Trends for Funeral Homes and Cemeteries

As consumers’ preference for cremation continues to grow, and the purchasing options for items such as caskets, cremation urns, cremation jewelry angel-wing-ash-pendant_1and other Memorials products become more widely available, funeral homes and Cemeteries are finding that they had to re-position themselves in the market in order to survive in today’s economic climate. They can no longer rely on merely providing a perfunctory service. They now have to convince bereaved families that the only way to truly honor loved ones is with a professionally managed funeral and internment, which they can best provide. This is particularly important if they don’t want to miss out on what’s just coming out of first gear, in the shape of the baby boomer generation.

 


It’s estimated that over the next thirty years or so, the “Death Care Industry” will see a surge in business as members of the baby boomer generation pass away – provided they can adapt to cater for the individualistic tastes of this group of people. Baby Boomers Image

The long-awaited benefits of the passing of the baby boomer generation will only be reaped by those funeral providers who are willing and able to provide the alternative Celebrations of Life that the boomers are predicted to want in place of the more traditional, somber affairs.

 

If funeral directors are worrying that the baby boomer generation will shun their local funeral homes for the restaurants or clubs where they spent most of their lives, then they need to consider how they can persuade clients and prospective clients that a funeral service is more than a just a farewell party. A funeral is an integral part of the grieving process and can help those left behind to deal with the passing of a life and move on. A funeral can also provide a degree of closure for loved ones and as such needs to be handled appropriately. That doesn’t necessarily mean in hushed, darkened rooms by somber-looking men in black, but rather in a way that recognizes and understands how to deal with family factions and intense emotions, both of which, understandably, are likely to surface immediately following a bereavement.

 

Salespeople in today’s industries are all trying to position themselves as trusted counselors. Insurance agents, financial advisors, and even computer systems vendors all want to be regarded as being able to provide valuable counsel. But funeral providers are already experts in this field. They have experience of providing professional, sound, and comforting counsel at one of the most traumatic times in a person’s life. And it’s this aspect of their business that they can capitalize on and use as a foundation on which to succeed.Baby Boomer Funeral Trends

 

However, while the value of providing such counsel shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s important that funeral providers also show that they’re willing to change if they want to reap the potential business benefits the passing of the baby boomers is predicted to generate. That means moving away from the stark, dimly lit funeral parlors of yesteryear to an environment that conveys an atmosphere of flexibility and accommodation. Many funerals nowadays involve the use of visual and audio equipment, and funeral directors will have to be able to provide this type of multi-media event to their clients, particularly as the members of the baby boomer generation are expected to want to go out as they’ve lived: By spending top-dollar on themselves in order to proclaim their individuality.

 

For a funeral business in today’s climate, the ability to offer tried and trusted counsel is the best of all foundations from which to market its services. Add a little flexibility and the willingness and capability to meet tomorrow’s demands and the future needn’t look so bleak.

 

 

 

Small Urns Make Heartfelt Statements

Little urns are small scale versions of more traditional sized urns, designed to be tokens of affection and symbols of remembrance that several family members can share. These small cremation urns are designed to house a small amount of cremains, lock or hair or other cherished item, so the memory of the departed can live on in several places and remain with all who loved him or her. They are ideal for distributing ashes of a loved one across great distances and among several close family members or friends.  There are many styles and options available, and each person can choose the one that means the most to them.

Small Brass Urns
Smallature replicas of classic style brass urns make a lovely gift for families to share. Brass urns are highly durable, non-degradable and can last for hundreds of years without a change in appearance, creating a lasting family heirloom for generations.

Music Box Urns
Music box urns are thoughtful keepsakes that hold a small amount of cremains or a lock of hair. These warm, sentimental keepsakes play touching tunes such as Amazing Grace or Unchained Melody and can be personalized with a photo or favorite phrase to create a lasting memento.

Angel or Fairy Keepsake Urns
Hand designed tiny porcelain angles or fairies look nothing like traditional urns and create lovely, lasting keepsakes. These sweet creatures will make you smile as you recall fond memories of your loved one.

Small Sports Wooden Keepsake Urns
Beautiful handmade wooden urns can be customized with your loved ones favorite sports icons such as golf, tennis, soccer or football and engraved with a personal plate. These small urns are complementary to full size urns of the same style and allow several family members to share similar tributes to someone they love.

Small UrnSmall Heart Shaped Urns
Heart shaped urns that fit in the palm of your hand create a heartfelt and sentimental statement. These small keepsake urns can be filled with a loved one’s cremains, crushed flowers or lock of hair to create a loving memento. They also make profound gifts for family members.

Jewelry Keepsake Urns
Jewelry keepsakes are the tiniest, yet most deeply personal urns of all. These treasures come in necklaces of varying styles such as lockets, pendants and crosses that are filled with small portions of a loved one’s cremains, worn close to the heart. Jewelry pendants can also be displayed in small glass and wood cases to be kept at a bedside or other special place of remembrance.

Although small in size, these urns hold the same, if not greater, meaning…honoring the memory of a loved one. These keepsakes allow many people to share in the memories, paying tribute to the life and legacy of someone they all loved.

Jewel-Style Keepsake Urn Necklaces

keepsake jewelryExpressing yourself after the loss of a loved one can be difficult. Jewel-style keepsake urn necklaces give you the chance to adorn your exterior with the shining memories of your lost loved one. Not only are these urn keepsake necklaces functional, but their brilliance represents the vibrant personality that once lit up your life. Glittering stones like amethyst, crystal, cubic zirconium, mother of pearl, black onyx and even created diamonds set in lovely designs allow you to carry your loved one with you always. These gorgeous necklaces come in high-quality materials such as gold vermeil and silver and allow you to choose the style that best suits your personal tastes.

Amethyst
According to ancient Egyptian belief, the wearer of amethyst is protected against guilt and fearful feelings. It is a comforting thought to know that an amethyst keepsake urn pendant will not only allow you to carry your loved one with you wherever you go, but also have the notions of antiquity that you are being shielded from negative emotions. The amethyst keepsake pendant urn comes in gold vermeil and silver, so you can match it to whatever precious metal inhabits your jewelry box.

Crystal
Healing, wisdom, clarity of thought, positive thoughts, harmony, and love are all said to be promoted by wearing a crystal. Their healing power has been appreciated by Hindus, indigenous Australians, Mayas, and Native American tribes. Whether you believe in the healing powers of crystal or not, their iridescent beauty is undeniable to the beholder. This clear option will allow cremains to be subtly visible inside of the pendant. The crystal is accented by a silver chain, and one model is accented with aqua crystal beads.

Cubic Zirconium
It has been said that cubic zirconium brings happiness, strength, energy, and promotes sounds sleep. When enduring the emotionally and physically draining experience of losing a loved one, these aforementioned benefits may be of assistance in the grieving process. Stylish and sophisticated designs like hearts, swirls, wheels and crosses allow the wearer to reflect his or her own personal style while simultaneously honoring the deceased.

Mother of Pearl
Oriental traditions and Chinese culture point to mother of pearl as being a source of prosperity and luck. It is a comforting thought to believe that carrying your loved one with you in a mother of pearl keepsake urn pendant will bring you good fortune by keeping him or her in your daily life. This opalescent material reflects light and color to create an ever-changing range of pigments. You can express your individuality with classic charms such as butterflies, dragonflies, crosses, palm trees, hearts and crosses.

Black Onyx
Perhaps the most appropriate stone for memorial jewelry is black onyx. This stone is said to be ideal for assisting in the process of letting go while keeping your mind focused and on-task. The deep, rich beauty of this black stone sharply contrasts with the glimmering finishes of silver or gold vermeil that are used to encase it, resulting in an exquisite look.

We can all agree with Robert Ludlum when he said, “The most precious jewels are not made from stone, but from flesh.” However, these stones can help keep the memory of a lost loved one alive in a small, glimmering symbol of the dearly departed. With hope, a jewel-style keepsake urn necklace can serve to assist in the healing process, and remain a treasured family heirloom for generations to come.

Using Flowers To Decorate A Cremation Urn

flower-arrangement-urnFlowers brighten up a room no matter what form they take. They can be real ones in a vase, silk flowers in a jar, or flowers gracing an urn. True, it may seem a little strange to talk about flowers on an urn; but the sad reality is, death is a part of life, and what we do with our bodies in death is something we have to deal with while we are alive. More and more frequently, people are opting to have themselves cremated instead of buried for various reasons. So, why have cremains sitting in a plain wooden box or in a dull bronze urn on a shelf? Using an urn that is decorated with flowers puts a positive spin on its symbolization, one that cancels out the contents within. However, flowers mean so much more than an accent.

Throughout our lives we find that flowers play an important role. They are given as gifts for a special occasion, sometimes to say “I love you,” marking a special moment in life, and simply just because. A bouquet, however, goes beyond making a statement. Flowers are traditionally associated with femininity – they are delicate and beautiful, but harbor a hidden strength. Naming our female children after flowers reinforces this association with femininity, and placing the cremains of a dear female relative into an urn with a floral design keeps this tradition solidly associated with women.

Looking in from the outside, keeping someone’s ashes on the shelf can seem a bit peculiar. It has become a meme that appears time and time again in films, usually used as part of a story in a comedy. It truly is time to put a different spin on the idea of keeping someone’s ashes in an urn. In The Light Urns has brought memorial displays into a new era with styles that reflect the living personality of the deceased. Celebrate the deceased’s life with a work of art as a repository. Unique urns offer a positive way to change how we view safekeeping the cremains of a loved one.

Modern society has a tendency to keep death at arm’s length as we embrace longer life spans and benefit from advances in medicine. It makes us uncomfortable and the subject gets swept under the rug. As we age, we have to become practical and start thinking about what is going to happen to our physical selves after we pass. Then, there comes the time when observing the wishes of a close relation have to be carried out. As mentioned before, cremation is becoming a popular option. Urns that break the mold have come onto the market to bring the concept into a new realm.

Think about this: cremation offers something that burial cannot. We can keep our loved ones with us in a form that can bring comfort. There is no grave site that requires planning a visit to and graveyards are not always a pleasant place to visit. In The Light Urns offers the opportunity to personalize the urn in a way that brings a smile instead of tears. We want to remember our loved ones in happy times. Using an urn that turns a delicate matter into a light hearted, positive conversation piece can put relatives and friends at ease when honoring and reflecting upon the lost life of a loved one.

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.

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 www.tsa.gov (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.

Pet Urns Help You Honor a Loyal Friend

Pet UrnsFor many people, a pet is a beloved member of the family.  When a dog or cat passes, pet urns are a good way to honor your loyal and constant friend, whose trust and love is irreplaceable.  This is a difficult time, and dealing with the pain and loss is often hard, especially when you have had your pet for years.

Pet urns help you keep the memory of your pet alive in your heart, and are a great way to keep a loving memorial of your true friend.  When people sometimes fail us, pets are loyal to a fault, and never judge our emotions or actions.  Paying tribute to them in a loving and fitting way is a good way to help you through the grief of losing a much beloved member of the family.

When it comes to pet urns, the choice you make is a very personal one.  Depending on your tastes and where your pet spent the most time, you may choose to keep the urn in a room where your pet spent a good deal of time, or display it in an area where you spend most of your time.  Pet cremation urns can be found to fit nearly any decor, design or taste preferences.

Marble, wood, brass, glass and ceramic are just a few of the choices you have when it comes to choosing pet urns.  A photo pet urn allows you to display a picture (or pictures) on the exterior of the urn, so that the friendly face that always greeted you will stay forever in your heart and Cat Urnsmind.  These can be displayed inside or out, depending on the style you choose.  The Tennis Ball Urn is the perfect tribute to a pet who loved the outdoors, and enjoyed fun activities with you.

If a beloved feline friend has passed, the Brass Cat Urn is elegant and graceful, made of beautiful solid brass in a classic black design and artfully hand engraved.  Put on display surrounded by your cats favorite toys, it is the perfect pet memorial to keep the memory of your pet alive for years to come.

To some, cats and dogs are simply animals that have no particular meaning.  To others, they are a special member of the family who always loves them, no matter what happens in life.  For those with a special place in their heart for these one-of-a-kind friends, pet urns are the perfect way to pay tribute to a loyal, loving and sorely missed member of the family.

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.