How To Handle Invitations For A Burial At Sea

Deciding that a burial at sea is the right choice for your loved one is likely a decision that will bring you and your fellow mourners peace. It can be the most respectful send-off for anyone who loved being in, on, or near the ocean. When you are planning a burial at sea, you may decide to have a memorial ceremony before the interment, but you probably want to be selective in your guest list. Here are tips for handling invitations for a burial at sea.

Spread the Word Privately

In the age of online event pages and group invites, keep the invitations to a burial at sea private. Due to the nature of this sort of ceremony and interment, you likely will want to limit those who attend to only the closest friends and family members of the deceased. If you have an event page that others can see, it may start drama as people compare who was invited and who was not. Instead, send private, one-on-one emails or simply call up each person who is invited to let them know the details of the burial at sea.

Be Specific about Special Requests from the Start

As part of a burial at sea, some people opt to have each guest read something small aloud before gathering on the boat, while others want a certain dress code for the service. If you have any special requests for the send-off of your loved one, be sure to let guests know about them in writing via email. If the person does not have email, you may opt to send a letter through the mail to be sure that the mourners have all the information they need.

Contact Loved Ones Who Aren’t Invited

Part of the responsibility of deciding on a small service is contacting people who may not be invited to it for logistical or personal reasons. If you are too upset to deal with it at this time, ask a friend or family member to do so. When contacting people who loved the deceased and may wonder why they are not invited, explain why you chose to have a burial at sea as well as why they cannot personally attend. Then be sure to offer alternative ways that they can express their grief. You may set up a charity donation page in the deceased person’s honor, or you may suggest other ways that they can pay homage to the loved one.

Invite a Big Group to a Memorial Reception

Another option for those who are not invited to attend the burial at sea is a larger reception. If you decide to do this, you could invite people to the reception whether or not they are attending the at-sea service. This reception could be held on the same date as the interment or at a later time. This can be a gathering at a country club, banquet hall, or private home. While it should not have the formality of a funeral, you can plan for people to share memories in their honor and play music that the deceased person would have loved.

Finally, keep in mind that a burial at sea is a beautiful way to say your final goodbyes to someone. Unlike somber locales like cemeteries and mausoleums, most people associate being at sea with the enjoyment of life. It can be the perfect way to express your goodbyes to someone who lived life to the fullest, and it can even provide a happier farewell than any alternatives. When you handle the invitations with grace, you will be ready to say a tasteful, loving good-bye.

For more information on a burial at sea, contact a company like Serenity Sea Burials.

Your Will Might Not Be Enough To Ensure You Get The Funeral You Want

If you are elderly or anticipate passing away in the next few years, it is important to make a will to disburse your estate. However, it is also important to make your funeral plans before you pass away instead of outlining your plans in your will. Wills aren’t always enough to ensure that your funeral goes according to plan.

Wills Aren’t Always Read Before Funerals

Reading and executing a will after a person passes is a situation that may take place immediately after they pass away, just before the funeral, or after the funeral. The timing will depend a lot on how your loved ones are processing your passing. Even if you indicate to your executor that you want it read before your funeral, your family members may put it off as they mourn your passing.

As a result, all of the intricate funeral plans you had written into your will may have been ignored. This situation can be embarrassing for your loved ones.

Planning A Funeral Before It Occurs

That’s why it’s important to sit down with the funeral home you want to use and plan out your funeral ahead of time. They can help you sort through the complicated aspects of planning and will take all of your suggestions down in writing. Make sure that these instructions are stored somewhere safe and that your lawyer or executor of your estate knows about them.

In this way, if your will is not read before your funeral, you can still get the funeral you want. The variables of a successful funeral include a wide range of things that you need to know before making your plan.

Things To Remember When Planning

There are a variety of important considerations that you and your funeral director need to discuss when planning your funeral. These include:

  • Body disposal method (cremation or burial)
  • Open or closed casket funeral
  • Location of the funeral and the burial site
  • Religious service desired
  • Clothing desired if buried
  • Size of the funeral (open to the public or private)
  • Items displayed at the funeral
  • Speakers at the funeral
  • Music played during the funeral

By carefully working with your funeral home and creating a simple funeral plan, you not only ensure that you get the funeral you want, but also take the planning and execution out of the hands of your bereaved loved ones. Think of it as giving them one more gift.

5 Things You Should Never Say At A Funeral

When a family is grieving the loss of a loved one, they may be going through immeasurable grief the likes of which they’ve never experience before. In fact, according to Scientific American, this kind of grief can be one of the top stressors in life. The last thing you want to do is add to the stress of someone who is bereaved. Unfortunately, many common platitudes can hurt those whose loved one is deceased.

1. Don’t Say That You Know How Someone Is Feeling

It doesn’t matter if you lost a loved one from the same exact cause. Never assume that you know what someone is feeling or how a particular loss hits someone. Every relationship is unique, and so is everyone’s grieving process.

2. Don’t Say That the Deceased Person Is in a Better Place

No matter how strong someone’s faith is, the bereaved family are likely not ready to hear well-meaning platitudes about their loved one rejoicing in heaven…without them! It’s best to tell the family person stories of how their loved one cared for them, rather than spout things that may be vague and unhelpful.

3. Don’t Say That the Person Needs to Be Brave Now

Grief is complicated, and nobody should be reminded that others expect them to put on a brave face and carry on. Let those who were closest with someone express their grief however they want to express it. The funeral is a time when grief is extremely fresh, and people should be allowed the space to feel without judgment.

4. Don’t Tell the Person That They Need a Hug

You never know what someone needs when they are grieving. Even someone who enjoys hugs may not want them at this time, and a hug may bring on emotions that they don’t want to express. You may offer a hug respectfully, but never assume that someone wants a hug at a funeral unless you know them very well and have frequently hugged them in a variety of circumstances. Even then, it doesn’t hurt to ask first.

5. Don’t Minimize One’s Grief by Telling Them It Will Pass

Perhaps one of the worst things that you can say at a funeral to someone who is feeling immense pain is that it will simply go away. While that may be a helpful phrase in some instances of pain, it is not appropriate to tell someone that at a funeral. The funeral is the time to grieve openly if needed, and it’s a time where many emotions may be felt by those who are paying their respects. It may feel like the world is coming to an end for the bereaved, and minimizing their pain will just make the hurt feelings more intense.

Finally, keep in mind that you are there at the funeral to be a support for the bereaved family. While you may be honoring the deceased with your presence, the best way that you can help the person who has passed away is by helping those who were closest to them. So try to think carefully before you choose what to say to someone who is in grief. Try to put yourself in their place and speak from a place of care and concern.

For more information, talk to a professional like Parsippany Funeral Home Inc.

4 Eco-Friendly Caskets For A Green Burial

In a traditional burial, a casket is used to bury the deceased. However, more and more people are becoming concerned with the impact burials have on the environment. This is leading people to look for environmentally-friendly burial methods. This includes being buried without embalming and in an environmentally-friendly coffin. Here some “coffins” that will allow you to have a green burial.

Burial Pod

Currently, burial pods are only a matter of concept, but they will hopefully become a standard burial practice in the future. By the time it’s your time to go, burial pods could be available in many countries. The idea of a burial pod is to have sacred forests instead of cemeteries. These egg-shaped pods are basically a large seed that will hold a body in fetal position and grow a tree until the end of time. A beautiful memorial forest sounds much less depressing and much more practical than a cemetery. The planet has to run out of room for cemeteries eventually, right?

Leaf Coffin

A leaf coffin is about as natural as you can get. You can find coffins made out of a variety of different types of leaves while shopping around. Banana leaves, pineapple leaves, and even maple tree leaves are only a few of options. A banana leaf coffin can create a beautiful, environmentally-friendly coffin that looks like wicker. You can get a maple leaf coffin made out of autumn leaves and recycled paper, and it may be the most colorful coffin you can purchase.

Biodegradable Urn

A biodegradable urn can be used to either float or bury your ashes. If you want to scatter your ashes in the ocean, you can put them in the urn and float it out to sea. It will float before descending into the water. It will completely breakdown, leaving no pollution or materials behind. If you still want to be buried, the biodegradable urn can be buried, and it will break down into the earth, along with your ashes.

Hemp Casket

A hemp casket is a fantastic way to participate in a green burial. Hemp is inexpensive and can be made to custom-fit the deceased. It’s so inexpensive; in fact, it can be the most inexpensive way to be buried. Handles are created out of hemp rope, and it can be painted any way you like.

If you want a green burial, these are some great ways to do it. Look into these casket alternatives if you want to do something environmentally-friendly and different. For more information on your options, contact a funeral home like Lisa Scott Funeral Home.

What You Need To Know About Obituaries & Identity Theft

When a loved one passes away, you want to ensure that the obituary you write is accurate and complete. You want to create an obituary that contains no errors and includes all the pertinent information so that people can remember and mourn for your loved one properly. Unfortunately, all too many people are worried that in providing complete information, they are opening up the doors for identity theft. Want to know how to avoid this? These tips will help you write an online obituary:

1. Notify banks and credit bureaus about the death.

You can easily prevent identity theft by ensuring that the proper authorities are notified that your loved one has passed away. This may prevent somebody from opening new accounts in his or her name.

2. Do not print the address of your home in the obituary.

Even if you are having a wake or event at your home following a funeral, never print the address on the Internet or in the newspaper with the obituary. Additionally, this is smart because it does not advertise the home as being empty, especially during a graveside service.

3. Write a short obituary and a long obituary.

Your short obituary can omit birthdays, middle names, and other important information, making it safer to post online. Your longer obituary could be one kept for the family members and genealogical purposes, stored securely.

4. Omit the deceased’s maiden name.

With a maiden name, somebody may be able to steal your loved one’s identity under a name that is no longer in use.

5. Continue to monitor your loved one’s credit report.

Even after your loved one has passed, it is smart to ask for his or her annual credit report. There are even websites that offer weekly or monthly checks to ensure that everything is up to date.

6. Don’t list your loved one’s date of birth.

The date of birth is one piece of information that identity thieves use to secure credit cards and loans. It is important that you avoid listing the date of birth but rather only the age in an online obituary.

7. Cancel your loved one’s driver’s license or ID card.

If you cancel your loved one’s license, it will prevent somebody else from being easily able to obtain a new one, which can often be done online.

Understanding identity theft will keep your family member’s identity safe. Keeping pertinent information out of the obituary is a great place to start.Talk to an obituary service, like Near Frontier LLC, for more help.

Reasons To Make Arrangements For Your Funeral Before Your Passing

You may not want to talk about funeral arrangements and burial services, but arranging your own could be one of the best things you do in life. The arrangements will be difficult for your loved ones, and they won’t necessarily know what you would like. Here are four reasons to make your own arrangements.

Prevent Arguments Between Family Members

Your loved ones will all want to make the best decisions for you and them. Some may want to say goodbye through a burial service, while another family member may want to cremate you and just have a small memorial service. Then, there are the way the costs will be split and arrangements for a wake.

By doing all the planning before your passing, you can prevent numerous arguments between family members. Instead of having to spend time making decisions, your family and friends can just focus on mourning your passing.

You Get the Funeral You Want

You may have certain ideas for funeral arrangements. Some people don’t want wakes after the service, while others will want to be buried in a specific plot or use a specific funeral home. Making your own arrangements and having them legally signed will help you get the funeral you want.

Some family members can be selfish and not consider your preferences. They want to make things easier for them, despite knowing you would hate every aspect.

Allow People to Grieve

Organizing funeral arrangements takes away the ability to grieve. Family members need to have a level head to make decisions and think about your wishes. By you making all the arrangements for them, you give them a chance to actually grieve and miss you. You take away the overwhelming elements of the planning and remove the stress.

Help With the Costs

In some cases, you can keep the costs down for your funeral expenses. You get to lock your price, and may even be able to pay for it upfront. Funerals are one of those costs that people worry about, so taking away that part of the process will also help your family just grieve instead of stress.

If pre-payment isn’t something you can currently do, at least you have an idea of the cost. You can make sure you save enough for your wishes or check that your life insurance policy will pay out the amount that you need to afford.

Planning your own funeral isn’t something people want to consider, but it really does take the stress and overwhelming feelings from your loved ones. Is this something that you can do before your passing?

Concrete Ways To Use Concrete As A Final Resting Place

While life expectancy is set at approximately 78.8 years, the fact still remains that there is estimated to be more than 2.5 million persons that die each year. Even if death is expected, it can be a difficult process to make final decisions on what to do with the remains of loved ones. Traditionally, concrete has been used in making vaults that house coffins underground for burial. However, whether or not cost is a factor in the final decisions, you may want to find unconventional and nontraditional ways to memorialize your loved one and concrete can still be a useful material in getting that done even if you choose cremation services

So, here are a few ways in which concrete could help you to find a concrete way to a final resting place for your loved one.  

Raise the reef

One non conventional way is by using the remains to help create a coral reef. Due to rising climates, the coral reefs and their inhabitants are in jeopardy. You can help to address this problem by opting for a reef ball as a means to disposing of the remains of your loved ones. The reef ball uses cremains, which is the ashes from a cremation, and combines it with concrete to make a hollow structure with holes that mimic the structure of an actual coral reef. The structure can be as large as 6 feet wide and 5 feet tall and it is placed in the ocean to help support the marine habitat and prevent erosion of the sea bed.

If you or your loved one are environmentally concerned persons then you can add to the coral reef contribution by choosing to use concrete that has been created with the use of cement made with carbon dioxide and thereby helping to balance the CO2 emissions that would be generated in making the cement. 

A monument it is

Concrete can be used to make a monument for your loved one. The ashes can be mixed in with the concrete and used to build a structure of your choosing. This can be any size and can be placed in your yard or even in the house, if you so desire. Ideas for this monument include making a bird bath to put in your yard, a concrete chair for your garden or even concrete knobs for your cupboards. Smaller mementos such as concrete key rings can be done and given to family members and friends. 

The only limit to what your monument might be is that of your imagination, personal preferences and the wishes of other family members. An important factor to also take into consideration is to choose something that really represents your loved one and can truly reflect who that person was. 

Finding Ways To Finance A Funeral With Bad Credit

There are many options for financing a funeral, but it can be a challenge if you have bad credit. If your family member passed on without any method of paying for their own final arrangements, you may find yourself having to go through third-party lenders. These third-party lenders will often consider your creditworthiness and income before they make a decision on whether they can extend you financing.

Double Check All Avenues

Credit cards, retirement accounts, and even some insurance policies may carry with them some stipend for final arrangements. You should make sure you go through your loved one’s accounts thoroughly to make sure there isn’t anything that’s been missed.

Ask the Funeral Home

Funeral homes understand that many individuals aren’t expecting to take on the burden of funeral costs. Because of this, many funeral homes will give you a financing arrangement on their own. Financing directly through the funeral home may be less costly than taking out a personal loan, and they may be able to work around your bad credit. Either way, it’s always a good idea to check with them first. Catering companies, flower companies, and other vendors may all have their own unique financing options, so don’t forget to check.

Funeral Financing Companies

Whenever there is a need, there is a company that fulfills that need. There are online funeral financing companies that specialize in final arrangements. These companies often have very fast approval times and provide loans for those with any level of credit, as they know that it is a stressful time and most people don’t have the time to prepare. These funeral loans are generally fairly lengthy, sometimes with a loan term of about 10 years — but the trade off is that they are available immediately and that the funds can be used freely for caterers, flower arrangements, and more. 

Funeral Help Programs

Your local Department of Human Services may actually offer financial aid for your funeral service. In general, these funeral help programs only govern very limited processes — for instance, they may be able to pay for the cost of cremation, thereby freeing you up to pay for an urn or service. If your family member was a member of any type of special group, such as the military, you should immediately contact those services as well — they usually have money earmarked for these situations.

Before you make any decisions, talk to your funeral services company about your options. Not only may you be able to reduce the costs — such as switching from a burial to more affordable cremation services — but they have their own suggestions for financing.

3 Ways To Lower Funeral Costs

These days death can be an expensive prospect. Everything necessary for the funeral and the burial of your loved one can really add up. If you are worried about the costs for the funeral, there are things that you can do that will still honor your loved one without breaking the bank or busting your budget. 

Get Multiple Estimates

You get multiple estimates to get your roof fixed so that you can find the right price. It’s no different when it comes to funerals. Call a few funeral homes in your area to find out the prices. When you are calling them, make sure to not ask for the price of any package deals. Packages may vary from place to place, so it’s kind of like comparing dogs and cats. Instead, ask for the costs of specific services. When you ask about specific services and features from funeral home to funeral home, you are going to be comparing cats to cats, which makes it easier to find a funeral home that offers services you can afford. 

Donate the Body

Something else you can do to help with funeral costs is to donate the body to science. Medical schools are always looking for cadavers for their students to work on. The medical schools take on the responsibility to cremate the body when they are done. If your loved one died of cancer or some rare disease, you can also donate their body to researchers who are working on that particular illness. That gives the researchers access to someone who had the disease. It can help to rid the world of that problem. 

Go Green

Another option is to go green. This isn’t an option n every location because it means that the body isn’t embalmed and is buried in a cemetery that doesn’t have concrete vaults. Skipping embalming means that you are going to want to have any funeral as quickly as possible. Avoiding the concrete vault means that your loved one’s body is going to return to the earth as soon as possible, without leaking embalming fluid. 

Trying to come up with the money for a loved one’s funeral can be difficult, especially if your loved one left no money in order to pay for the funeral. There are several options ahead of you, all of which can let you get the funeral down to a rate that you can better afford. Contact a business, such as Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel, for more information.   

Services To Look For When Preparing Your Funeral Pre-Plan

If you’re working on a funeral pre-plan, choosing a funeral home that meets your needs is one of the first steps. You want to find a facility that will fulfill your final wishes, as well as be a pleasant place for your family to work with. Most funeral homes provide the basic services, but each will have their own unique ways of supporting your pre-planning needs. Here are a few of the different services to look for when researching funerals homes with which to work.

Grief Management

Funeral homes have different ways to offer grief support to your family. Learn how each funeral home that you’re researching does grief management and choose the one that most fits what your family may need at the time or your death. Some of the various approaches include the following:

  • Some facilities hire grief counselors as part of their staff. They hold grief support groups at the funeral home and offer one-on-one counseling to those who need it.
  • Other funeral homes contract the grief support out to professionals in the community. These grief counselors may hold support groups in their offices as well as individual grief counseling.
  • Another approach is to direct your family to various groups and organizations in the community who do grief support. This can include religious organizations and other non-profit groups.

Social Media Management

With the increase in popularity of social networks, some funeral homes have their own social media staff. These people will place announcements of your death on various social networking platforms. They may also use special web sites that announce your passing and allow people to make comments, share stories about you, and post photos in honor of your life.

Administrative Support

Your family will be dealing with the grief of your passing, so managing some of the administrative details is an additional burden. Filing for military and insurance benefits can be a complicated process and one which must be done accurately to make sure they receive the benefits without delay. Some funeral homes offer administrative assistance, which can range from helping your family gather the necessary information to doing the applications and filing for them.

Green Funerals

Some funeral homes now offer ecologically friendly burial options. With this option, your remains are placed in some form of bio-degradable container and buried in a park designated for green burials. There is no embalming involved, simple decomposable caskets are used and no grave markers or memorials are allowed. These open spaces look like a public park with no sign of it being a final resting place for the deceased.

For more information, contact a local funeral home