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All the Different Burial Options in 2021 Explained
Jun 24, 2021   11:29 AM
by Karen

There are plenty of burial options you can choose from depending on how you want to preserve the memory of your dearly departed. In this post, we'll take you through all of them. Ultimately, the burial option you pick boils down to the decision that you and your loved ones take. It also depends on the cemetery regulations.

In-ground burial

In-ground burial is best if you want to pick the most traditional cemetery burial method. These burials allow outdoor visitations and also enable the living to pay their respects to the dead in the form of decorations such as flowers. In-ground burials involve caskets alongside memorial tributes.


Cremation options include keeping cremated remains inside an urn, burying the cremated remains in a cemetery, or scattering them. These options are ideal if you're operating on a low budget. There are typically three kinds of cremation services - immediate cremation, funeral service followed by cremation, and memorial service.

Above-ground burial

Above-ground burial options include lawn crypt burials and community mausoleum burials. The former involves four elements - gravesite, casket, memorial, and vault. It's the best option to choose if you want two individuals to be memorialized jointly. The latter option is better if you want the casket secured and protected from coming in contact with the earth. There's also a third above-ground burial option - in a private mausoleum. However, this option is quite expensive.

Some cemeteries require this type of burial especially in areas where the water table is close to the surface.

Natural burial

A natural burial process involves placing the remains of the departed into the earth directly. In this process, no caskets, burial vaults, or embalming fluids are required. If you're on the lookout for the most eco-friendly burial option, this is it. Natural burials also involve digging graves manually as opposed to other burial forms where heavy machinery is used. As a result, it is one of the most affordable burial options. However, cemetery regulations needs to be considered.


Now that you know the different burial options in 2021, we hope you can select one that meets your desires and needs based on your budget and the preferences of your loved ones.


Thanks for reading,


Cremation Urn Materials: What's Available and How are They Different?
Jun 04, 2021   11:46 AM
by Karen

When it comes to buying cremation urns, you'll find a lot of options, which can make the purchasing process confusing for you. In this post, we'll take you through the different materials that cremation urns are made of and how they differ from one another.

Glass and crystal urns

If you want a cremation urn with aesthetic appeal, it's best to opt for a glass and/or crystal urn. Typically hand-blown, these urns are available in a diverse array of patterns and colors. However, you need to wipe down these urns with a glass cleaner and a soft cloth to make them look good consistently.

Ceramic urns

Ceramic is the most popular urn material, and they are available in a diverse array of color combinations. However, you must remember to care for a ceramic urn if you buy one, as ceramic is a material that's quite delicate. We also recommend storing it in a safe place, i.e., where it won't fall to the ground and break.

Wooden urns

Wooden urns typically feature either hardwood or softwood, procured from trees such as oak, mahogany, bamboo, and maple. They look charming and are created very aesthetically. If money is not much of a hassle for you, we recommend purchasing a hardwood urn. However, if you're on a tight budget, you can opt for a more affordable softwood urn.

Metal urns

If durability is your prime concern when shopping for a cremation urn, you should opt for a metal urn. With these urns, you won't have any worries concerning chipping, cracking, or totally breaking. Many modern-day metal urns feature chrome finishes as well, which give them an attractive appearance.

Biodegradable materials 

If you want your urn purchase to be eco-friendly, you should consider an urn made from one or more biodegradable materials. Such urns are especially recommended if you plan to float the remains of a dearly departed in a river or sea.

Another type of urn allows you to put the cremains in a pot that will include a tree.



Thanks for reading,


End of Life Planning Blunders You Need to Know About
Nov 03, 2020   09:47 AM
by Karen

If you have ever wondered about the fulfillment of your wishes after your death, you are not alone. End of life planning is an important part of life plans. According to a recently published article, people who have planned the end of their lives well in advance tend to spend less time in the hospital on average. A sound plan will translate into less stress and anxiety for your loved ones.  In this article, we shall learn how you can protect yourself against these blunders.

 Putting off the end of life conversation for too long

Conversations concerning death make most people uncomfortable, but postponing it is not the answer. It is not an exaggeration to say that you will be doing your loved ones a favor if you communicate it at the earliest. A well thought out end of life plan will prevent a lot of stress, heartache, and uncertainty.

 Having a vague idea about the power of attorney

In simple terms, the General Power of Attorney is a legal document, which authorizes a particular person to represent you in business or legal matters for a specific period of time. An Enduring Power of Attorney, on the other hand, grants these rights to a particular person without the restriction of time. The Enduring Power of Attorney is activated when the person authorizing it is considered to be incapable of making sound decisions. You must be well aware of these subtle nuances.

 Not planning a clear healthcare road map

Thanks to the advancements in modern healthcare, there is now a multitude of options available. Having a well-defined healthcare plan for the end of life situation will save a lot of time and money. It will most likely determine how one will be spending their last days.

 Failing to update end of life choices from time to time

Just like the adage, "Variety is the spice of life," you are sure to undergo many changes in your lifetime. As circumstances change, so will your preferences. It is recommended that you revisit your end of life preferences once every five years.

 Failing to inform the status of debts to the family members

Death does not erase debts. All outstanding debts will be debited from the estate of the deceased. Your family members must be informed about all debts and their statuses to protect them against any unwarranted claims in the future.


I hope this helps to overcome problems at the end of life of you and your loved ones.


 Thanks for reading,


The Difference Between a Funeral Director, Mortician, and Undertaker
Aug 06, 2020   08:48 AM
by Karen

You have probably heard people use the terms funeral director, mortician, and undertaker interchangeably. While these professions all have to do with the funeral industry, they are not all the same.

Here is the difference :

Funeral director

As the name suggests, a funeral director is someone that arranges, manages, and oversees a funeral or a memorial. Part of his job is to provide support to the family of the deceased by taking care of every aspect of the funeral from embalming and dressing the body, placing it in the casket or coffin, and taking care of other logistics such as filing for legal paperwork including death certificates, etc.

Today, “funeral director” is the most commonly used term in the funeral industry.


A mortician is meant to describe someone who is specifically in charge of handling the body and preparing it for the funeral. This means that a mortician is someone who embalms and beautifies a body before the funeral.

Years ago, a mortician was strictly in charge of taking care of the body. However, today, many funeral homes have a funeral director who takes care of logistics and takes care of preparing the body. This is why the terms “funeral director” and “mortician” are often used interchangeably.


You may think that the term “undertaker” comes from being in the business of laying the bodies of the dead six feet under the ground. But this actually has nothing to do with it. Rather, it simply refers to someone who undertakes the task of managing funerals.

This term was commonly used in around the 17th and 18th century, but is now replaced by "funeral director." Basically, “undertaker” was the term used for funeral directors years ago.


Thanks for reading,


The Power of Last Words of Loved Ones
Apr 30, 2020   11:29 AM
by Karen

We hear a lot about the power of the last words spoken by people before their death. You can find a plethora of articles on the internet showing the most popular last words spoken. Numerous books have even been published on the topic.

But do the last words of people spoken on their deathbed hold as much meaning as we want to believe?

Why do we put so much importance on the last words?

One reason last words have been the subject of fascination by many people is that they are words on which people choose to spend their dying breath. Many people, especially those who are especially religious or spiritual, believe that when people are close to death, they have a special insight into the mysteries of the afterlife, or even life itself.

Another reason is that when people are on their deathbed, they are often brutally honest and have no filter, so they tend to say things they really feel or believe in. After all, they have nothing left to lose. Many people view this as the dying person’s way of unburdening themselves of their stresses and guilt, which they may have been holding onto their entire life.

While we tend to put on a lot of meaning to the last words spoken by people, there is also the argument that most times, people who are dying are unable to put together coherent thoughts, and the words they speak are unintelligible and don’t hold as much meaning as we would like to believe. Sometimes, the last words are just ramblings that can be interpreted in multiple ways.

However, for the people who care about the person lying on their deathbed, it can be comforting to interpret their last words in a way that makes the most sense. Often times, these are words that can help people who are grieving find closure and move on from a huge loss.


Thanks for reading,


Will Social Distancing Affect End of Life Planning?
Apr 07, 2020   01:03 PM
by Karen

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is on the rise, the government is taking strict action to deal with the spread of this disease. Not only does this virus cause serious medical complications to those who belong to the vulnerable group, but it also disrupts businesses and traditional practices.

Yes, social distancing is affecting end of life planning

Funeral homes, who already have the training and expertise to prevent the spread of diseases, have to follow additional health and safety measures. As per the directives of the federal and state bodies, it has become mandatory for every individual to practice social distancing.

Every person has to maintain at least six feet apart from other people in the vicinity. As a result, funeral homes have to change the way they provide end of life planning services. At present, not more than 10 people, consisting of close family members of the deceased, can attend the funeral.

Cultural practices and military honors on hold

Another area where social distancing is coming into play when it comes to the end of life planning are the practices followed by different religious cultures. Due to the recent outbreak, funeral homes are asking people to avoid kissing or touching the bodies of the deceased who died from COVID-19.

These agencies are asking individuals to refrain from traditional cultural practices during the pandemic such as large religious ceremonies. At the same time, funerals homes are canceling post-cremation and reception ceremonies.

Some people are delaying the burial services until the government lifts social distancing directives. Pre-planning is also on the rise due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 victims.

The officials of Veterans Affairs (VA) also provided clarity on military funeral honors - “committal services and the rendering of military funeral honors will discontinue until further notice” . As per the latest directive, funeral homes won’t be conducting these services, until they receive additional information from VA. Also, families are opting out of interring the deceased, until the government lifts social distancing orders.

It is difficult in this time of pandemic, but also important that we all follow the directives set in place nationally, and especially locally, so that we all may thwart the spread of this disease.


Thanks for reading,


Common Scams You Should Avoid After Losing a Loved One
Jul 25, 2019   10:39 AM
by Karen

When a loved one dies, there is no doubt that it is an overwhelming experience. You have to deal with your emotions while having to make funeral arrangements and taking care of financial matters.

Knowing what a challenging time it is for people who are grieving, there are some who take advantage of what you are going through by trying to scam you. They know that you are in a vulnerable state, and they try to trick you into falling for these scams. Make sure you do not fall victim to these common after-death scams:

  • Medicare scam

Often times, scammers call you or send an email asking for the birth date and Social Security number of the deceased on the pretext that their Medicare insurance information has to be updated. Their real intention is identity theft so make sure that you do not fall for this scam.

  • Fake life insurance policy

You may be contacted by scammers who claim that your loved one was behind on their life insurance policy payments, asking you to complete their payment so that you can be paid out a huge sum of money. Before you transfer the money, make sure you have documents proving that your loved one really did have said insurance.

  • Fake IRS calls

Scammers sometimes pretend to be IRS employees and aggressively nag you on the phone saying that the deceased owes tax money. They may even threaten legal action if you do not pay. The IRS has announced that it never contacts people by phone and asks for money in this manner.

  • Long lost relatives

Finally, there are those scammers who claim to be long, lost relatives. These people come out of the blue after death and claim that they are owed inheritance. Make sure always to confirm their identity first. And, of course, check the Last Will and Testament with a lawyer.


Thanks for reading,


4 Reasons for Publishing Obituaries
Jul 09, 2019   11:15 AM
by Karen

Obituaries have always been an important funeral tradition for years. Initially, newspapers would publish obituaries free of cost as they were considered news stories. However, today, most newspapers charge a fee. Of course, many funeral homes can publish obituaries for free on their website too.

Obituaries may seem like a thing of the past, but there are many benefits to acknowledging the death of a loved one in print. 

  • To honor the memory of the person who has died

Publishing an obituary is a great way to honor the memory of the person who has died. It shows that they are loved and missed and also shares important details about their lives and the kind of person they were. Details like name, date of birth, date of death, survivors, and their accomplishments are usually included in obituaries.

  • To inform others in your community about your loss

When you publish an obituary you are informing other people in your community about your loss in an effective, efficient manner. This way, you save lots of time as you don’t have to call up each one individually. Once informed, they can reach out to you to offer their condolences and prayers.

  • It can help you understand your own loss better

Publishing an obituary can sometimes help you accept your own loss and understand it better. It can be difficult to come to terms that someone you care about has passed away, and seeing the news of their death in a tangible manner can help you come to terms with reality. Besides, writing an obituary brings back fond memories of your loved ones to remember them by.

  • To record history

When you have the news of your loved one’s death in print, it can prove to be very valuable in the years to come so that future generations know about this person and the kind of life they lived.


Thanks for reading,


4 Common Cremation Myths
May 30, 2019   04:46 PM
by Karen

Cremation is a common practice that many people choose over burial to say goodbye to the worldly bodies of their loved ones. However, despite its popularity, it is still shrouded with misconceptions and many people believe myths about it that are far from the truth.

If you or a loved one is considering cremation after death, then you should know that these common myths below are not the truth:

  • The body will have to be lit on fire

Many people tend to believe that in a cremation, the body is directly lit on fire. However, in reality, the body is kept in a specially-designed furnace where flames are used to produce extreme heat. The furnace, also known as a retort, reaches temperatures as high as 1800° F. As a result of this intense heat, the body is reduced to gas and bone fragments, which are then converted to ashes.

  • You can get someone else’s ashes

People often fear that they will be mistakenly given the ashes of another person instead of their loved one. However, in order to prevent this, there are strict laws in place which every crematory authority must follow. So you can be confident that such mix-ups will not happen to you.

  • Cremation means no traditional funeral

A common misconception is that if you have a cremation, you cannot have a traditional funeral. Many people choose to have a funeral or memorial service with the urn present after the cremation process. It all depends on you or the wishes of your loved ones. A body can also be present at a funeral prior to cremation.

  • Scattering ashes is illegal

While some public places do forbid the scattering of ashes, meaning that you cannot scatter ashes anywhere you want, there are plenty of places, both public and private, that allow it. Make sure that you consult the authorities first before doing so.


Thanks for reading,


Why You Should Consider a Memorial Bench to Honor Your Loved One
May 23, 2019   09:25 AM
by Karen


Death is a painful truth that we all have to accept one day. A loved one leaving for heavenly abode creates a void in our lives that can never be filled. While there is nothing a grieving family member can do to reunite with their deceased loved one, they can pay tribute to the departed soul by getting a memorial bench placed in a public or private place in their memory.

Available in a range of styles, memorial benches can be placed in parks, gardens or cemeteries. Many people get a memorial bench installed close to their deceased loved one’s burial site. Memorial benches remind people of the deceased person, ensuring that their legacy lives on. Some popular materials used to make memorial benches are wood, metal, stone, and synthetic materials. 

The best way to honor a loved one is by creating a remembrance product that is valued not only by you but also by other community members. A memorial bench can not only help you remember your loved one but can also contribute to the community, providing community members and their visitors a peaceful refuge where they can rest and contemplate life. 

Passersby heaving a sigh of relief after resting on the bench for a while will be the best tribute to the departed soul.

When placing a memorial bench in a public place, make sure to learn and abide by regulations. If you want to bury ashes under the bench, consult local authorities as many cities prohibit people from doing so. When ordering a bench with a plaque, consider the following things:

  • The size and design of the bench
  • Your budget
  • The spot where you want to place the bench.

Make sure the plaque is durable. Many manufacturers supply as many plaques as their clients order. Even if your supplier is unable to deliver multiple plaques, you can opt for additional pieces at a later date.


Thanks for reading,


Glossary of Common Terms Used in Wills and Trusts
Jan 31, 2019   10:08 AM
by Karen


It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when dealing with legalese. After all, most of us don’t use these terms in our day to day lives. Lawyers tend to write documents in legalese because it makes it easier for other lawyers to understand what they’re saying.

Have a look at these common terms used in last wills as well as trusts so that you don’t feel quite as lost the next time you have one of these legal documents in front of you.

  1. Testator – The person who makes the will as well as signs her or his name is called the testator. The word testatrix is sometimes used if the person making the will if female.
  2. Beneficiary – Legal documents usually have people who inherit money or other property. The person who inherits these things is known as the beneficiary.
  3. Bequeath – This is another word for 'give'.
  4. Heir – Each state has different laws that state how your property and other assets will be divided in the event of your death. Heirs are the people who will inherit your property and assets from you. Usually a person’s heirs are their spouse and children. If the person didn’t have a spouse or children other relatives are then considered.
  5. Intestate – People who do not leave a will behind specifying what is to be done with their property and other assets are intestates. The state intestacy laws will then be followed to decide who those people's heirs are.
  6. Executor – An executor is a person who executes your will—a person who is in charge of distributing your estate according to your will after you pass. Executrix is sometimes used for a female executor.

There are many other terms used in wills as well as trusts. However, these terms are the most commonly used ones.


Thanks for reading,


What You Need to Know About Remarriage after the Death of Your Partner
Jan 29, 2019   10:20 AM
by Karen


Although it may take some time to move on after the death of a loved one, it eventually happens. Many people find that they have a sense of guilt before they move on or when they move on, preventing them from ever really living their life again. This can be quite unhealthy for you in the long haul.

It is important to understand that after the death of your spouse, finding someone else isn’t wrong. It doesn’t mean you are betraying them. You have the right to carry on with your life and find someone who loves you for who you are. There is no right time to get married again after you have lost your spouse. It is crucial that you do it at your own pace, in your own time without any external pressure.

Here are some important things you should consider before making the decision:

  • Make sure you are emotionally and mentally ready

You need to be prepared for a new marriage mentally and emotionally. After all, you will be the one who experiences the most change. Before making any decision, take the time to figure out where you stand and what you are looking for in a relationship. Understand that it is unfair and unhealthy to bring your unresolved issues and attachments from your previous marriage into your new one, unless you and your new partner can openly speak about it.

  • Make sure the kids are ready

If you have kids from your previous marriage, you need to consider their feelings also. Your kids may not be ready to welcome a new member to the family, and often kids feel that when their parent remarries, the new spouse is trying to replace their deceased parent. You need to help your kids understand this isn’t the case.

  • Consider the changes it will bring into your home

Remarriage not only brings changes to your personal life, but your home and family traditions as a whole. You need to make sure that you are ready to welcome such changes.


Thanks for reading,


What Is Embalming And Why Is It Done?
Oct 16, 2018   05:27 PM
by Karen

Many funeral homes offer a service performed on the body of a loved one who has passed away known as embalming. It is the process of preserving a body after death so as to delay decomposition. It also involves disinfecting the body and making it visually appealing for visitation by applying make-up.

For many years humans have been practicing embalming in various forms. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians practiced it, and we still continue this today in different cultures and religion, although the forms may vary.

There are two main types of embalming, both differing in process. The first is called arterial embalming, where the blood in the body is replaced with certain embalming fluids or solutions. Blood will be removed through the veins, while the embalming solutions enter the body through the arteries. These solutions are usually a mixture of formaldehyde, ethanol, glutaraldehyde, phenol, ethanol, and water.

The other type of embalming is known as cavity embalming. Here, a small incision is made through which the natural fluids found in the abdomen and chest are drained. The embalming solution replaces the natural fluids, thus preventing early decomposition of the body.

Before the embalming process starts in both cavity and arterial embalming, the body is thoroughly washed with a disinfectant solution. To prevent any stiffness of muscles and joints, the body is also massaged.

Why is embalming done?

There are three main reasons why embalming is done:


The first reason for embalming is to preserve the body of the deceased so that it can be displayed longer for visitation, or if the burial is several days away.


Embalming restores the body of the deceased, making it more visually appealing.

General hygiene

Embalming is done so as to protect anyone coming in contact with the body, as well as to prevent any odor before burial.


Thanks for reading,



Why Funerals Are Significant For The Living
Aug 28, 2018   11:58 AM
by Karen


Funerals are an important ritual when a loved one has passed away. Many argue that there is no point in holding such elaborate rituals when someone is already dead, but what these people do not understand is that funerals are for the living, not for the dead. It is necessary that we have a positive reception of funerals so we can learn to respect and appreciate the role they play in our understanding of life and death.

Below we discuss a few points to help establish why funerals are for the living.

  • Funerals provide us with a physical point of departure

Funerals provide us with the proper time and space to say goodbye to our loved ones who have passed. This is one of the most important reasons why we have funerals – they serve as a ritual that helps us acknowledge that someone is no longer with us.

  • Funerals help us move on with our lives

Since funerals provide us with a chance to say goodbye to those people we have lost, they also allow us to move on with our lives without them. Once we acknowledge our loss, it becomes easier to move on and start our lives without them.

  • Funerals allow us to reach out to family and friends

Another important role of funerals is that they serve as a time and place for family, relatives, and friends to lend their support to each other and to those who are grieving. Since a lot of people from the community come together, it becomes easier to feel strengthened even amid loss.

  • Funerals allow us time and space for reflection

As living beings who go on with our daily lives, we hardly think of profound topics such as life and death. However, it is important to reflect on these, so we know just how precious life is. Funerals allow us this time for reflection.


Thanks for reading,


Why Do We Bury The Dead In Caskets?
May 31, 2018   12:21 PM
by Karen


It’s common practice for Christians to bury the dead in caskets, six feet underground. But have you ever wondered why? How did this funeral ritual develop? How did we bury the dead before the invention of caskets? Let’s take a look at a brief history of caskets and coffins.

Burial is among the oldest forms of funeral ritual in the world, and many cultures across the globe adopt it. In fact, it can be traced back to about 600,000 years ago, when the Neanderthals, living in Eurasia, used to bury their dead in shallow pits on the ground with a few of their personal items.

Fast forward to 3150 B.C, and you will find that the Egyptians were using advanced burial techniques to preserve their dead even during that time. It’s no wonder archaeologists today still find Egyptian mummies dating back to thousands of years, laid in decorated wooden or stone containers. Then, it was about 700 B.C, when the Celtic people in Europe started the practice of laying their dead in burial boxes constructed from flat stones instead of burying them directly in the earth.

Adopting modern encasements

From this progression, it is clear that as man evolved, burial practices and methods evolved also. Earlier, people did not cover the body before burying them. They believed that the body should be united with the earth once again. As time passed, boxes were made to keep the bodies in and this evolved to be what we know today as coffins and caskets.

The word “coffin” was coined by the French, which literally translates to “basket” or “cradle”.  The word “casket”, on the other hand, was first used by undertakers in North America. When the civil war broke out, coffins were produced in bulks since so many soldiers died every day and this greatly catapulted the casket industry to where it is today.


Thanks for reading,


Things The Bereaved Don’t Want To Hear
May 26, 2018   10:55 AM
by Karen


Losing a loved one is difficult. The experience is more difficult when people come up to you and start saying all the wrong things. If you want to comfort someone who is grieving, here are the four things you should never say to them.

"Everything happens for a reason."

This is a very common phrase that people often tell others during hard times. You may think that it may bring them some sort of comfort, but more often than not, it does exactly the opposite. When someone we love dies, we go through an overwhelming feeling of loss and grief, and we simply do not want to hear that losing someone you love “happens for a reason”, especially when the reason is unknown.

"I know exactly how you feel."

When someone is grieving, the most important thing is to let them know that you are there for them. It may seem like the right thing to say, but don’t tell them you know and understand exactly what they are going through, because you don’t. Yes, you may have lost a loved one too, but you can never know just how deeply someone is feeling a loss.

"What can I do for you?"

Don’t ask a grieving person what you can do for them, or to tell you how you can help. Instead, just do what you see needs to be done. They are already in a difficult place and asking them to reach out for your help only puts more responsibility on their shoulders.

"At least…"

It’s easy to say things like “At least he/she had a peaceful death”, “At least he/she lived a long life”, or “At least they are in a better place now.” Even though your intention is to make them feel better and comfort them, statements like these rarely do the work. No amount of “At least” can take the pain away.


Thanks for reading,