There are a few options available when it comes to cremation. The most common option is to have the body cremated without any ceremony or service. This is often chosen by those who wish to avoid a traditional funeral service.
Another option is to have a memorial service before or after the cremation takes place. This can be a good way to say goodbye to a loved one while still having a respectful ceremony.
Finally, some people choose to have their loved one’s body cremated and then buried. This can be done with or without a ceremony. It is important to check with your local cemetery about their rules and regulations regarding this type of burial.
People are increasingly choosing to have direct cremations. This is when you do not have a funeral service or any other type of ceremony. People are choosing this for many reasons, such as the expense of a traditional funeral or because they no longer identify with a certain religion. We want to help you be able to offer this option to families who would like to save money and skip the hassle of a traditional funeral.
ALTERNATIVES TO CREMATION
Some families do not want a service, but they still want closure. An ash scattering ceremony can give them that. By putting the ashes in a place that is special to them, they can say goodbye and see what it means to let their loved one go.
Another alternative is a sharing circle where each family member talks about how much their grandparents meant to them. You can do this in a special public or non-public spot that is meaningful for the loved one and the surviving family. The ceremony is simple: choose a gathering spot and take a few minutes for each family member to share their favorite memories of their loved one. You can offer 1 minute after each share for everyone to respond or “resonate” with what was just spoken.
A remembrance picnic is a really easy way to entertain everyone and create a celebration environment for families who want to celebrate their loved one. Host at your funeral home if you have the space, or even your cemetery outside with a beautiful setting. Have everyone make a dish that reminds them of their loved one, or that their loved one absolutely adored.
During the potluck, offer questions or space for shares that gets people talking about the loved one and sharing memories and stories.
Another option is the release of balloons, butterflies, doves, and everything in between. You can simply offer this as the funeral service, which gives everyone a chance to share a memory or story before they all release a chosen item to the wind. My favorite idea is to use balloons, and have everyone write a note to the loved one and put it inside the balloon before they send it off.
For families that don’t have time or money to have a ceremony, a tribute video is a great gift. You could ask them to share their favorite videos and photos of the loved one. Then, using your tribute video software, you can create the tribute video. After that, you can give a copy of the tribute video to everyone in the family who wants one. You could also have a virtual tribute video watch party for them, where everyone can share what comes up for them as they watch it. This is a simple but effective way to help families on their grief journey.
If you can’t travel to be with your loved one, a virtual dinner party is a great way to include everyone in the grieving and celebrating process. Ask the closest family member for their loved one’s favorite recipe. Then have everyone around the world prepare the recipe on their own. Come together on Zoom to eat the dinner, and share memories and stories together. Wine is always welcome too!