Planning a funeral service can be a very difficult process for families who have just lost a loved one. But it’s important to provide those who are grieving with a supportive environment in which they can begin to find closure, say goodbye, and come to terms with the loss. Gathering with friends and family gives everyone the opportunity to connect, share memories, offer words of sympathy, and create a lasting network of comfort and support as they start the journey toward healing.
There are different services that you can choose for a loved one’s burial, depending upon your individual needs and preferences:
- Visitation, also called a viewing, wake, or gathering, allows family and friends to view the departed loved one and say goodbye or offer their support and sympathy to the bereaved.
- Funerals, memorial services, or celebrations of life can take place at the funeral home, a church, outside, or some other venue. The service is a ceremony, which serves to celebrate, honor, and remember the life of the deceased. Whether traditional or unique, both the visitation and the funeral service can be personalized to reflect the individuality of your loved one.
- Graveside or committal services are held at the cemetery, and allow family and friends to be present as their loved one is transferred to his or her final disposition through ground burial.
The biggest misconception about cremation is that there can't be a funeral service or visitation. This is absolutely not the case, and we encourage you to consider holding a funeral service prior to cremation or a memorial service after cremation to celebrate the life of the deceased. There are many options open to you when it comes to honoring your loved one's life. After the cremation and services, there are a variety of choices for your loved one's final disposition:
- Interment means that you'll bury or entomb your loved one's cremated remains. This can be in a family plot, a memorial site, or a cremation niche.
- Graveside services are similar to those celebrated alongside a traditional ground burial, in which loved ones are present at the burial of the cremated remains and honor the deceased through memorial prayers or other meaningful tributes.
- Scattering allows you to spread your loved one's cremated remains in a memorial garden, over water, or across another meaningful site. You also can choose to scatter some of the cremated remains and retain the rest in an urn for interment or another form of disposition.
- Placing cremated remains in multiple urns allows family members who are separated by distance to each feel the comfort of having their loved one's final resting place in a nearby location.