We have been honouring and memorialising our dead for centuries. The most common and obvious way is to erect a memorial stone in a churchyard or cemetery? But nowadays there are a wide variety of different ways you can honour your dead loved one. You can incorporate cremated remains into a tattoo, have them made into fine pieces of jewellery, take casts of your loved ones hands or even create a lasting death mask. The last one may be a little out there for some but it can be done and is a practice that is on the increase in some parts of the world. Finger printing is also something that is on the increase. There is now a company out there who will inprint a loved ones finger print onto a piece of jewellery or desk stationary!
When someone dies they don’t really die because they live on in our memories and in our tributes. Another practice that people are embracing is memorial jewellery made from the hair of the deceased. Mainly a Victorian tradition that fazed out with time but is now making a comeback.
All of these memorial options are available, speak to your funeral director to discuss all possibilities but also you can find a lot of these more specialised memorial options online. Some do come at a cost that goes without saying. But some you’d be surprised how affordable they are
Ever since we started burying people corpses have always been buried with personal possessions and keepsakes. The ancient Egyptians where famous for it. But now that most people are cremated rather than buried there are a lot more restrictions on what can go into a coffin when a body is to be cremated.
Providing your not burying someone in an environmentally friendly woodland cemetery then you can bury anyone in anything with anything. Eco friendly cemeteries understandably have restrictions on embalming and none biodegradable materials. If your being buried in a ‘normal’ cemetery then anything goes.
Cremation on the other hand is different. You cannot cremate a coffin which has glass, pottery or ceramics in it. You can’t cremate a coffin that contains a battery. Batteries explode and glass shatters. Potentially causing huge amounts of damage to a cremator. Clothing is ok as long as the deceased is not dressed entirely in rubber or leather. Those products release harmful and toxic gases which are harmful to the environment. Plastic is ok and so is some metal work such has jewellery. If you are ever unsure as to what can or cannot go into a coffin then ask your funeral director. They will know the answer and be able to advise you accordingly.
Green and natural burials have always been around. Ever since we started burying people they have always been there. It’s only since the production of coffins and caskets along with the practice of embalming that natural or green burials have dropped off slightly. However they are making a comeback. Funeral homes now are offering their clients eco friendly green and natural burials.
But what is involved exactly?? Well firstly you have to look at our own circumstances to see if a natural burial is for you? Because natural burial does not involve a coffin or casket or embalming so therefore you need to take these into consideration. If you are wanting to say your last goodbyes in a chapel of rest then embalming may be required?
With a truly natural green burial then the deceased cannot be embalmed or have any type of chemical treatment as that goes against the whole ethos of an environmentally friendly burial. Also if your a wanting a coffin or casket then depending on what it is made of then the natural option may be off limits also?
Most natural burials do not have coffins or caskets unless they are made from an environmentally sourced, biodegradable material? With a natural burial the deceased is wrapped in a shroud again made from a biodegradable material and buried in a grave without a coffin or casket. Mother Earth is then left to do her job and within weeks, months or even years the deceased is nothing more that bone fragments.
There are some burial sites that bury the body in a compost that rots down the flesh and bone so that there is nothing left at all and the deceased is absorbed into the earth helping nourish it. When discussing your burial options talk
to your funeral director who will be able to give you the best advice possible to help you put together the perfect fitting tribute. The funeral director is there to help you with these decisions. Don’t be afraid to speak to them and let them know exactly
what you want.
We’ve all been at a funeral when the service ends and the the minister or whoever is officiating does the committal and closes the curtains around the coffin at a crematorium. But what happens after that? Where does the coffin go? Well after the curtains close the coffin remain on the catafalque until the chapel clears of mourners and the doors are shut.
Depending on what type of crematorium your in will depend on what happens next? Sometimes the coffin will disappear into the floor instead of a curtain closing? But sometimes the coffin will remain in situ and a curtail will close around it. Either way after that happens the coffin is taken into the cremation room and after all the checks have been made the coffin is loadedinto the cremation machine. About an hour and half later you have ashes. Or cremated remains!
I got asked the other day “What part of the job do you hate?” Well hate is such a strong word and one I don’t like to use. And if I’m honest there’s very little about my line of work that I hate or even dislike. However! If I’m pushed then there is one thing that I do dislike and that’s being called out in the middle of the night especially in the winter. There’s nothing worse than being woken up in the middle of the night in the first place but to then have to go out into the cold is horrible. As I e discussed before the funeral business is a 24 hour business that never stops! Funeral directors can be called out any anytime day or night. So there you have it. The one aspect of my job that I like the least! Being called out in the middle of the night!