If you have recently lost a loved one, making final arrangements may be one of the most difficult things you will ever be asked to do in this life. No matter how close the relationship is, if you have been entrusted with planning a funeral and cremation services as requested by your recently departed loved one, it will not be an easy task on a number of levels.
Then again, you actually may be planning your own simple cremations to save your loved ones from the stress they would be subjected to. Other times, you may not really have anyone close enough to make those plans for you. Whether you are making your own arrangements or cremations for a loved one, here are seven tips for choosing the right cremation services in keeping with personal beliefs and value systems.
1. Understand Why Cremation Has Been Chosen
The very first thing you should do when planning a cremation for a loved one would be to understand why they wished to be cremated instead of buried. Some people simply abhor the idea of being buried and left to decay over a long period of time. While they know that they will not be aware of being buried, they still can’t quite consider being locked in a box and buried. As illogical as it seems to anyone including themselves, they still refuse to be buried.
Other times there are people who are truly concerned with environmental issues. They understand that natural resources are being plundered and that being buried in a metal casket isn’t something conducive to conservation. Even if they could be buried in a biodegradable casket, it still takes up a great deal of space that simply isn’t necessary. For this reason, they choose to be cremated but even then, they want a biodegradable urn that will not harm the environment in any way.
2. Learn the Various Types of Cremation Services Available
Once it has been determined that your loved one wished to be cremated, it is important to understand the various types of cremation services available. These would include:
- Traditional cremation with a funeral service
- Traditional cremation with a memorial service
- Direct cremation
- Direct cremation w/ body being donated to science
While it may seem as though there are very few differences between these choices, they can be huge in terms of making those final arrangements. For example, a traditional cremation with funeral services means that the body will be taken to a funeral home, laid out in a coffin for final respects and then there will be a funeral service of one kind or another. Most often they are religious services in all faiths. This would mean a gathering of people for the funeral itself. Then, if the ashes are meant to be buried at a later date, those same people are ‘invited’ to a second ceremony at the burial grounds in which the urn is placed underground with a marker or tombstone placed to mark the spot.
A traditional cremation with a memorial service is often similar to one with a funeral service but typically the memorial will take place after the body has been cremated and place in an urn. Sometimes the memorial service is held at the time when the ashes are scattered or buried. The major difference here is that the body isn’t typically laid out to allow for paying final respects.
A direct cremation is when the body of your loved one is taken immediately to the crematorium where it will be cremated. From that point, the ashes are placed in an urn. Some crematoriums offer biodegradable urns which can be buried or kept by the family or loved one who was responsible for making final arrangements.
Then there are those times when the person who passed stipulated that they wanted their remains to be studied for science. Perhaps they had a rare disease which could be analysed after passing in an attempt to save other lives. In fact, many people who passed due to exposure to Covid-19 donated their body or the body of a loved one in an attempt to study this extremely contagious and lethal virus. After the body was studied, it could be sent for a direct or pure cremation. Again, this means that the body would not be laid out in a funeral home but would be sent for direct cremations.
3. Deciding What to Do with the Ashes
Unfortunately, there are times when a low-cost funeral is important. If your loved one didn’t have final expense insurance, then the cost of a funeral could be a major consideration. This could affect whether or not the ashes are buried and what kind of urn would be most affordable.
With that in mind, it may help to know that a low-cost cremation could provide urns that are biodegradable. These are typically fashioned from wood with natural stone inlays to mark information about the ashes contained within. If you go online and search for, “cremations near me,” you can also type in other search terms such as “cheap cremation.” Don’t forget to keep the GPS locater on whether you are searching from a PC or a mobile device. These should bring back results near to you while also being cost effective if you used “low cost” or “cheap” as search terms.
4. What Will Other Mourners Expect?
If explicit instructions weren’t left by the recently departed loved one on exactly what type of cremation service they would like to be held, it is important to know what others will expect at this time. There are, for example, faiths that require a religious service within a certain period of time after the passing of a believer. When searching for cremations, take the time to communicate with one or more funeral homes or crematoriums near you.
If there isn’t a great expectation of a church service, for instance, then you can search for “direct cremation near me.” This would be a cremation service in which the crematorium picks up the remains of your loved one, brings them to their facility and from there cremates those earthly remains. Pure cremations will be scheduled and the remains either placed in an urn of your choosing or scattered at a location of your choosing.
5. Find Cremation Services Online
There is one thing you can do to make things much easier on yourself or anyone taking part in making cremation services arrangements. Sometimes you can plan everything online so that you are not asked to get out and about at this time when you are experiencing a major loss in your life.
Once you find cremation services that will go directly to the hospital or morgue where your loved one’s remains are being held, you can fill out a form, sign it and transmit it digitally without ever leaving your home. The easier that service makes it for you, the better you will feel about what they have to offer during these painful times.
6. Talk to Others Close to the Deceased
Also, even if you have been named as the executor of the will and everything has been left in your hands, it may be more than you are emotionally prepared to deal with at this time. That is perfectly understandable. If there are others who were close to the deceased and may have input into what they feel your loved one would have wanted, then talk to them!
Get as much input as you can if it will ease your mind. If you need to be reassured that you are carrying out the last wishes of the loved one you just lost, then by all means talk to anyone you feel may have insight into the wishes of your departed loved one.
7. A Final Look at Cost
One last thing you should always be cognisant of is the ultimate cost of cremation services available to you. Each will come at a cost based on the exact type of service you are choosing. One type of urn, for example, may be a fraction of the urn you would rather choose. Make sure you get exact figures when planning cremation services.
You probably understand that it will cost more to bury that urn than it would cost to scatter the ashes at some place where your deceased had mentioned in the past. The cost of a funeral and procession to a cemetery would also be much higher than direct cremations in which the body was immediately transported and cremated without the cost of paying a funeral parlour and director.
In the end, take the time to understand all the various options in cremation services and weigh those against the wishes of the recently departed loved one. Their wishes are ultimately the most important but if cost is an issue, check with the crematorium or funeral home to see if they have payment plans you could take advantage of. Each of these ‘tips’ can help you pan the best cremation services for your needs and at costs you can afford, so take the time to consider exactly what you want weighed against what you can afford. That will give you the answers you need.