Customizing A Cremation Urn

When choosing a cremation urn, everyone wants to find a beautiful memorial that celebrates the life of his or her loved one. Engraved Urns

You want an urn as unique as your loved one, and while it can be difficult to find an urn that lives up to this goal, customizing the urn can help to set it apart and make it a fitting resting place that showcases the personality of the departed.

Engraved and Inscribed Urns

One of the simplest ways to customize an urn is to get professional engraving, preferably from the company that sells the urn. Funeral urn companies tend to be familiar with the different materials for urns and have a better idea of how to set an attractive inscription or engraved picture on their materials than a third-party engraver. This ensures a consistent look and an accurate reproduction of text or a picture, regardless of the urn’s material or other qualities.

Most urns can be engraved quickly, as engraved urns are a popular option among the bereaved for creating a unique tribute to the departed. A tasteful inscription can add to the beauty of a person’s final resting place and carry on their memory. Families can show the humor or the wisdom of a loved one with the right quote or summarize the impact that the departed had on the lives around him or her.

Choosing an Engraving

There’s no wrong inscription for an urn, as long as the material and size of the inscription is taken into consideration. A quote from the departed, a favorite passage from a book or Bible, or a simple line describing the departed can make an urn a fitting tribute. Some urn companies can also engrave a picture, either of the departed or of something significant in the person’s life, depending on the urn. A picture effectively customizes an urn and can look especially beautiful when set in bronze or another fine metal.

Customized Urn Designs

Urns are available in a wide variety of designs, and many family members decide to match their urn choice with the hobbies, career or interests of the departed. Theme urns can also be combined with an inscription to show part of a loved one’s personality and to celebrate what was most important to him or her.

For example, sports urns can be a great choice for an athlete or a lifelong fan, either with a simple design that represents the sport or an engraving of a team logo. A great inscription could be a memorable quote from the departed, either related or unrelated to the theme of the urn.

Cremation urns are available for music lovers, sports lovers and others in tasteful options that show some aspect of your loved one’s life. Urn for ashes materials include wood, glass and metals, which provide different visual qualities for a memorial.

An urn can be a delicate symbol that provides immense comfort in a very trying time. Its purpose isn’t just to hold the remains of a loved one; it’s a loving way to keep their memory close. Customizing an urn with different materials, designs and engraving is an excellent way to create a beautiful memorial with the quality and unique appearance necessary to help loved ones through a difficult part of life.

Flying on a Plane with a Cremation Urn

You may be wondering about flying with ashes if you are planning to transport the cremains of a loved one to another state or country for scattering purposes, burial or other reasons.  Do airlines allow you to carry the ashes of a loved one with you when you travel?  How should you transport them?  There are many questions you may regarding flying with ashes have that hopefully this article will answer.

Sometimes our loved ones make requests before they pass concerning what they want done with their cremains.  Some prefer scattering over a lake or ocean, others want to be scattered over an area of mountains that held meaning for them.  This sometimes means that you must travel, and flying with ashes is a bit of a concern for some.

Airlines respect that flying with ashes is often necessary when you need to travel by air with a cremation urn, but they do have rules.  Today, security levels are at an all time high due to criminal activity, so there are some rules you must abide by if you plan on flying with ashes.

The container you carry your loved ones ashes in must be made of a material that can be seen through using an x-ray machine, so that security personnel can clearly see that there is nothing potentially dangerous inside.  Additionally, when flying with ashes you can carry a container on as carry-on luggage provided it passes security measures.

Light materials such as paper, wood or plastic usually work well for traveling.  These materials are light enough that x-ray machines can determine what is inside, and the materials are not opaque which can make for tough time passing security.  Flying with ashes is really not anything to be overly concerned about as long as you use a container that will pass.

Before flying with a cremation urn of your loved one, check with the airline to determine the rules they abide by, as some airlines do not allow an urn or any container of ashes to be checked with other baggage.

Biodegradable urns are good for travel, as most are made of natural materials that easily pass security.  These urns are designed of wood, sand, paper and other materials that usually don’t cause a problem when traveling.  If you plan on flying an urn for ashes, just be certain to check with the airline first before traveling with an urn, and make sure you have the proper container so that you can pass security.

Modern Memorial

Cremation memorials were most often simple, classic shaped vases in which a person’s ashes were stored, protected, displayed and passed down through generations. Although the traditional vases are still used, keepsake cremation jewelry is one of the many new memorial forms that are becoming increasingly more common.

Today families can even choose a combination of classic and modern styles for a memorial. A loved one’s ashes can be stored in a more traditional urn, and the ashes can also be shared in keepsake cremation jewelry among relatives across distances. Cremation jewelry filled with tiny portions of a loved one’s ashes enables multiple family members to always keep a loved one close at heart. Cremation jewelry makes an especially loving and special tribute for siblings to honor a parent or grandparent, or parent for child.

Traveling by Air with a Cremation Urn

Airport Cremation InformationIf you wish to travel by air with a cremation urn then it’s important to know what’s required in respect of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) screening procedures. These procedures have been devised in such a way as to provide security for all passengers while at the same time remaining respectful to those traveling with the cremated remains of loved ones.

Regardless of whether you want to travel with it as carry-on baggage or checked baggage, your cremation urn must successfully pass the airport’s screening procedures. If you’re traveling with an urn as carry-on baggage, then it must pass through the airport’s x-ray machine. An urn that’s transported as checked baggage will be screened for explosive devices/materials using a number of techniques. However, it’s important to note that not all air carriers permit cremated remains as checked baggage so you should check with your air carrier or travel agent beforehand.

If you want to travel with your cremation urn as carry-on baggage and it cannot be successfully screened, then it won’t be allowed on board the aircraft. There is no documentation that will enable a passenger to bypass this security screening process, so you must ensure that your urn is able to comply with it. In addition, as a mark of respect for the deceased, screening personnel will, under no circumstances, open a cremation urn, even if requested by the passenger carrying the urn.

The TSA suggests transporting remains in a container made of lighter material than that typically used for cremation urns, such as wood, cardboard, or plastic, all of which can be successfully screened. Some of the more traditional types of urns can produce an opaque image when screened and, as a result, aren’t permitted through the security checkpoint. You can of course use an urn made from a lighter material as a temporary carrier for your cremated remains and then place the remains in a more permanent urn at an appropriate time later.

Provided you are well aware of the security requirements when traveling with a cremation urn, you shouldn’t have any problems. Ensure your urn is made from a material that will enable the security personnel to x-ray it successfully and you can rest assured that the experience will be just another step to finally laying your loved one to rest.

For further information on this matter, go to (the “For Travelers” page), or call TSA on 866-289-9673.

You can contact In The Light Urns directly at (800) 757-3488 for further information.

Explaining Cremation to a Child

Talking to a Child about DeathIt’s hard enough to explain to a child that a loved one has died.  It can be even harder when that loved one has chosen cremation after death.  Even though cremation is more commonly chosen today than ever before, the concept is still confusing to children and is less familiar to them than the burial of a body placed in a coffin.  Therefore, explaining cremation brings with it several challenges.

The first consideration in deciding on the words to use is the age and developmental level of the child.  Sometimes young children believe that the deceased loved one is still alive in some fashion just “up in the sky.”  They generally believe they still walk around, eat, sleep, etc.  For this reason, saying that what was once the loved one’s body has now become ashes doesn’t make much sense to children.  Therefore, if the family has a belief in a “soul” or some other essence of the person separate from the body, this would be the time to explain that concept.  A child will have an easier time accepting that the body is no longer in the form of a body if they believe that the deceased person’s “soul” has gone on to “heaven.”  Of course, families that do not have the kind of religious beliefs that would support this explanation should not feel they need to use this language simply to make the situation more understandable to the child.  Sometimes, it just takes time for children to grow into an understanding of complicated concepts they encounter very young, and cremation is certainly one of these.

It is always important to be honest with children when discussing death and cremation.  However, honesty doesn’t mean using terms or descriptions that would be unnecessarily upsetting to them simply because they are true.  For instance, it’s best not to use the word “burn” when describing the process of cremation because children can misunderstand what this means.  They know that if they burn themselves, it hurts, so they draw the conclusion that if “Grandma’s body was burned so that it turned into ashes,” then it must have been very painful for Grandma.  This only adds to their confusion and grief over Grandma’s passing.  Instead, it’s a better idea to tell the child that Grandma’s body was put in a room that got very, very hot.  And what happened was that the heat from the room turned her body into very light, soft ashes that are almost like powder.”  It’s also helpful to explain that this is what Grandma truly wanted to happen after she died.

Another helpful strategy when explaining cremation is to discuss the purpose of the urn that now holds Grandma’s ashes, if that is what was done with them.  This can be explained as “a beautiful way to remember Grandma because every time we see the urn with her ashes, we think of what a wonderful person she was.”  If the ashes are to be scattered instead of placed in an urn, it can be helpful to have the child be present when this is done or to take them to the site where they were scattered if this has already taken place.  Just as funerals are important rituals that help family members find some peace in their grief and loss, witnessing the scattering of ashes can be a meaningful rite that helps a child on the road to healing.

Writing an Obituary

Anyone who has lost a family member knows how difficult it is to deal with the many arrangements that need to be made at a time when sadness and grief are so great.  One of the most daunting challenges for some can be in writing the obituary.  The thought of trying to capture the significance of an entire life in a few short paragraphs can seem overwhelming.  But with the right information and a willing spirit, it’s possible to create an obituary that honors the life of the deceased love one in a way that’s pays tribute in a way that’s not so difficult to create.

Primarily, an obituary serves as the notice of death.  Therefore, it’s best to begin an obituary with this announcement including the full name of the deceased along with his age, city of residence, day and date of death.  Often, the place of death is also given (“at his home” or “at Mercy Hospital Southeast”) as well as the cause of death if known.

After this initial notice, the next part of the obituary should comment on the life of the deceased person.  Obviously, every detail cannot be included, so choices need to be made about what is most essential.  The most common items discussed are:  information about the person’s date and place of birth; names of parents and any significant childhood information; facts about educational accomplishments; employment information and any significant career accomplishments; charitable, professional, or religious affiliations; name of spouse and date of marriage; and notable attributes (e.g. sense of humor, unique talent).

The next part of the obituary needs to mention family members.  This should begin with the family members the deceased is survived by, like a spouse, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and siblings.  Close aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews as well as dear friends may also be mentioned.  Decisions about who should be  included can get tricky because it’s easy to leave out someone who will be hurt, like step-siblings or distant relations who live far away.  It’s best to make sure there is agreement in the immediate family about who should be named in the listing.  After covering those still living, this section should go on to explain significant people who have preceded the loved one in death, like a spouse, children, grandchildren, and any other significant relations.  Their dates of death should be included as well.

After the family section of the obituary, information about when the funeral or memorial service will take place along with information about hours for visitation should be included.  If there are any vigils or special services, these should be mentioned to.  The place of burial, name of the funeral home, and a place to call for information should be included as well.  The obituary should end with any information regarding suggested memorial donations, and a closing line that sums up the deceased loved one’s life in a few short words.

When writing the obituary, make sure to focus mostly on the loved one who has died, not the feelings of those writing the obituary.  Be sure not to refer to the deceased as “Mom” or “Grandpa” but to write in the third person throughout.   Although it may seem difficult, it’s best to try to find a happy medium between giving information about the death and celebrating the person’s life.  Hopefully, by keeping these tips in mind, writing a high quality obituary can be a little less intimidating and will appropriately honor the loved one who has now passed on.

A great deal of information about losing a loved one is available at In the Light Urns. For words of sympathy and loss visit our website. We hope this article about writing an obituary was helpful. Thank you for reading.

Marble and Cremation Urns

Marble Cremation UrnMarble cremation urns are elegant and beautiful sculptures reminding one of the ancient classics that stand around the world. Marble contains Calcite which causes the marvelous swirls that make the marble cremation urns so distinctive. The colors are created by a reaction to the minerals and sediment in the earth where they are found. Pink marble is found in Tennessee and is used primarily for building materials because of its density. While it is very difficult to sculpt because it is so dense, artisans create some beautiful and distinctive marble cremation urns using Tennessee Marble.

Marble is a porous material and some of the cremation urns and created from a block of marble, while some are made from crushed marble that has been combined with a bonding agent which makes it stronger and easier to shape. It is not always easy to tell if the marble has been previously crushed as both have a wonderful look.

Marble urns are crafted my hand using large blocks which are then chiseled and sculpted using the same tools that have been used for centuries. Before sculpting can begin though a large piece of marble must be turned, shaped, and buffed into the general shape that it is going to be. This requires several hours and requires precise workmanship.

The carved cremation urns of today are not much different than the works of the past. Many of the same tools and exactly the same material is used. The artists work hard and smartly to create a wonderful look and feel for their marble urns. If you want a special sculpture created that reflects your loved one’s love for a certain activity, the artist will design a marble cremation urn that will reflect that wish.

Extra time must be spent with each individual piece because even though it is resilient, carving marble takes a special technique and the use of very small and delicate tools. Creating a detailed sculpture is much like cutting a diamond. If a mistake is made during the process the artist must start over, but the end result will be very special. Each marble cremation urn is an individual and unique piece of art that cannot be duplicated.

Cremation urns made of marble age very well. They are very heavy and durable and will become a treasured keepsake and heirloom. Often marble urns are kept out of the elements; we encourage proper care of a marble urn, but as many cultures have done, they can be stored outside.

Many people select a marble cremation urn that is large enough to accommodate more than one member of the family. This is called a companion urn. Thank you for reading and I hope this is helpful.

The Value of Pre-Planning

Pre Planning a Funeral

Pre Planning a Funeral

When a family member dies unexpectedly, it is often heart-wrenching, emotional and stressful.  Pre-planning for your own funeral or memorial makes everything so much easier on your entire family when the time comes that you pass.  You also have more time to choose exactly what is right for you, which helps avoid putting this burden on your family when they are at their most grief-stricken and fragile.  This is a true act of love, and means more to your family than you will ever know.

Leaving all of these decisions to your family members is something that often happens, but can easily be avoided.  Pre-planning also helps the family avoid the financial stress that often comes with making arrangements after the fact.  When you plan your own funeral or memorial and choose the burial urn or casket that suits your preferences, it also guards against inflation.  Your family can grieve and mourn as they so badly need to, instead of scurrying around trying to make arrangements while in an unstable emotional state.

Often when all of these important decisions are left to the remaining family members, it can cause arguments or disagreements.  Everyone wonders if they have made the right decision.  They question their choice, asking themselves if this is what you would have wanted or chosen.  Pre-planning the memorial or funeral simply takes the anxiety and added burden off of your family members, so that they can process what has happened and go forward with their lives.  It truly shows your family that you love them deeply, and want to avoid placing these decisions on them at the most difficult time in their lives.

Inflation is a fact of life that never goes away.  In some cases, families of the deceased have been financially devastated by the costs of giving their beloved family member a proper and respectable funeral, memorial, or scattering of ashes.  What happens if you die unexpectedly, without pre-planning?  The expenses could literally ruin them financially.  You care about your family, and don’t want to see this happen.  Pre-planning is the ultimate act of love and kindness you can give your family, so that they can be prepared when you pass, and not spend time that is meant for grieving trying to make choices they are uncertain of.

Preparing for your own death is never something that you enjoy, but it is necessary to protect your family both emotionally and financially.  Read more about what to do after losing a loved one. Death is an inevitable fact facing everyone, and taking the time to make arrangements is a true gift to your family members.  The value of pre-planning is truly beyond worth.

Beatrice Toney Bailey – Farewell, My Friend

Farewell, My Friend is a manual that is written for anyone facing a serious health issue. The book is a step-by-step guide for those who wish to plan for the inevitable, and is an extremely valuable resource for those who may be called upon to act as caregiver or caretaker for terminally ill friends or family members.

Farewell My Firend

Farewell, My Friend

Currently, Bea is the host of the new innovative television show, “Bea-On Bereavement – The Power of Planning”, which will air in September 2009 on RCCTV, Sacramento, CA. She is also a co-facilitator of a national GriefShare Support Group and is the Head Feature Writer for Senior Magazine of Northern California. She has authored this best selling book and is conducting presentations and book signings throughout the United States and Mexico.
View more information>>

Cremation Process – Elisa Krcileka

Elisa Krcileka, a funeral director from Illinois discusses the process after losing a loved one. She illustrates a great deal of the information that you need to know if someone has passed. This kind of video is very important for people to see and it is another example of how technology has enriched our lives.

She reviews the many important legal documents that need to be completed after death. Also typical process of the cremation and your relationship with the funeral home/ crematorium.

In the Light Urns has created a useful guide after someone passes. Its called four steps to take after losing a loved one and provides more information to help you during this time.

Very important and practical information.