A memorial tree is an eco-friendly way to remember your loved one. Seeing the tree grow will remind you of your loved one's presence. But you should plan the ceremony carefully so that it remains etched in the mind of the guests attending the ceremony.
You should carefully think about the following aspects before the ceremony.
The species of the plant
You can choose your loved one's favorite plant as the memorial tree. But take care to see that it suits your climate, soil and geographical location. It should be easy to nurture. It should be long-lasting. You may not be able to spend too much time on nurturing the tree. If the tree produces beautiful blooms then it is certain to give you a pleasant feeling. You can also select a plant on the basis of its symbolic meaning.
The location of the tree
Where are you going to plant the tree? Does your private garden have enough space for the tree? Is there a nature park or forest trail where it can be planted? You can also purchase a memorial tree in a memorial park. If you plant a tree in your own garden you can watch it grow and nurture it well.
Planning the memorial service
You can use the deceased's ashes in an urn to plant the tree. The urns are usually eco-friendly. The ashes can be scattered or buried under the tree. You may also include the deceased's memorabilia during the service. Read out a poem or letter written by the deceased at the service. You can also give out tokens to people attending the memorial. A personalized plaque can also be placed near the tree.
You can conduct the memorial service and tree planting yourself or contact professionals for the service.
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Finding the right words for headstone inscriptions in a way that commemorates your lost loved one is difficult. Even if you have a way with words, doing justice to the memory of the person and summing up their life in an inscription is a heavy burden. That is why we bring you a few ideas for headstone inscriptions that can be the right tribute for your lost loved one.
Using life references
This category involves inscriptions acknowledging the roles that person has played in their life. These can also cover personal sentiments that you want to express.
● Here lies a beloved father, husband, and son
● Here lies a policeman who served her country well
● His presence made the world a richer place
This is an informal statement that can either be a direct quote from your loved one or someone else:
● "Live to the fullest, for life is all too short."
● “Love is the greatest gift of all.”
● "I hate to leave you all behind, but we'll meet again one day."
These can be Bible or other scriptures’ verses that turn out to be great marker sayings:
● "They can no longer die; for they are like the angels." - Luke 20:36
● "Where, O death, is your victory: where, O death, is your sting?" - 1 Corinthians 15:55
● "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live." - John 11:25
It's not easy to decide the right inscription for the headstone of a loved one. If you want to protect your family and friends from the responsibility of selecting your epitaph, you can consider what you want your headstone to say and let them know beforehand. Just be sure that you choose carefully as this will be your last impression.
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KarenThe traditional burial is expensive and can be harmful to the environment. This has resulted in the popularity of green burial.
How is green burial different from traditional burial?
A green burial eliminates many of the harmful process involved in a traditional burial. The green burial uses fewer resources by skipping some steps involved in conventional burial. The green burial does not involve procedures like embalming. Skipping embalming prevents the use of chemicals and hastens the decomposition process. Green burials also avoid the use of concrete vaults and non-biodegradable burial containers.
Benefits of green burial.
Green burial is beneficial for the environment. It leaves behind a lesser carbon footprint. Skipping vaults, coffins and embalming can reduce funeral expenses considerably. In many cases, bodies are wrapped in sheets made of biodegradable materials like cotton. This reduces cost and helps in the decomposition of the body. The green burial can be carried out in a conservation park. Here families are given an option of planting various plants, shrubs and trees on the grave of their loved ones.
If there are no green cemeteries near your residence then you can take simple steps for the benefit of the environment. You can choose coffins made with harvested wood and organic liners instead of concrete vaults. Burial planning experts can help you to plan a green burial. A green burial gives you the satisfaction of returning to your maker without harming the environment.
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William Shakespeare's skull was stolen from his tomb! Who did it is still a mystery, but people believe it has something to do with the epitaph which the Bard himself wrote. The idea of the lyrics are:
"Hey, good friend,
For the sake of Jesus, don’t dig here.
Anyone who touches my bones will have a curse,
and those who don't will be blessed."
Grave robbers were a great menace during Shakespeare's times. The writer was afraid that someone will try to steal his bones. This worry prompted him to pen his epitaph, which was inscribed on his tombstone.
Here Are Some Interesting Facts About Epitaphs
In all its essence, an epitaph can be considered as a message from the dead to their visitors.
The WOW Epitaphs
Woodmen of the World was an American insurance company that used a unique branding technique. It gave a free gravestone and $100 to the nearest relative of the departed to put the company logo on the stone. The graves of the members of the company carry the word, 'WOW.'
Meaning Of Motifs Alongside Epitaphs
The symbols carved on the gravestones have hidden meanings.
Expression Of Love And Commitment
Rather than a tradition, most people like to see an epitaph as a token of love and adoration for the departed soul.
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In much of the western world, funerals are somber events attended by traditionally dressed people in black attire. Over the years, it has become an unwritten rule that anyone who attends a funeral must be dressed in black, especially in the U.S. and other western countries.
Why is black so heavily associated with death and mourning? Historians trace this tradition back to the Roman Empire when people would wear a dark-colored toga called a toga pulla when attending funerals. The dark color choice was to show that they were mourning the passing of their loved one.
This funeral tradition soon spread to England during the medieval periods. In fact, during the Victorian era, women whose husbands had passed were even expected to wear black attire for an entire year to express their grief. For a period of three years after that, they were allowed to wear gray and purple clothing – color choices to show that they were in “half-mourning”. Queen Victoria was also known to wear black when she attended funerals as a sign of mourning and respect for the deceased.
During the Industrial Revolution, this practice became more widespread when the working classes started wearing black at funerals. Soon, the color black's association with death and funerals spread to other western countries such as the U.S. and Canada.
Do other cultures wear black at funerals also?
Considering its history, wearing black at funerals is a practice that is closely associated with Christianity and Roman Catholicism. It is not a universal color that represents death and mourning, despite its popularity in the west.
Many cultures in different parts of the world, especially those of Buddhist and Hindu faith, instead wear white to funerals. For them, the color white represents innocence and purity.
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Have you ever seen coins left on a grave? Maybe you saw it on the grave of a friend or a family member and were wondering what it means. Should you take it home or leave it as it is? Here, we discuss the tradition of leaving coins on graves and what significance they hold.
Placing coins on a grave is a common practice among military members. If you see coins on the grave of a soldier, it means that someone had visited and paid their respects to them. Leaving the coin is a way of letting the family of the fallen know that somebody, usually another military member, came by to honor their memory and pay respects.
Did you also know that different coins have different meanings? Here is a breakdown that is easy to follow:
A penny simply means that someone, not necessarily a person who has any relations with the deceased, visited and simply wanted to honor their service and thank them and their family.
A nickel at the grave means that the person who left it and the deceased trained together at boot camp.
A dime signifies that the person who left it at the grave and the deceased served together in some capacity.
A quarter at a grave means that the person who left it was with the deceased when they passed away.
For years service men and women have used this tradition to pay their respects to the people with whom they trained or served. But sometimes, non-military people may also leave coins at graves as a way of showing their respect to a loved one who has passed. Besides, in olden days, the coins were said to hold good luck for the deceased in the afterlife.
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Death is inevitable. The emotional pain that comes with a loved one's death hurts more than any other kind of pain. There are several ways in which a person can honor a loved one's death, with the celebration of life service being one of them.
What is a celebration of life service? It is an opportunity for the family and friends of the deceased to pay tribute to the lost soul in simple terms. It is an opportunity to say goodbye in a unique way that the deceased would have enjoyed, and so do the guests. One of the best examples is a scene from the movie “P.S. I Love You” where Holly celebrates her husband Gerry's death, in a way that he loves.
While a funeral is a celebration wherein you follow certain etiquettes, a celebration of life service is a joyful event. The behavior that is considered inappropriate at a funeral may be considered acceptable at the celebration of life service. There are no rules here, except that it is based on the request of the loved one who passed or the deceased's personality.
A celebration of life is mostly held after the cremation or burial, or even at the first anniversary of the person’s death. It is mostly held in a church or the funeral home. But more often it is celebrated at home, or an outdoor venue, a park or a garden, or even a rented facility. The location depends on the passion or the interest of the deceased, or those remembering the deceased.
The celebration of life service is less traditional when compared to a funeral. Based on how the celebration is planned, you may need to wear suitable attire; mostly funeral attire or casuals. You may also send flowers to the deceased person’s family as a sign of respect. There are no steadfast rules in the celebration of life services, but when you attend one, it is vital to keep in mind that a family has lost a loved one.
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From the ancient traditions of mummification to celebrations of life today, funerals have come a long way. The way we care for the dead and say our final goodbyes has definitely been subject to the evolution of socio-cultural as well as economic changes.
Funerals in the early years
Many of the most common funeral traditions in western culture today originate from the 19th century, during the Victorian era. In fact, it was Queen Victoria herself who started wearing black to mourn the passing of Prince Albert, and the color soon came to be associated with grieving and mourning.
Towards the end of the Victorian era, the Chapel of Rest was introduced as a funeral tradition. As people became more aware and less superstitious, and concerns regarding hygiene became more widespread, the body of the deceased was kept at the Chapel of Rest, rather than at home. Friends and family members who wish to view the body and say their final goodbyes to their loved one could do so in the chapel.
As the years progressed, the role of undertakers grew in importance. Initially, woodworkers and carpenters, who had the skills to make coffins, were the undertakers. With time, undertakers took on more roles, including handling and preparation of the body, transportation, as well as organizing the funeral or memorial service.
The 21st century saw a shift in the way the dead were cared for. Due to the millions of lives lost in the First World War and bodies not returned to families, communal mourning and memorials instead of traditional funeral services became very common.
Today, there is a growing trend to hold celebrations of life rather than traditional funerals. Pre-planned funerals, personalized funerals, and memorials are popular choices.
While grief is still a very important factor, people choose to put more of their focus on the life that their loved one had lived, and celebrate and honor their memory.
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A mausoleum burial is a great alternative to the usual underground burial for those who can afford the additional costs. Put simply- a mausoleum is a tomb or chamber that has been built specifically for the purpose of laying one or more people to rest.
Two main types of mausoleums
A public mausoleum is a large building that has been built to house the remains of many people. They are kept dry and clean at all times and are extremely well-maintained. Family members and friends are free to visit, and it offers a convenient and dignified way to be remembered after death.
A private mausoleum is a mausoleum that is built only for you and your family, so it houses the remains of only family members. This above-ground burial option allows easy and private access for family members and friends who may be grieving. Usually, the remains are placed inside a casket, which is then placed inside the mausoleum. It is usually the final resting place for members of your family.
Benefits of a mausoleum burial
Today, a mausoleum burial is a great option, especially in highly-populated urban areas where there is very little land for new burial plots. Apart from this, here are some other benefits of this above-ground burial option.
You are free to visit your loved ones when you miss them and wish to be closer to them. Unlike cemeteries, you are free to visit in a private and secured area where you are free to grieve as you want.
A mausoleum protects the remains of your loved ones and keeps it safe regardless of the weather or any other kind of external risks.
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Although an in-ground/below-ground burial on a single plot is the most common type of burial, there are many other burial options available today. Where and how to bury a loved one or even yourself is a very personal decision, and it is important that you are aware of all the options available to you.
Here are the different types of burial options you may have –
In-ground burial, also known as below-ground burial, is the most common choice. It is usually accompanied by a casket that is lowered and buried 6 feet into the ground. This is great if you prefer a traditional cemetery burial. You have the option of choosing between a single plot, companion plots (usually preferred by couples), or a family plot. There might also be options for cremated remains to be buried in designated plots.
If you prefer to have your remains or the remains of your loved ones entombed above ground level, you can choose above-ground burial.
A mausoleum is a public building that has been designed to house the remains of people in caskets or vaults instead of being buried underground. You have to purchase space for the casket/vault, and you can be guaranteed that the building will be secured, clean, and dry at all times. Visitations are allowed.
A private mausoleum is just like a community mausoleum, but only for a singular family. It offers privacy and utmost security, and family members can visit anytime they want.
A lawn crypt is very similar to a private mausoleum, in that it is a private above-ground burial space, usually in your own property. However, instead of being built for an entire family, it is usually for one person or a couple who wish to be buried together.
This is a structure like a mausoleum but designed for cremated remains. Some religious organizations and churches might have one available for members’ remains to be securely interred on the property.
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