Planning a service for a deceased loved one can be a somber experience, and even a bit confusing if you're loved one has been cremated. Here are a few things to consider that should help make the planning process a little easier:
Should You Plan a Funeral or a Memorial?
The body of the deceased is typically present at a funeral, but it's not a requirement, so you'll have to consider whether a funeral is something your friends and family will appreciate without a body present. You can always present your loved one's ashes during a funeral, but you can just as easily plan a memorial service that allows people to remember and mourn your loved one in a more casual and less ceremonial way.
If your family is traditional and has historically held wakes for other loved ones who have passed away, you may be best off planning a traditional funeral by presenting your loved one's ashes in a casket and holding a special ceremony at the service. If your family is more casual and doesn't follow traditional trends, you can plan a more laid back memorial service at the funeral home, where people can freely remember your loved one by saying a few words or telling anecdotal stories about your loved one.
How Will You Represent the Deceased?
Because your loved one's body won't be present for mourners to view, it's important to figure out a way to represent your loved one in another way. There are a variety of options available such as:
Creating a centerpiece for the room using photos of your loved one and their favorite flowers.
Asking everyone to write a poem about your loved one and hanging them on the walls before the service starts.
Adorning the seats with chair covers that feature images of your loved one on them.
Speak with the funeral director to find out what kind of options they have available in-house and to gain some expert insight into customized options that you can put together yourself.
Where Will the Ashes End Up?
You should also consider where the ashes will end up after the service takes place. Is one family member going to take them home and maintain responsibility for them? Will they be buried in a casket like a body would? Or will several relatives want to keep some of the ashes to remember your loved one by? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you prepare for things like transportation, storage, and separation, if necessary, so there isn't any confusion and no mistakes are made while handling the ashes.
For more information about funeral home cremation and available options and services, contact a local funeral home.