No one likes thinking about death, and planning a funeral for your a loved one can be trying and draining if they haven’t discussed their end-of-life wishes. However, it doesn’t have to be challenging, especially if your loved one has a funeral plan in place. While this may feel like being death-obsessed, it would help to know that most Canadians have written or talked about their funeral plans with their loved ones at some point.
Thus, most people will understand if you want to plan your funeral. Planning your funeral makes it easier for your family and friends to grieve. We’ve provided tips to help ease the funeral planning procedures for people putting their loved ones to rest and individuals looking for insights into how best to plan their funerals.
The Cremation Association of North America describes cremation as “The mechanical and thermal or other dissolution processes that reduce human remains to bone fragments”. On our page, The Cremation Process, we offer a deeper look at the most common cremation process, which uses extreme heat.
As we said earlier, people choose cremation over burial of casketed remains for any combination of reasons. Sometimes it’s the simple fear of burial, which may stem directly from the Victorian phobia of being buried alive.
What is Required to Arrange for Cremation?
Once the cremation-over-burial decision has been made, authorization’s required. This is provided by the person who is the legally identified or appointed next-of-kin. Once all authorization documents are signed and service charges are paid, the body can be transported from the place of death to the crematory, and the cremation process can take place. However, there are some additional things you may wish to consider, such as:
- Is there a special set of clothes (such as a military uniform or favourite dress) your loved one would appreciate the thought of wearing? This will be a focus of the cremation arrangement conversation, and your funeral director will advise you as to your best options regarding jewelry or other valuable personal items.
- Are any keepsake items you’d like to include in their cremation casket? There may be a special memento, such as a treasured photograph or letter. We sometimes suggest family members write cards, notes or letters to their deceased loved one and place them in the casket prior to the cremation.
- Would you or other family members like to be present for–or participate to some degree in–your loved one’s cremation? Because we know how healing it can be to take part in the act of “letting go,” we welcome the opportunity to bring interested family or friends into the crematory. Please discuss your desire to participate with your funeral director.
- What will you keep the cremated remains or ashes in after the cremation or the service? Many families are simply unaware that they can purchase a cremation urn to be placed in a special place such as the family home. We offer a large selection of urns that will help memorialize your loved one. Ask one of our caring funeral directors to see the wide variety of urns.
Is it Time to Speak with One of Our Cremation Specialists?
We encourage open dialogue about all end-of-life issues and sincerely hope you reach out to us to dig deeper into the topics related to cremation and burial. Call us today to ask a question or to set an appointment (either in your home or our office). We look forward to the conversation.
Why Choose Cremation?
Everyone has their own personal reasons for choosing cremation over traditional casket burial.
Cremation Costs are Only One Reason
Given the religious, ethnic, and regional diversity among us, there are many other reasons for the dramatic rise in the number of cremations performed each year. According to Tyler Mathisen of NBC, one of those reasons “is the softening of the Catholic church’s views of the practice. For centuries—until 1963, in fact—the church outlawed it. The church’s laws still express a preference for burial. But the outright ban is a thing of the past.”
He tells readers that the decline in nuclear families is another reason. “As more Americans live far from hometowns and parents, and as family burial plots have waned in popularity and accessibility, millions have turned to cremation as a practical and cost-effective way to care for a loved one’s remains.”
Cremation also allows a family to plan and prepare for a memorial service, a celebration of life, or a scattering ceremony. While the cremation process can occur almost immediately (once all the proper paperwork is complete), the decisions required in planning a meaningful memorial for a loved one can be relaxed and rational.
You can also be sure that concern for the environment ranks high among many who choose cremation. Casketed and embalmed remains take up cemetery space and can pollute the groundwater, but many still question the amount of atmospheric pollution created by the cremation process.
Tips for planning a funeral
Locate any funeral pre-arrangement documents.
Traditional memorial or funeral services have lists of services, goods, and logistics that individuals can pre-arrange and pay for some funeral prearrangement services before death. Doing this reduces the strain felt by their grieving family members. You should locate any documents regarding your loved one’s funeral pre-arrangement and call the funeral home for further information and guidance if your loved one has passed on.
Learn what’s involved.
You’ll need to understand what happens when planning a funeral if you want to prepare better. For instance, the process has three general components: corpse preparation, holding the ceremony, and having an interment.
Note that each stage has a range of options, including deciding whether to embalm or cremate or if you should hold a full service, a DIY ceremony, or a graveside ceremony. Take some time to consider how your loved one would have liked their final ceremony to be.
Buy what you want
You should understand that you don’t have to purchase a whole package when planning your funeral. You could unbundle presented packages, choose what you want, and combine them to create your ultimate package.
Note that a funeral is a final ceremony, and you’d want to ensure everything goes according to plan. However, it doesn’t mean you should purchase what you don’t need. Take your time to determine how you’d want for your funeral and make the right purchase.
Talk it over, then write it down.
It helps to talk with your loved one regarding what type of funeral you’d love to have and what you want to spend for the funeral. You’ll need to be specific but understand that your loved one won’t be able to provide everything you want. It shouldn’t be a dictation to your loved one or family. It’s a meaningful conversation that you should have with the most important people in your life and make them part of the process.
Planning a funeral is stressful, especially if you don’t know where to begin. If you are planning for your or a loved one’s funeral, you can call Crematorium and Visitation Center to help you during your hard times. We hope these funeral planning services and tips will help you understand what you must do to plan a smooth funeral process. Start planning now!