Today more families and individuals are choosing cremation for final disposition than ever before. Their reasons for this choice can range from religious beliefs, to family history, to financial considerations.
Years ago, cremation was seen as “just cremation”. Families would hear a family member say, “just cremate me.” What many families didn’t realize then was that such an approach could limit the ability of the family and friends to fully say goodbye to a loved one, and to successfully move through the grieving process. At the loss of a loved one, there is no such thing as “just”. The emotional needs of the family and friends at the loss is exactly the same for families whether they choose cremation or burial. Learning about your choices with cremation ensures that you and your family can benefit from the time-tested approaches that help families move from grieving to remembrance.
One thing many families don’t realize is that cremation provides us with a full range of choices in the ways we can say goodbye to our loved ones. Many families for example, don’t realize that you can use cremation and have a complete service. Or that you can have a cremation service, a scattering, and a permanent memorial or monument to help create a place for permanent remembrance.
In addition, a simple understanding of the terminology, products and services, around cremation makes the decision process much easier and manageable. Here’s an introduction to some of the key terms and concepts:
CREMATION SERVICE: This is a funeral service where a body has been prepared by cremation. The service is only different in the way the loved one is displayed. The choice of a cremation casket eliminates even this difference. The celebration of their life can be done in the exact same manner as any other funeral service.
CREMATION CASKET: Cremation caskets are as varied and unique as any other type of casket. The only difference is they are made of combustible materials.
CREMATE: The act of cremation is nothing more than preparing the deceased body by incineration. The deterioration of the body is a natural process, and bringing it to the state of ashes by use of fire, is simply speeding up this process.
CREMAINS: A somewhat technical term you may hear. It means the same as “cremated remains” a term we prefer. These are the small bone fragments and ashes which are kept for the remembrance of a loved one.
CREMATION GARDENS: These are gardens which have been specifically designed for placement of cremated remains in a tranquil and respectful setting. A cremation garden can have a combination of many beautiful ways to keep and memorialize a loved one.
NICHES: This is where the urn is put for permanent placement. Niches are extremely secure and made of time-defying elements such as granite, marble, glass or metal. There are many very suitable options available today for safe and permanent placement of the niche.
CREMATION MEMORIALS: The memorial of cremated remains carries the exact same importance as any other form of disposition. And thanks to new technologies, there are very creative and personal ways to honor your loved ones.
The desire to be remembered lies deep within us all. This is why virtually every civilization in the history of man has had a way to memorialize the dead. We hold dear those who we have loved and lost and the memorial is the way we express our unique feelings to those who deeply touched our lives. A memorial can take almost any form and great consideration should be given to the unique traits which defined the one we wish to remember.