, of course, only really comes in a single color, though textures can be added to the surface. In general, because it’s more difficult to work with, bronze is usually only produced in a few major styles. Granite, being carved, can be used to create more customized tributes.

Granite Will Not Develop a Patina

Over time, all bronze will begin to develop a green patina. Even with cleaning, there will always be somewhat of a green cast. Some people like this appearance while others find it unattractive. Granite does not develop a patina, making it preferable for those who want to avoid the green. Beyond the patina, both granite and bronze tend to be similarly easy to take care of.

Granite Headstones Are Cheaper

Bronze is up to four times more expensive than a traditional granite headstone, making granite the more economical option. Of course, that doesn’t mean that one would have to find the cheapest option; instead, the money could go towards building a larger granite cemetery monument, compared to a smaller bronze headstone. By saving money on the actual material, more complex additions can be made to the headstone, such as lengthier engravings, inserted photographs and other thoughtful options.

Bronze Headstones Are Occasionally Stolen

Thieves tend to target bronze headstones because they can be melted down and then sold for money. Granite cannot be reused the way that bronze can. If you’re concerned about the possibility of theft or that the grave of your loved one could be disrupted, a granite headstone may be best.

Price and other considerations aside, the decision between a granite headstone or a bronze headstone will often come down to personal preference regarding the aesthetics. Some people prefer the classic, clean appearance of granite while others prefer the stately and luxurious appearance of a bronze headstone. Granite is, however, the more versatile and less expensive option. The important thing, as always, is to find the headstone your loved one would have liked best.

If you have more questions about gravestone options for your loved one, contact a local supplier or manufacturer like Genesis Granite.

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Finding The Best Funeral Home For A Departed

When there is a death in your family, you need a funeral home to complete the last rites for the departed. It’s a sad occasion but there are certain rituals associated with the well-being of the departed soul and hence, a proper funeral is required. With proper research, you can find a funeral home close to you that cares.

Go local

There is no point finding a funeral home that is not close to you. When a loved one in the family departs, their funeral is carried out and they are then cremated. The moment is immensely sad when someone departs and the least you want is to have their body carried for a long distance for getting the funeral done. Moreover, the cremation should also be close to you so that you can pay your respects whenever you want to.

Facilities offered by funeral homes

Different funeral homes offer different types of facilities. The more empathetic the funeral home, more you can expect from it. There are funeral homes that offer help in completing all the documentation and paperwork related to death. They should be well aware of legal documentation and requirements. There are funeral homes that arrange for transporting the body of the departed. Some also arrange for the service in a nice chapel that can not only accommodate all the mourners, but also arrange for their refreshments. When you talk to a funeral director, make sure you find out about the available services.

Additional facilities

For some of the funeral homes, arranging a funeral is all about offering end-to-end service. This means that they would go beyond their normal call of duty. Many people these days prefer a green funeral that saves our precious natural resources. Interment is to be done in a bio-degradable shroud or a casket. No chemical-based embalming fluid is to be used and concrete vaults are to be avoided. Ask the funeral home if they have options for that. The best funeral homes can arrange for flowers and music too, just to make sure they let you grieve in peace.

The cost

The cost of a funeral can be high and there are funeral homes that have hidden costs included in their services. Make sure you have complete knowledge about the final cost of the funeral so that you can plan accordingly.

A funeral is a sad event and you want a funeral home that helps you overcome your grief. There are funeral homes like Foster-Warne Funeral Home that make the difference during this difficult time and help you get the last rites arranged in the perfect manner.

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Key Terms Every Individual Should Know During Funeral Pre-Planning

Even though planning your funeral in advance sounds like a good thing, there is a good chance that you will feel a little overwhelmed about the process of facing your own mortality. The best way to make this easier is to approach the meeting with a funeral director as one that is related to business and finances. Just as if it would be if you were preparing for a major business meeting, it is imperative that you understand the meaning behind common terms and phrases that will be used while you are planning and making arrangements.

Bereaved – When speaking of a funeral, the bereaved refers to your immediate family and friends who will likely be in attendance at the visitation and funeral services.

Display Room – The display room in the funeral home is the place that you will be taken to look at funeral-related merchandise, such as casket choices, clothing, or floral arrangements examples.

Eulogy – The eulogy is a brief speech usually given by friends and family members of the deceased that commemorates the life they had. You may be asked who you would like to deliver eulogies at your funeral service.

Funeral Spray – The funeral spray is the flower arrangement that is splayed across the top of the casket during the services. You will be given the opportunity to choose certain characteristics of the funeral spray, such as the type of flowers used and what the ribbon should say.

Inurnment – This is commonly a term that is used to refer to the procedure where the cremated remains, or ashes, are placed into an urn for keeping. This is usually done at the crematorium, but may also be performed during the funeral ceremony.

Cremation Niche – Once the ashes have been placed in an urn after cremation, you may choose to place the urn in a viewing area at a mausoleum that is referred to as a cremation niche. This is simply a recessed place in a wall where the urn can be viewed and is sometimes encased in glass.

Flower Car – During a funeral, there are typically many flower arrangements that have been given by the bereaved. If you prefer, these flower arrangements can be brought to the cemetery for graveside service display. If you choose this service, you will be asked about a flower car, which is simply a vehicle used to carry the floral arrangements after the funeral.

By understanding some of the key terms that may be used when you are planning your funeral  you will be better equipped to take on the task. If there is a concept brought up that you do not understand, be sure that you ask questions to gain clarity in order to make the best decisions about your funeral. To learn more, visit Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home

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What You Can Expect From The Funeral Home Staff

If you’re pre-planning a funeral, you may meet several of the staff in a funeral home. The director and their staff assume many roles when handling a person’s funeral. Because you will be leaving your wishes with the funeral director as to how to organize your funeral, it’s important to know who your family will encounter and how they will support your family after your passing.

Here are some of the various functions that the funeral home staff will take of for your family:

Managing the Deceased

There are a number of tasks that must get done in preparation for the funeral and burial such as:

  • Transferring the body to the funeral home.
  • Procuring the specified casket or cremation urn.
  • Preparing the body for cremation or for a viewing which may include:
  • Cleansing of the body.
  • Embalming for the viewing.
  • Restoring the body to a natural look for the viewing.
  • Hair dressing and makeup.
  • Assembly the clothing desired for the viewing.
  • Positioning the body in the casket for the viewing and subsequent burial.

Preparing for the Funeral Service

These are largely coordination tasks with various people and businesses outside of the funeral home:

  • Completing any city and state documentation as needed.
  • Obtaining copies of the death certificate for the family.
  • Putting together the obituary and posting it with local newspapers and online services.
  • Contacting the desired priest, rabbi or other clergy members for the service.
  • Coordinating with the church, synagogue or other facility in which the funeral will be held.
  • Contacting the cemetery or columbarium to arrange preparation of the burial spot.
  • Arranging to have flowers delivered to the service location.
  • Arranging any music, singers or speakers to be at the service.

Post-Funeral Tasks

There are a number of other tasks that the funeral home staff may do to support your family after the funeral. Some of these you may request in your pre-planning instructions. Others may be at the request of your family.

  • Directing your family to any grief counseling specialists.
  • Assisting your family with veteran, insurance and social security claims filings.
  • Returning items from the funeral service to your family such as cards, register book and donations.

Your Family’s Responsibilities

Make it clear in your pre-planning what the funeral home will do for you and your family, and what are the responsibilities of the family. Some tasks, such as contacting family members and other people in the community, may be important for your family to do to get closure. The coordination tasks, such as arranging the service, can easily be done by the funeral home staff. The more you have the funeral home do for your family, the less burden they will have during this stressful time.

To learn more, contact a company like Thomas Funeral Chapels Inc. with any questions you have.

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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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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.


November 2015
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