Here are the days of celebrating a life well-lived through personalized remembrance events at meaningful locations. You can plan a wide variety of services that represent the uniqueness of someone’s life, such as cremation scattering ceremonies, memorial services, life celebrations, and natural burial graveside services. You can be as involved and creative as you wish.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule protects your consumer rights when making cremation or natural burial arrangements. Service providers are required to hand you a price list at the beginning of your inquiry. To learn about other ways the law protects you, read our article “The Funeral Rule” in our After Death section.
In its purest form natural burial, also called green burial, is a simple burial in the natural landscape using only biodegradable materials. The burial leaves minimal impact on the environment, allowing for a conscientious return to nature. To learn more, read our article “Options for Green Burial” in our After Death section.
Celebrants are skilled professionals that can help you plan a creative service, completely unique to the person who passed away. Whether the ceremony is secular, spiritual, or religious, a celebrant can tell someone’s story in a way that is meaningful to family and friends. To hire a celebrant in your area, visit our Local Resources section.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no legal requirement to embalm, except under a few special circumstances. The embalming process is not eco-friendly and is unnecessary.
Many cremation providers offer you the opportunity to witness the cremation, which you may find to be a healing closure. This means you can watch your loved one enter the facility in a visually sensitive way. You may also choose to wait until the end, when the provider will hand you the ashes in a special container for you to take home.
No matter where someone passes, you can have him or her present for a home funeral. A home funeral is a personal option that allows you to keep someone you love in the comforts of their own home, where family and friends can gather to share final words. To learn more, read our articles “Planning a Home Funeral” and “The Natural Death Care and Home Funeral Process” in our After Death section.
Whether arranging for cremation or natural burial, planning a memorial, or sending flowers, you can reduce the environmental impact of your selections by asking a few questions about a provider’s practice. See our article “Environmental Impact of Death” in our After Death section for more information.
Holistic healing and alternative medicine are continuing to gain acceptance as aids in grieving, both in the medical community and in grief organizations around the country. Acupuncture, yoga, Reiki, massage, and other holistic methods are great ways to promote a restorative mind-body connection. For holistic healing in your area, visit our Local Resources section.
We are rethinking the way we grieve today. We now know it’s healthy for you to process grief and let go at your own pace, in a more personalized way. There is no prescribed way to handle a loss: you may find comfort in keeping someone’s belongings as they were, or carrying an object or memento for as long as you need to heal.