The life of every loved one that passed away is unique, and families often choose to commemorate their loved ones in different ways. While some may prefer quiet and solemn burial ceremonies, others go for either quicker or livelier celebrations of life when a loved one passes away. Funeral homes typically provide a range of services that apply to either burial or cremation.
If your family decides on cremation services, there are several factors to consider in preparation for the process. While occasions such as memorial services are similar during both cremation and burial, the preparation process and timelines are often different.
The first thing you would need to decide is whether you prefer a direct cremation or a delayed cremation. A direct cremation involves the body being disposed a few days after the death occurs. It is typically done very soon after one passes away, and other formalities associated with the funeral are done at a later date. Direct cremation is often used by families who prefer to rapidly dispose of the body of their loved one according to religious beliefs or other practices. It also allows the family complete the most important part of the funeral process before proceeding with other plans such as a memorial service.
During a delayed cremation, the body is disposed after a week or longer following death. This option is ideal for families who would prefer the body to be prepared for viewing and visitation by friends and family. As a result, the body is prepared as it normally would for a regular burial. A casket is also procured to place the body in preparation for the cremation ceremony.
Most cremations tend to cost less than a burial ceremony due to the fewer formalities involved. For example, a direct cremation typically does not involve the preparation of the body, the purchasing of a casket, or transportation costs. This results in much lower costs than a typical burial process.
Delayed cremations are slightly more expensive than direct cremation because the body still needs to be embalmed and kept in a casket until the actual event. However, if you don't plan to bury the ashes at a cemetery, those costs (such as procuring the space and transportation) can be saved during the funeral.
What the process involves
When preparing for a cremation through a funeral home, many of the actions will be carried out by the staff. This includes necessary preparations to the cremation site, preparing a death certificate, and offering items that help the family honor their loved one.
Most funeral homes will offer urns, grave markers, columbarium, and other relevant cremation materials. Speak with a funeral director to learn more about your options.
Funerals can bring forth such a range of emotions: melancholy, grief, regret, relief and nostalgia. As an assistant at a funeral parlour, I am privileged to help people with organising their loved one’s final journey. I have learnt that a good funeral parlour can make the occasion truly commemorative. When I attend funerals for friends, I am saddened to see that so many ceremonies are traditional and joyless. I later find out that the family members simply weren’t aware of options such as a graveside memorial service. I love the fact that one of my tasks involves showing family members various venues and demonstrating what can be done. In this humble little blog, I hope to make it my mission to share some of the ideas – big and small – from the best funerals I have seen. Perhaps it will give you some inspiration at a difficult time. Bless.