Americans Trading Caskets For Urns

Funeral CasketToday most Americans are trading the tradition of a casket for burial and opting for a cremation urn to memorialize a loved one forever. The urn provides family members with a part of someone they cared for forever. It can be passed on for generations. Urns For AshesThe urn represents a significant symbol – the final resting place for a person who meant so much to everyone he or she touched. Whether it’s the centerpiece of a room or placed on a mantel or another meaningful place, family members can select an urn that is quite elegant or matches the deceased one’s style for a way to honor and remember the person.

                More Then Half of All Americans Now Choose Cremation
                                Making Cremation The New Tradition

When choosing between a burial or cremation, loved ones are faced with the many pros and cons of each option. However, the benefits of choosing cremation and an urn are plentiful. In fact, it’s becoming the most popular option for numerous reasons. First and foremost, a cremation is a more cost-effective solution, especially for those who have limited funds but still want to honor a life well lived and the true meaning of their lives. The cost of an urn and cremation is much less than a cemetery plot, burial and casket, and it still recognizes the significance of the person and their life. Additionally, an urn is more eco-friendly. Due to its smaller stature, it takes less material to make. The casket remains in the ground forever, which doesn’t help the environment. Cemeteries are slowly filling up, which will eventually cause a shortage of areas for burial spaces. A cremation urn eliminates all of this. This allows families to utilize the vessel as a centerpiece or focal point in a room and complement their tastes. Another pro of choosing an urn is that the person is with their family. This alleviates the need for the person to commute to the cemetery to visit with a loved one, which is beneficial for those who are busy and still want to be close. Family will always be able to be close, no matter what their schedule. It’s also emotionally difficult for many people to visit a cemetery, but cremation alleviates this fear and unpleasant feeling.

Funeral Urns


People aren’t limited whenever they purchase an urn, whether they select one prior to their passing or designate an individual to take on this responsibility. Firstly, a wide variety of materials are available to select from such as stone, wood, metal and ceramic. Some vessels are even biodegradable for those who choose to return to the earth. They come in various styles but all have an inner chamber of at least 225 cubic inches, this allows the urn to hold all of the ashes of an adult. Urns that are smaller are called keepsake or sharing urns. They vary dramatically in style and size. Even smaller is cremation jewelry, this style of jewelry holds just a pinch of ashes.
Families may opt for other types of urns that are meant to solely scatter the ashes and may be used for other purposes. Some scattering urns are specifically designed for individuals to spread the ashes through the air. Once they’re no longer used to store the ashes, they may be recycled since many of them are compromised of biodegradable materials. Birdhouse urns store the ashes, and then convert into a birdhouse that acts as a memorial and provides a home for wildlife.
Obviously, nobody wants to think of a loved one dying, but an urn may help to comfort the person by allowing him or her to act out his or her loved ones wishes. It lets the individual remain close to family and be a part of them for always. The urn helps the person to cope and even be with him or her forever.
While it’s a difficult decision to make, Cremation Solutions wants to help comfort the family and fulfill the deceased one’s wishes. We know losing someone who is close to you is difficult enough without having any added stress. That’s why we work with individuals to find the ideal urn for their future resting place. Whether we work with the individual or their family, we strive to find them the best solution to meet their needs and desires. We’re here to answer questions regarding urns and discuss all of the options. Call or email us today with questions or to schedule a meeting to discuss the available options in person.

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Ideas For Pet Funerals

Funerals For Dogs

Pet parents face some of the most challenging days after their furry family members pass on. If you are one of the many people that is going through this very trying time, know that your grief is understandable and expected. Today, many people view their pets more like children than animals living in their homes. There is nothing wrong with this. However, it is important to recognize just how challenging a time it can be when a loved pet dies. What can you do in these times to get the support you need and make plans for saying goodbye.

Recognize Your Need to Grieve

Miss You...

Miss You…

At the heart of this process is the need for your emotions to run through the grieving process. Every person in your family, even those that may seem to be fine or seem to be unwilling to admit their loss, will need to grieve. The change in your family dynamic is real and it will never be the same. For all of these reasons, pet parents need to first step back and realize that it is okay to cry and mourn the loss. And, second, it is okay to do this together as a family. That can be very helpful to many parents and bring families even closer together.

Paying Homage and Remembering

But, just knowing it is okay to be sad isn’t enough. What else can you do to ensure that this pet, who was the love of your life for a long time, is well remembered and respected in these moments? The good news is there are several things you can do as a family to make sure this happens. Consider these tips and ideas to help you during this time.

Saying Goodbye to PetsFormal Funerals

One of the ways you can respect your pet is by having a true pet funeral. You can include as many people as you would like. You can create a funeral that fits your family’s belief system. You may even be able to get a friend or certified Celebrant to M.C. and share ceremonial words and memories. This can be a formal event, where everyone is invited to attend. Or, it can be much less formal and simply be a few moments where everyone comes together to pray and remember.

For pet funerals, take the time to create a plan in advance. Write down what you want to say and what will happen throughout the timeframe. You’ll want to give each person the ability to say what they need to. The planning for a pet funeral like this can be a very important part of the healing process. It allows you to recognize the death and at the same time do something to help yourself to overcome the loss. Keep the following in mind as you create a simple pet funeral:

  • Invite only those that you know will respect your grief and the way that you feel right now.
  • Start with an opening prayer or a simple song that helps you to set the tone of the room.
  • Gather people around in a circle or hold hands. Make sure everyone is comfortable.
  • Say a few words about why you are here and the importance that this type of event holds for you.
  • Talk about what your pet meant to you. Discuss his or her life and what value he or she brought to your family.
  • Welcome others who are within you to talk about your pet in the same way. Allow them to share whatever is important or valuable to them without any type of judgement.
  • Host a celebration afterward. Bring people together for a meal to talk about your pet and to celebrate their life.
  • Ensure there is a closing prayer or thought said by your or another person there. You want to ensure there is a true closing action to help finalize the way you are feeling.

Customize this type of experience to fit your unique needs and thoughts. There is no wrong way to grieve as a pet parent.

Dog Funerals








Ideas for Remembering and Preserving Thoughts

In most cases, a pet funeral like this isn’t realistic or even desired. Rather, you may want to just find a way to simply share some memories and thoughts about your pet with others who loved him or her. How can you do this? Consider these ideas.

  • Purchase a candle to remember your pet. Whenever you feel alone or in a situation where you just want to remember your pet, light the candle. Watch the flame and remember in peace. It may bring a smile to your face.
  • Create a memorial for your pet. Perhaps you would like to place his or her ashes in a cremation urn on your mantle. You may want to bury your pet in the backyard under a favorite tree. In either case, create a small memento that allows you to touch something and know that your pet was there.
  • Work with a child or a teen who may be hurting significantly to create a memory book. It can be a scrapbook that is filled with pictures and photos. Draw memories out. Write down a story about the pet. Include photos from cell phones and picture albums you have. Creating this type of book can be a key component in the healing process itself. It most definitely will give you a place to always remember your pet.
  • For those who are artistic, the options are many here. You can create a drawing of your pet that you place in an area that’s important to you. You may also want to create a special poem or a meaningful display. No matter what you use from your artistic expression, plan to display it in an area that’s important to you.
  • Plant a tree in your pet’s honor. Instead of focusing on the death of your pet, bring life forward from it. You may wish to do this, for example, near to wear you bury your pet’s ashes. This way, when you look in that direction, you see a beautiful tree instead of just your pet’s headstone.
  • Gather people together for a blessing. You can ask a local minister or someone that is religious to visit your home for a special meal. Ask for a blessing for all that are there. This can be a very important way for you to heal and move forward.
  • Honor your pet with a dedication. You may be able to dedicate a park bench in honor of your pet. You may want to talk to the local parks and recreation office about something you can do at the local dog park your pet visited often. Look for a way to let your pet make a lasting mark in the community.
  • Scatter your pet’s ashes in a meaningful place or keep them at home in a fitting pet cremation urn. Keep in mind that you can scatter ashes anywhere you would like to as long as it is legally allowed. If your pet went with you every weekend on a fishing trip, that may be the ideal place to do this. You may wish to choose a location that is more important to you than it was to your pet.

Again, there is no wrong way to grieve. Take the time to learn from what you are feeling. For example, you may want to simply sit down and think. Think about the way your pet felt. Remember the way he or she smelled. Remember the first time that he or she came into your home. Think about all of the good times you both shared. Doing this simple act of sitting down and reflecting, whether you are alone or you are with your entire family, can really open the door for you to heal.

Family Pet


Often times, pet funerals are not thought of as important events, but they very much can be. Holding a pet memorial or ceremony that is right for you and based on your beliefs is healing. Give yourself the time to think, plan, and create a meaningful ceremony or memorial like this for your pet. Most importantly, do what is in your heart. You want to ensure that this event gives you what you need. Generally, that will be a sense that things are going to be okay, a sense of closure, and a feeling of love. Remember what your pet brought to you and how important it was to be a pet parent for him or her.

Pet Paw Pictures

Custom Paw Portraits

Urn For Pet Ashes

Urns For Pets

Jewelry made from a paw print

Silver Pendants Made With Your Pet’s Print

Pet Cremation Jewelry

Cremation Jewelry For Pets

Posted in Dealing With Grief, Jewelry For Pet Ashes, Urns For Pet Ashes | 1 Comment

Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life with Pandora-Style Memory Charms

Pandora Style Cremation Beads












Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life with Pandora-Style Memory Charms. Wearing jewels to commemorate a loved one who has passed away is an ancient practice. Even today, many women wear lockets or other jewels in honor of a beloved relative or spouse. Given the popularity of the Pandora charm bracelet, Cremation Solutions is now offering a line of commemorative Pandora compatible cremation beads. These beads are custom-made from glass, incorporating the ashes of your loved one, or made from silver or gold and easily filled by the customer. They are available in many beautiful designs. Wearing memory jewelry allows people to feel connected to the essence of their loved one or a special pet.

Cremation Solutions Memory Beads and Charms for Pandora

Ashes JewelryA Pandora Bracelet has become a woman’s signature piece of jewelry, a conversation piece that offers timeless appeal. The bracelet is a loop that holds Pandora beads or charms made to fit the bracelet. The bracelets are available in silver, gold, and leather. Women have become fascinated by the Pandora platform because of the extraordinary array of available beads and charms that attach to the bracelet. Each woman can customize her bracelet with colors and charms that reflect her life—that even tell the story of her life. There are charms that represent hobbies, occupations, family, and pets. Every completed Pandora bracelet is essentially a custom piece of jewelry that is uniquely suited to the woman who wears it.

Pandora bracelets, not surprisingly are becoming treasured heirlooms. For this reason, many women are choosing to add beads and charms to their bracelets that reflect a beloved family member or a dear pet. For many years, families have been transforming some of the ashes of their deceased loved ones into commemorative objects that serve as daily reminders of the love that continues and the bond that even death cannot erase. Wearing a Pandora compatible cremation bead made with some of the ashes of a loved one is another way to experience and honor that connection.

Cremation BeadsCremation Solutions has a wide array of bead styles to choose from.

The beads are designed to fit not only Pandora bracelets, but are also compatible with similar styles like the Biagi and Troll bracelet systems. There are a dazzling array of colors to consider for your memory bead like turquoise, green, pink, red, yellow, lavender, blue, and even black. In most cases, except for the black beads, the ashes are clearly visible within the glass. Cremation Solutions employs a special process to create these glass beads that literally encase and protect the ashes while showcasing them in a beautiful commemorative jewel. Choose a color that complements your Pandora bracelet or opt for your loved one’s favorite color. The swirling ashes help to create a truly one-of-a-kind design and will serve as a timeless reminder of your loved one’s essence that you can keep close to you always.

Each bead is designed with a large center hole that easily slides onto the bracelet. Cremation Solutions’ Pandora-style beads for ashes will complement other beads that are already showcased on the bracelet. Choose between single and multi-color glass beads that highlight your loved one’s ashes in a beautiful time capsule or fill silver and gold beads via a tiny portal that seals with a threaded plug. All are commemorative jewels that can be worn every day.

Cremation Solutions: A Trusted Brand

Cremation Solutions is a Vermont-based company that specializes in cremation products and funeral planning. Known for its customer care and focus, Cremation Solutions has been creating memory jewelry for over a decade. With lamp work and glass blowing techniques each single jewel is a custom piece made from the ashes you send, every jewel is created with extraordinary care and artistry. Cremation Solutions employs high-quality materials, knowing that each bead is destined to become a family heirloom, a precious keepsake. These aren’t merely ordinary beads; they are sacred and dear to the wearer.

Cremation Solutions has created a secure process by which all ashes are labeled, tracked, and protected from the moment they arrive in the mail. Their reputation for quality excellence has led them to become a trusted name in the memory jewelry field. It is the company’s heartfelt pleasure to create objects that provide so much comfort and meaning to the people who wear them.

The Ordering Process

Ordering your custom Pandora-style cremation jewelry is easy through Cremation Solutions’ website. The precious metal beads of silver and gold are easily filled by the customer and comes with very easy step by step instructions to add a pinch of ashes yourself. For custom made one of a kind glass cremation beads Cremation Solutions will immediately send you a kit to safely and securely send your loved one’s ashes in the mail. Included in this kit are easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. Each kit includes a container that allows for easy measuring so that you send exactly the amount of ashes needed to create your Pandora-style memory bead. The name of your loved one or pet is clearly designated on the container, along with a unique identifying number that allows Cremation Solutions to track your ashes from the moment they arrive. There is never any intermingling of ashes; the process ensures that all orders are kept separate. Any unused ashes will be returned with the completed bead.

Treasured Gifts

Cremation Solutions’ Pandora-style cremation beads also make for a unique heirloom gift. Many customers choose to have commemorative beads created for several members of the family as a remembrance of a beloved parent or grandparent. Not only are the beads beautiful with their glassy finish and eye-catching colors; they carry the essence of a dear loved one, which makes them a veritable treasure.

Silver_Gold_BeadsMemorial jewelry can be an important way to experience a connection to your loved one who has passed on. It can provide not only comfort, but also inspires interesting conversation with its beauty. If you have questions about these remarkable beads, contact Cremation Solutions, who will be happy to address any concerns or questions you may have prior to ordering. Cremation Solutions offers a wide array of other types of memory jewels and other cremation products, as well. Visit to view their complete line of products and for valuable information about cremation products and ceremonies. Meanwhile, if you haven’t started a Pandora-type bracelet yet, you should consider adding one to your jewelry collection, along with a memory bead commemorating someone you love. Each bracelet and charm not only tells a piece of your personal story, but with Cremation Solutions’ cremation beads, they now additionally honor those who have touched your life the most.

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Who Are The Patriot Guard Riders ?


patriot-guard-riders-ridingThe Patriot Guard is an organization with its core comprising of motorcycle riders who perform funeral services for our fallen heroes. Most of the members are veterans even though that is not a requirement. You don’t even need to own a motorcycle to be a member. They are a group that is not politically divided and all they need from you is respect for our lost soldiers.

If there is a protest at a funeral, the Patriotic Guard will get between the mourners and the protesters that are raising the signs. They will hold up flags to steer away the protesters from the view of the mourners. Yes, they will gladly do this for you, although I am quite happy to say that this hasn’t occurred on the many missions that I have attended in the company of the PGR.

Funeral Procession

My most recent mission with this patriotic group was during the burial of a soldier who died at the very young age of 20 over in Afghanistan. The boy’s father was really moved by how the service was conducted. He said “If you had known him, this would have been his favorite part”. The pain was unimaginable, keeping in mind that it was a young son gone far too soon.

Patriot Guard RidersWhat does hero mean to you? Since it has many so meanings to different people? Those who like fantasy realm will associate the word hero with the brave character that conquers an attacking army and defends his people. Some will name their favorite artist or athlete. But for me, a hero is the one who ventures out into the danger zone and risks their life to protect the freedom of others.

They PGR don’t care what your political views are or who was on the right or wrong side of the issue. Their main focus is their dedication to paying the last and final respects to our fallen military heroes. My wish is that one day there will be no wars to fight because someone in the past started it. The Patriot Guard Riders does their small part of mending the fences and thanking our heroes.

Reporting from the horse’s mouth…

They are from everywhere and anywhere. What is common to all members of the PGR is their love for motorcycles and their burning desire to shield the mourning families from callous and indifferent acts. It is a diverse unification of riders from all over America that honor and respect those who risked their lives for the safety of our country.

According to Bruce Ballou of Charleston, South Carolina, the Assistant State Captain of the riders, the group honors veterans, first responders, and their families. Their goal is to provide the perfect tribute based upon respect.

There are roughly 255,000 members across this great nation, with chapters in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. 2,700 of the riders reside in South Carolina. But one must take note that this is not a typical club and there are no membership dues collected. Communication is typically via the internet and telephone, and they meet only when they are executing a mission.

How it all began…

The Patriotic Guard Riders started in August 2005, based on American Legion Riders Chapter 136 in Kansas. Their motivation was triggered by seeing fallen soldiers that didn’t have the proper tributes after religious fanatics would storm the funeral and protest. They developed a strategy to stop the activities of the Topeka, Kansas based Westboro Baptist Church that was planning to protest the funeral of Sgt. John Doles in Chelsea, Okla. The Westboro Baptist Church has around 100 members that attend funerals as anti-gay advocates, and they claim that 9/11 was a punishment to America because it condones homosexuality. A documentary film maker, Ellen Frick of Seattle, the Director of Patriotic Guard Rider, witnessed the incident as they held up placards and were yelling “Thank God for dead soldiers”. The same church was also the topic of discussion in Louis Theroux’s 2007 BBC documentary, ‘The Most Hated Family in America’. The riders intervened using legal and nonviolent behavior to limit the planned intrusion by the church members at John’s service. Right then and there, they made a mission statement and became the Patriot Guard Riders in October of 2005.


Are you interested in what the group does and want to participate in making sure that there is always an honorable and peaceful tribute for our fallen soldiers? Our customer service rep at Cremation Solutions (Brent Bathon) joined today…..Lets Ride

Register for free at:

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Alternatives to Flying Dead Cats

Urns For Cat Ashes

Cat Turned Drone!

Turning dead cats into drones is all the rage these days…NOT! Though it is a really modern thing that freaks can do with their pets, I think that propellers are best reserved for planes and dunce caps. BUT we are going to discuss it anyway because Mommy let the geek squad out and they just love their dead pets. Cats and dogs just don’t live very long when compared to their humans, but you can bring them into their forever heavenly future by converting them into your special little flying friends. It doesn’t get anymore modern and ‘twenty-first century’ than flying drones, am I right? AKA “Cloud Cats,” not to be confused with the sail cats that are found on the road.

Bart Jansen is a rather confused Dutch artist who tragically lost his poor cat Orville to the horrors of a road accident, an all too familiar fate for cats on their tenth life everywhere. He had a truly innovative way of coping with the grief that he felt towards the loss of Orville. He worked with the freak geek and part time taxidermist/engineer Arjen Beltman to turn Orville into a flying drone, thus immortalizing him in a truly unique way.

He worked his taxidermy magic on Orville preserving and shaping him into an aerodynamic marvel. Cat bodies really don’t make the best construction materials but their skin is soft and fluffy. However once you skin and preserve them and attach them to the lightweight frame and install drone guts it makes purrrr..fect sense, and is really just taking the entire process to the logical conclusion. (Everybody knows that).

Did he do this out of some spiritual kinship he has with the Wright brothers, one of whom was named Orville Wright? Did he do this out of a desire to jump on the trend of drones in the world of the twenty-first century? Is Bart Jansen behaving in the manner of many artists, who are known for doing things like cutting off portions of their ears in order to express their emotions? The important thing is that Bart Jansen has started a trend, and you can now immortalize your pets in the exact same way! Or simply have your cat cremated and as an alternative use the ashes to make all kinds of cool stuff that was just too simple for Mr. Jansen.

Bart Jansen and his team are now turning all sorts of dead animals into flying drones. Obviously, most of them are just animals that they have picked up off of the street. The drivers who carelessly run over animals are no longer public threats – they are now inadvertently supporting a growing business! The animals that die in the street now get to be part of a new movement that turns animals into modern, state-of-the-art technology.

That's Another Story!

That’s Another Story!

However, there are some people who really don’t like to get all trendy with their pet funeral arrangements. Some people believe that grieving is best done in a way that has worked for hundreds of years, and jumping on the hip new way to grieve just won’t work for them. As much as they would love to turn their beloved pets into flying drones that would buzz around for the world to see, some people would rather symbolically return their pets to the Earth through cremation. And they do this by purchasing a beautiful cremation urn that will allow them to commemorate their pets in a way that is tried and true.

Pets-Cats-Dogs Cremation Jewelry Urns- all of these have been going hand in hand for a very long time now. People should try to focus on and stick with the basics. Having your poor deceased pet flying through the sky like a remote-controlled toy helicopter might be all right for some people, but others will have a hard time sacrificing the gentle and dark beauty of cremation jewelry and a cremation urn.

Some people will scatter the cremated ashes of their pets around a beautiful landscape, which is returning them to the air and the earth. Some would say that turning a pets body into a drone really is not much different from that. However, many other people care deeply about making mourning private, and turning a pet into a drone just brings the public into their grieving process.

After all, drones are getting popular so fast that lawmakers are having a hard time keeping up. Jansen learned the hard way when he was heavily fined by the FAA and forced to remove the red laser eyes that were a real blinding danger to the unsuspecting pilots that just couldn’t keep their eyes of his amazing flying feline. People are still very wary and quiet suspicious of the flying pet cemetery. Most people still don’t know what to make of the most basic drones, let alone the drones that look like a cute pet that normally just jumps for food or a treat before safely landing. Bart Jansen has created a trend that is nowhere close to becoming normalized, and every time he and his team creates a new propellor creature, it is on the international news! Go figure?

Most people don’t want their dead pets getting that much attention. They would rather privately weep and mourn, keeping their pets close to their hearts in a way that just doesn’t work with a drone…but you can’t resist teasing the neighborhood dogs with an always just out of reach cat treat!

Of course, for some people, this is all about aesthetics. A flying drone that looks like a stretched and gutted cat just doesn’t coincide with the aesthetic sensibilities of a nice cat urn with a tasteful picture of their kitty on the side. Seeing something like Orval can cause nightmares for weeks and pet parents will just struggle to get the mental image out of their minds. You could say that these people are Luddites, or you could say that they should have more evolved aesthetic sensibilities. One way or another, they’re just not going to see the beauty that these Dutch freaks have created with their ever growing fleet of buzzing skinned dead creatures. As they say, let the ostriches keep their heads in the sand and their feet on the ground.

However, a lovely cremation necklace that allows you to wear some of your cat’s ashes around your neck is just the sort of symbolic gesture that many people love. A cremation urn that rests on the shelf with majesty and artistic perfection is hard to beat. These items will keep the ashes of a pet safe, preserving their remains for all eternity. It’s true that the urns and necklaces can’t fly, and flying does indeed make things cooler. But some people just can’t go for that fancy modern stuff. They’re okay with the drones that fly overhead and take pictures of celebrities and the big one’s that Obama is so found of, but they have other goals for the remains of their dearly departed pets.

Cremation jewelry is timeless. Cremation urns are timeless. People use them to mourn their loved ones, whether they walk on four legs, two legs, or zero legs. If you want your cat to fly, use an ash scattering tube when the wind is just right. Eventually, people will be able to turn all of their relatives into flying drones after a tragic demise, and the people who stick with the old fashioned and traditional funeral services may have to defend their choices. However, for the time being, it seems that most people would prefer to keep their pets with them and not worry about the confused hunters trying shoot down their pets and completely destroying these marvelous flying machines that put no meat on the table. What a waste!

Posted in Cremation Jewelry, Cremation Urns, Uncategorized, Urns For Pet Ashes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Re-Introducing Jeff Staab / Owner of Cremation Solutions

Jeff Staab

Author Jeff Staab

I have been on social media for a number of years and was recently told by experts that my posts are too professional and that I should be more personable. It seems that in order to create a following of your “brand” you should open up your “personal” life so that people can get to know the real you. So allow me to reintroduce myself and share some of my life story with you. I will try to not make it sound like an obituary! (Even though that is what I am used to writing)

I grew up in the suburbs of New York in Oyster Bay Long Island and graduated OBHS class of 1982. We were all pretty spoiled to grow up on the bay and with all that the affluent burbs had to offer. Fishing, boating, clams, oysters, and just about anything money could buy was right nearby. We had big venues like the Nassau Coliseum and Madison Square Garden at our fingertips and all of the other things that Long Island and New York City had to offer. Oyster Bay had a strong music culture and so began my lifelong live music habit! While still in high school I attended too many funerals for unfortunate friends and began to take notice of the funeral business. I could see the value of funerals and knew it would be rewarding to help people though one of life’s toughest times. My mom encouraged me to look into becoming a funeral director. I was able to major in mortuary science and graduated from S.U.N.Y Farmingdale with the class of 1984.

I began my career as an apprentice for Frederick Funeral Home in Flushing New York where I was fired! (the only time in my life) for not being intimidated by my manager “Asshole”. It was a good thing because I then finished my apprenticeship and worked a few more years at the excellent James Funeral Home in Massapequa and Brooklyn New York. Working at these high volume mostly Catholic funeral homes in the “Rat Race” of NY, it soon began to take it’s toll on mellow me and I began to burn and fizzle like many young funeral directors. The pay was never worth the dedication I had and the suburbs could only lead to trouble for an adventurer like me.

So I headed up to Vermont to get out of the rat race and into nature. I had spent Summer and Winter vacations in Vermont. So I became a full time ski bum/instructor at Killington Mountain. It was the ultimate cure for a burnt funeral director. Those were some great six or seven years of skiing, odd jobs and house painting in the warmer months. But you can’t be a ski bum forever, trouble for renegade Jeff! I stayed in Vermont but went back to work as a funeral director for fifteen more years. It was much more mellow than NY and the families weren’t as high strung. I was used to working Italian Catholic funerals in Brooklyn, where people often cried, wailed, fought, and tried to get in the casket before fainting. I remember the first time I used the smelling salts to revive an old widow. The senior funeral director told me how to break the capsule, I just assumed that I would shove them into her nostrils, well to say the least “she woke up rapidly”. Vermonters had a more realistic approach to death and keep most of the drama in the closet. The hours and pay still sucked and I never felt “The Calling” that dedicated lifelong directors must have. Like many funeral directors my back became injured from lifting, my cheap ass boss wouldn’t purchase a hydraulic lift to get them in “the box” and the worn out stretchers malfunctioned. In fact every boss I ever had in the funeral biz was a cheap prick! I have a theory that the formaldehyde causes this condition! Having myself embalmed about 3,000 people I was concerned about my health. The fumes are cancerous and I never saw a preparation room with proper ventilation, too cheap to put in an adequate exhaust fan! I recently read they might make formaldehyde illegal; the old time cancer riddled funeral directors will be so upset! They just love this stuff and shun the new greener chemical alternatives.

Exit Working As A Funeral Director

Urns for ashes

My First Three Birdhouse Memorial Urns

One day while making funeral arrangements with a family, they were explaining how they were going to scatter Dad’s ashes in a wood lot behind their home where Dad enjoyed watching the birds. I was telling them about a new type of wooden urn called a scattering urn. They liked the idea of using it but wouldn’t buy an urn that would be used only once and then go to waste. The family was explaining their concern and just then my light bulb went on and I told them that after you scatter the ashes, you can screw it to a tree and drill a hole in it, creating a home for the birds that your dad loved so much. They said we will take it. I began using this sales pitch and was soon selling more scattering urns then ever. This is how I got the idea to make scattering urns that were actually made to convert into a birdhouse after the ashes are scattered. I started designing and working with local woodworkers. I got a patent for “Birdhouse Memorial Urns”. This would be my exit from a job that was taking its toll on me and my health and turn me into a supplier to the funeral industry.

Crem Sol Logo-1200x402 (jpg)

Like many new suppliers to the funeral world, I spent all my money on inventory and attended the biggest funeral trade show in the world, the NFDA, which was in Chicago that year. This would be my big break, people loved the idea and all my research pointed to the fact that these urns would sell to the public! I was so sure that funeral directors would understand and snatch them up for their showrooms! WRONG. I soon learned that there is no such thing as a hot new funeral industry product. Funeral directors are very slow to try new things and are the worst sales people on the planet. I won design awards and got lots of compliments for my line of scattering urns, but sales were at a trickle! Back to house painting full time while growing my new company, Cremation Solutions on the side. For a couple years I was into home energy performance and along with Ted Taylor started Energy Wise Homes in Manchester, Vermont.

With no budget, the memorial business was slow to grow but I really loved merchandising all of the cool funeral products and began to expand my line of products into keepsakes, urns, and jewelry. And later added monuments that hold ashes. I enjoy working with the artists and craftspeople from all over the world and offer a very expansive line of cremation memorials. I soon realized that funeral professionals had little to no interest in helping those who choose to scatter ashes. It’s just something families usually do on their own. I’ve since become a leading authority on scattering ashes and now Cremation Solutions is the #1 resource for information on scattering ashes. In fact I wrote most of what you’ll read about it on the Internet. I became involved with funeral Celebrants when I was researching the ceremonies for scattering ashes. The only people that seems to know anything about scattering ceremonies were the Celebrants in Australia. I then learned about the Celebrant Foundation and Institute in NJ and became a Certified Funeral Celebrant. Now I help promote the use of Celebrants to the funeral industry. I truly believe that Celebrant ceremonies could save the American funeral! The general public has become disenchanted with the old time traditional funerals and want MORE! Not less as you might hear. Now Cremation Solutions has grown to offer one of the world’s most expensive lines of cremation memorials and is a resource for information on funeral planning and scattering ashes.

I do miss working with the families and planning memorable funerals. It was helping the people through a hard time that made it all worthwhile. As an educator to the death care industry I’ve written for many of the industry publications and enjoy riding the wave of change that the funeral industry is now experiencing. It’s a very interesting time now in the history of funeral service. There has been more change in the last ten years than in the past hundred years! Some of the new trends stem from a basic change with peoples attitude towards death and religion. Plus technology provides access to the information via the Internet. Cremation is NOW the most popular disposition, and of course the challenged economy has driven the more affordable cremation option.

IMG_2141These days I work on my own property and never have a pager go off in the middle of the night to rescue the bodies before they assume room temperature. No more chasing down the doctors to sign death certificates. And I only embalm myself for pleasure now! Hats off to the men and women that do this day in and day out. I’ve been keeping busy and get really excited creating and designing new memorial options for those who choose cremation. And I have some new really cool things to do with cremation ashes. Cremation Solutions has grown and I have also branched out and also operate and


For more fun I have way too many hobbies including:

  • Cooking and competitive BBQ
  • Snow skiing
  • Fishing – spearfishing and scuba diving
  • Traveling (I’ve been to every state but Hawaii)
  • Camping and discovering new cultures and art.
  • Live music and festivals
  • Most of all I enjoy time with my family and friends, adventures in the mountains and on the sea’s
  • And that’s just what I can tell ya…
Cooking On My Casketque

Cooking On My Casketque

I live in Arlington, Vermont on the Battenkill River surrounded by the beautiful green mountains with my daughters, Jena and Shaana. I have two brothers and two sisters and my dad is still kicking at 90. So here is a taste of what Jeff Staab is all about. I won’t get too personal about my life because you really wouldn’t believe it anyway!


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Posted in Cremation Jewelry, Cremation Solutions, Scattering Ashes, Urns | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

New Pandora Compatible Cremation Jewelry !

Celebrate Your Loved One’s Life with Pandora compatible Memory beads. Surely these one of a kind beads will be your most cherished of all. The silver and gold beads are easily filled by you and our custom glass beads are made with a small amount of cremation ashes infused inside!

Bead_BackgroundWearing jewels that commemorate a loved one that has passed away is an ancient practice. Even today, many women wear lockets or other jewels in honor of a beloved relative or spouse. Given the popularity of the Pandora charm bracelet and charms, Cremation Solutions is now offering a line of commemorative Pandora compatible ashes jewelry. If you have a Pandora bracelet or are thinking about getting one, you can have special beads created that incorporate the ashes of your loved one within the beautiful design. Wearing memory jewelry allows people to feel connected to the essence of their loved one or even a special pet.

Pandora Bracelets and Charms………….(Order Online Here)

A Pandora bracelet has become a woman’s signature piece of jewelry, a conversation piece that offers timeless appeal. The bracelet is a loop that holds Pandora beads or charms that are made to fit the bracelet. The bracelets are available in silver, gold, and even leather. Women have become fascinated by the Pandora platform, because of the extraordinary array of available beads and charms that attach to the bracelet. Each woman can customize her bracelet with colors and charms that reflect her life—that can even tell the story of her life. There are charms that represent hobbies, occupations, and family. Every completed Pandora bracelet is essentially a custom piece of jewelry that is uniquely suited to the woman who wears it.

Cremation Solutions Memory Beads that fit Pandora

Silver_Gold_BeadsPandora bracelets, not surprisingly, are becoming treasured heirlooms. For this reason, it isn’t surprising that many women are choosing to add beads and charms to their bracelets that reflect a beloved family member or even a dear pet. For many years, families have been transforming some of the ashes of their deceased loved ones into commemorative objects that serve as daily reminders of the love that continues and the bond that even death cannot erase. Wearing a jewel like a Pandora bead made with some of the ashes of a loved one is another way to experience that connection. Keep the essence of your loved close with a Pandora bead that represents a continuation of that love.

Cremation Solutions has a wide array of bead styles to choose from. The beads are designed to fit Pandora bracelets as well as similar styles like Biagi and Troll bracelet systems. They offer silver and gold beads that you can actually fill yourself or custom made glass beads with the ashes fussed inside. There are a dazzling array of colors to consider for your memory bead like turquoise, pink, red, lavender, and even black. In most cases, excepting black beads, the ashes are clearly visible. Cremation Solutions employs a special process to create these glass beads that literally encase and protect the ashes while showcasing them in a beautiful commemorative jewel. Choose a color that complements your Pandora bracelet or opt for your loved one’s favorite color. The swirling ashes complement the design and will serve as a timeless reminder of your loved one’s essence that you can keep close to you always.

Each bead is designed with a large center hole that easily slides onto Pandora-type bracelet systems. Pandora ashes jewelry will complement other beads that are already showcased on the bracelet.

Cremation Solutions: A Trusted Brand

Cremation Solutions is a Vermont based company that specializes in cremation products and services. A trusted name known for its custom care and customer focus, Cremation Solutions has been creating memory jewelry for nearly a decade. Because every single jewel is a custom piece made from the ashes you send, every jewel is created with extraordinary care and artistry. Cremation Solutions employs high-quality materials, knowing that each jewel is destined to become a family heirloom, a precious keepsake. These aren’t merely ordinary jewels; these are jewels that are sacred and dear to their wearer.

Cremation Solutions has created a no-fail process by which all ashes are labeled and protected from the moment they arrive in the mail. We have a reputation for quality excellence and have become a trusted name in the memory jewelry field. It’s the company’s heartfelt pleasure to create objects that provide so much comfort to the people that wear them.

The Ordering Process and Our Full Selection (Click Here)

Ordering Pandora ashes jewelry is easy. For custom glass jewelry we immediately send you a kit to safely and securely send us your loved one’s ashes in the mail. Included in this kit are easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions that make the process a streamlined one. Each kit has a container that allows for easy measuring so that you send us exactly the amount of ashes we need to create your Pandora memory bead. You’ll see right on the container the name of your loved one or pet along with a unique identifying number that allows the company to track your ashes from the moment it arrives. There is never any intermingling of ashes; the process ensures that all orders are kept separate. Any unused ashes will be returned along with the completed bead, which takes anywhere from eight to ten weeks to create. Our unique line of fillable silver and gold beads are simply filled by the customer. A small screw is removed and the ashes are inserted through the provided miniature funnel before replacing the screw for a permanent seal.

Pandora_bracelet_blogTreasured Gifts

Pandora jewelry also make for wonderful heirloom gifts. Many of our customers choose to have commemorative beads created for several members of the family as a remembrance of a beloved parent or grandparent. Not only are the beads beautiful with their glassy finish and eye-catching colors; they carry the essence of a dear loved one, which makes them a veritable treasure. As an unforgettable gift, these Pandora memory beads can be given any time of year—whenever you choose to place your order.

Memory jewelry can be an important way to experience a connection to your loved one that has passed on. They can provide comfort just as they inspire conversation with their beauty. If you have questions about these remarkable jewels, get in touch with Cremation Solutions. The company can answer all your questions before you place your order. Cremation Solutions offers a wide array of other types of memory jewels too. Be sure to scroll through their website to see them all. If you haven’t started a Pandora or Pandora-type bracelet yet, you should consider adding one to your jewelry collection along with a memory bead commemorating someone you love. The bracelets are comfortable to wear and can be worn with casual or evening wear. You’ll love owning one because you’ll enjoy the custom process and how, altogether, each bead and charm can tell your personal story.

To See Our Full Selection (Click Here)



Posted in Cremation Glass, Cremation Jewelry, Pandora Style Cremation Jewelry, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Funeral Director Fear and the Big Catch 22

I recently read an excellent article by Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD. Alan is a personal hero of mine, a respected author, educator, and a consultant to the funeral industry. He advocates for the value of meaningful funeral experiences in his death education workshops held across North America each year. The article (Click Here)  is excerpted from his workbook for funeral home staffs entitled “Educating the Families You Serve about the WHY of the Funeral.” The article instructs funeral directors to stop being order takers that just do what people tell them they want and instead educate their customers about the value of having meaningful funeral experiences. Sounds simple right? It’s Not!

Funeral Director at LargeAlan explains how the funeral directors true role is to educate families about all of their options so they can make informed choices. I can’t agree more with Alan, especially with today’s funeral-avoiding culture! Many funeral directors are facing off with families that have basically made up their minds and have their heels dug in regarding those savage funeral directors attempts to up-sell them! As an experienced funeral director that’s involved in my industry, I can tell you that one of the biggest fears of my colleagues is them being accused of taking advantage of people’s grief and pressuring them into unnecessary goods and services. In reality funeral directors worst sales people ever! Sure, there are a few bad apples that do just that, but far and wide most funeral directors are terrified of being categorized as one of those vultures preying on the bereaved. The media has taken the stories of the “Bad Apples” and damaged the credibility for good directors that truly care about the real value of funerals.

No Funeral Please!

Uneducated Consumer

It’s almost impossible for funeral directors to explain all of the options to these jaded consumers that have their “no one’s gonna take me to the cleaners” shields up and on HIGH ALERT! It would take an aggressive and razor sharp funeral arranger to convey the many options and the importance of a meaningful funeral ceremony without setting off alarms, flares and arming a battery of Photon Torpedoes. Considering that most funeral directors are timid cowardly types that will avoid confrontation at all costs, we now have full shields up on both sides and get forced back into the order taker role because of the stereotype!

Mr. Funeral Director "Tear Down This Wall"

Mr. Funeral Director “Tear Down This Wall”

This is the “Big Catch 22”. How can we honestly convey the importance of meaningful funeral ceremonies when the media and bad apples have spoiled the waters? No wonder funeral professionals are stressed out of their minds and typically take the low road!

I wish I had an easy remedy for this very real and very widespread catch 22 type problem, but I don’t! I have tried with little success to communicate and explain the options only to make the family even more guarded. However I know there are some exceptional smooth talking funeral professionals out there that have an arsenal of tools that help them explain the many options without inflicting full frontal confrontations!

Funeral Answers

Solutions Please

So please share some methods that are helping you lower the shields of the families you serve and I in turn will gather your tricks of the trade and turn them into an awesome solution via a part two blog post. We are all in this together so let’s help each other and Save The American Funeral! Please no sales tactics, just share the honest communication skills that have been working for you. Please remember that when we are able to successfully communicate the why’s of a funeral and fully educate the consumer…the sales will increase because of the value that will be perceived.

Posted in Funeral News, Funneral Planning | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Cremation And The Scattering of Ashes

Scattering ashes outdoors on a piece of land with significance to the deceased is often selected by their families.

Scattering ashes outdoors on a piece of land with significance to the deceased is often selected by their families.

Nearly half of Americans are now choosing cremation over burial at the end of their life. It’s easy to see why. Cremation offers a number of benefits over a traditional cemetery burial. However, with cremation comes the decision over what to do with the ashes that remain. Far from being a chore, this task can be an opportunity to further honor the deceased and to leave his or her earthly remains in a place and in a vessel that has meaning, both to the deceased and to the friends and family who remain.

Why cremation makes sense today

The chief reason for choosing cremation today is cost. The average cost of end-of-life arrangements with cremation is around $6,078, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. That compares to an average cost of more than $8,500 for a funeral with a cemetery burial and vault. However, that price can be even less then $1000 if you opt not to have a viewing and you choose a simple, pine casket.

With cremation, you can skip many of the costs associated with a traditional funeral, things like an expensive casket, a vault, embalming services and, of course, the cost of the cemetery plot and headstone. However, cost is just one of many good reasons to consider cremation. Among reasons for choosing cremation for yourself or your loved ones include:

  • It’s kind to the environment. When you opt for cremation, you’re not tying up a piece of land for generations to come, land that potentially can be used for housing or to grow crops. Embalming chemicals can be cancerous and harm our water supply
  • It can make it easier on the family. Cremation can also make it easier on friends and family, especially if they live far away from where the funeral will be held. With cremation, there is no reason to have the service immediately, allowing friends and family to plan around work, community and other family obligations and shop for more economic travel arrangements.
  • It’s simpler. Having to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time can be stressful, especially when family and friends are grieving. Opting for cremation give us more time to carefully consider number of choices the family has to make and many of those decisions can be postponed for a few weeks or months.
  • It’s portable. When you choose cremation, you have a myriad of options about how to scatter or display your loved one’s ashes, many more options than if you had to purchase a cemetery plot.

A little bit about how cremation works

When you opt for cremation after a person dies, their body is transferred to the funeral home or crematorium. The person’s body is placed in a lightweight coffin and sent to a cremation chamber where it is heated to temperatures of 1,500 to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. This vaporizes the body and reduces it to ashes and bone fragments. These ashes are then transferred to a cremation vessel and given to the family. The average remains weight between three and six pounds, depending on the size of the person. Most states require a brief waiting period (of 24 to 48 hours) before a person’s remains can be cremated.

There are a number of ways to handle the ashes. Some people out for a decorative urn to hold the ashes and display them in their home. Others opt to house the ashes in a columbarium or cemetery. Still others have a piece of jewelry made from a portion of the ashes. However, scattering ashes is the most popular disposition of cremation ashes.

Creative ways to scatter ashes

30airAshesScatteringSince scattering ashes is now the #1 disposition for cremation ashes, people are getting more and more creative with scattering locations and techniques. Using some type of scattering urns or vessel helps to make the occasion more solemn and dignified as well as making it easier to do. Below are just a few suggestions about what is available to help you be creative.

  1. Use a scattering urn. Scattering urns are vessels that make it easier to return cremated remains to nature. With a scattering urn, you don’t have to worry about an untimely gust of wind or inclement weather marring your tribute. Scattering urns are designed to gradually release the ashes into the environment. Just a few of these urns include:
  • Birdhouse scattering urn. Wooden birdhouses can also be designed to hold cremated remains until they can be scattered in a favorite spot. After the scattering is complete, the birdhouse helps provide shelter for wildlife and acts as a memorial to the person who has died.
    Birdhouse Urns

    Birdhouse Urns

    Birdhouse urns come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are usually made from fast-growing, sustainable woods.

  • Sand urn. A sand urn, as the name implies, are made of sand with a little gelatin added. They contain a biodegradeable pouch that contains the ashes and have holes drilled into the bottom of the vessel. These urns are designed to place on a favorite beach, where the rising and falling tides will quickly scatter the ashes.
  • Sand and gelatin urns. Sand and gelatin urns are not just for beaches. They come in a variety of shapes , colors and sizes. Like the birdhouse and sand urns, these vessels are designed to let the ashes disperse gradually as the urn dissolves over time. They can even be buried. In the ground, they will dissolve in about three months. In water, the process takes about three days.
  1. Use a biodegradable pouch. Using a biodegradable pouch alone is another way to aid in scattering a loved one’s ashes. This decorative pouches can be buried, released at sea or kept closer to home.
  2. Plant a tree with the ashes. Another good use of a biodegradable pouch is to combine it with a new sapling. By planting them together, the cremated remains of your loved one help to nurture the new tree for years to come. Plus, you’ll have a visual tribute to the person who died that will last for generations.
  3. Use an ash scattering cannon.
    Loved One Launcher!

    Loved One Launcher!

    This device makes it easy to launch cremated remains into the sea or the air at a site that was meaningful to the deceased, even in windy weather. The cannon creates velocity that sends the ashes more than 70 feet into the air. You can even load the cannon with biodegradable confetti and/or streamers for a more festive effect.

Where to scatter ashes

The number of places where you can scatter cremated ashes is limited largely by your imagination. While it’s important to seek permission to scatter ashes on property that you don’t own, a surprising number of public and private venues, including many national parks and sports fields, are open to the practice. CLICK HERE for Ceremonies For Scattering Ashes

  1. National parks. Most of America’s natural parks, including Grand Canyon National Park, allow cremated remains to be “scattered” on park land with written permission from the head park ranger. Most parks require that the ashes be contained, as in a sand urn or a biodegradable pouch, so that they don’t pose a threat to wildlife in the park. They also require that you stay away from roads, any archeological digs and bodies of water.
  2. Your own garden. Sometimes the best solution to where to scatter a loved one’s ashes is in your own back yard. If family members intend to stay in the house or other property that was important to the deceased, there are few better ways of honoring that person than by creating a memorable garden and scattering all or a portion of the ashes among the flowers, bushes and trees.
  3. The beach and the ocean. Like parks, public beaches require permission before cremated ashes can be scattered on their property. However, if your family is lucky enough to own your own stretch of sand, you can use this property for scattering. In the United States, you are required to travel three nautical miles from land before you can scatter cremated remains.
  4. A sports field. While most major stadiums prohibit the scattering of ashes (citing too much demand), many minor league ball parks or private sports fields are more amenable.
  5. From the air. The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) has no restrictions on scattering cremated remains from the air, although most states have minimum altitude requirements. The wind at high altitudes can make scattering ashes from the air a challenge without some kind of assistance. (Ashes can, and have, blown back into the planes.) The scattering cannon can help make this process easier and more successful.

Cremation is a cost-effective, eco-friendly end of life decision. Honor the deceased life and memory by scattering his or her ashes in a place that had meaning in life. Using one of the newer scattering vessels and products can help make that process easier and more elegant.

To Learn About Techniques To Scatter Ashes  CLICK HERE

Posted in Scattering Ashes, Scattering Urns, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Beauty of Cremation

Walking The Line

There are so many reasons that more and more people are now choosing cremation. Here are some of the main reasons that half of all deaths now elect cremation as the final disposition.

  • More Economical
  • A Greener Earth Friendly Option
  • Less Time Sensitive (Freedom of Time)
  • Easier, No Cemetery Required
  • Endless Memorialization Options
  • Don’t Want To Take Up Space (Land)
  • Like The Idea Of Scattering Ashes
  • Religious Freedom
    Cremation Growth Rate

Funeral CostCOST: When you get down to the basic cost of a funeral, cremation can be significantly cheaper. The average traditional funeral these days can cost $8,000.00 to $15,000.00 or more. And a basic cremation is $1,000.00 to $2,000.00. Why such a broad range in price? Simple, it depends on who you call! And of course the choices that you make. Over the years, I have noticed something about how the general public describes the cost of a funeral that I would like to clear up right now. I noticed that when people quote the cost of a traditional funeral they tend to group all of the related costs together! For example “Mom’s Funeral Cost $18,00.00”… but the actual funeral costs might have been $8,000.00 and included the cost of a cemetery plot, digging the grave, flying in certain relatives, putting aunt Millie up at the Hilton and a $6,000.00 reception at a catering hall. But when quoting the cost of cremation people tend to just quote the basic cost “Instead of having a funeral Dad was cremated and it only cost $995.00”. They don’t mention the $10,000.00 memorial catering cost at the country club, the band and the travel costs! So this is one reason the difference in Cremation versus a Traditional Funeral seems like a huge difference in cost. In actuality Cremation is just a disposition like burial is a disposition and all the related costs depends on the CHOICES THAT WE MAKE. “The cremation cost $995.00”. The burial including the purchase of the plot and digging the grave might only cost $2,000.00 but people never just quote this cost, they lump it all together with the choices that they make. These are the conversations that really annoy funeral directors and instantly put them on the defense of the funeral costs.

What really annoys this particular funeral director is the general consensus that cremation means there isn’t a funeral. “There’s no funeral…he’s being cremated”! The truth is just the opposite. With cremation you can have any kind of funeral you want, even a traditional funeral! The only real difference is that instead of the body going to the cemetery, it goes to the crematory. Remember that cremation like burial is just the final disposition. The word “Funeral” simply means that the body is present at the funeral service. If you have a service without the body present because it was already buried or cremated then we use the term “Memorial Service” or other phrases like a Celebration of Life or a Going Home Ceremony. But if the body is not there it’s not a funeral.

Green AshesGREEN: The general public perceives cremation as a greener alternative to burial. A traditional burial takes up land permanently. And the chemicals that are used for embalming are cancerous and could leak into the water table. Here in the US an outer concrete burial vault is used and requires the manufacture of 1.6 tons of concrete and steel, leaving a large carbon footprint through the process of manufacturing. The caskets are often made of steel and many are shipped here from China (not green). Wooden caskets that are made from unsustainable sources like mahogany destroy the rain forest. BUT cremation isn’t exactly green either! Cremation involves burning fossil fuels (not green) and can release mercury from dental fillings into the air. What’s really green is called “Green Burial” and is only permitted in a natural burial site. More and more of these types of cemeteries are becoming available. Green burial is a burial in a naturally biodegradable casket or shroud with no embalming and no burial vault in a shallow grave. Green burial is the most natural and greenest disposition of all.

TIME: Because we usually want to get people buried in the ground before they rapidly begin to decompose, a burial requires a time frame of urgency that demands some fast leg work and usually having the funeral with in a week! And if you are Jewish then you’re supposed to have the burial by sundown of the day after death! With cremation you have nothing but time. Of course if you’re going to have public visitation with the body present you are back on a time line. But once the cremation is complete the ashes have no “shelf life” and you can plan a memorial celebration of life at your convenience. (WARNING) There is still such thing as waiting too long. Sometimes to meet the schedules of so many, the services are put off for months. For example, when someone dies in the Fall and the family elects to wait until the Spring and make the services part of the family reunion at the club. TOOOO Long! Remember that funerals are to support the living in their grief and loss. A proper memorial services lays the foundation for the healing to begin, just like a wedding provides a platform of support to the joining of a couple for life. With too much time in-between, the months leading up to the service can create more unnecessary grief for the survivors due to a lack of support.

Easier: Planning a funeral with the disposition of cremation can definitely be easier. You have the freedom of time on your side and don’t have to feel rushed about getting the person in the ground! You don’t have to select a casket, a vault, a cemetery plot, and other related items. You have the time to involve family members in the planning process and hopefully can create a memorable experience that will showcase a life well lived. Hire a certified celebrant and put some thought and time into this once in a lifetime event. You have one chance to do it right, so take your time and plan a Celebration of Life that people can connect with and relate to. This is why I promote Celebrant funerals and not some old 2,000 year old ceremony that an uninformed clergy member throws together! (Insert Name Here). Use the time to write down stories to share, collect pictures for display or better yet turn the pictures into a memorial video. Play the perfect music and serve the food that the deceased would be proud of! There are so many services available through your local funeral home that can add to the memorial ceremony experience, so use the time to learn about them. And do some research via the Internet on how to create a special and memorable memorial event.

Memorial Options: There are so many options available when you choose cremation. Like a Traditional Burial you can still have visitation with the body present for the final goodbyes and support for the family. You can also have an event in just about any public location that you desire. Consider a place that can handle the anticipated number of people who will attend. Choose a place where people are comfortable enough to join in and share a ceremony that will shine a spotlight on the life lived and the many ways that this person has affected the lives and the fabric of life. Use pictures, objects, belongings and stories to help those attending connect. The spirit of the deceased will often convey what would be appropriate for their personal celebration.

Cremation CasketThe money saved by choosing cremation can be used to purchase goods and services that will further personalize the experience of joining together to commemorate a life well lived. First, select a casket. This can be as simple as a cardboard box, a simple wooden box or an ornate cremation casket. They call these things alternative containers and by law you need one for cremation to take place.

If you are having a traditional viewing before the cremation then you should get a casket with a fabric interior that is suitable for public viewing. Most funeral homes rent caskets for this purpose and then a cardboard box is used for the actual cremation.

For the ceremony you can use things like memorial folders or prayer cards and custom programs that follow the services and can then be saved as a memory keepsake. Large photos, custom blankets and a video tribute can add to the memorial service. And a tree seedling or seeds that can be taken home and be planted in memory and will continue the circle of life.

Art Made With Ashes

Glass Art Made With Ashes

Cremation UrnIf an urn is used to hold the ashes, many put it on display at the service on a table or alter that is set with candles and flowers. When selecting an urn you should first know the final disposition of the ashes. Will they be kept at home on display, buried in the cemetery, placed in a niche, or scattered to the winds. Cremation urns are specially designed to suit all of these different destinations. Even floating biodegradable urns for scattering in lakes and oceans. One new style of urn converts into a birdhouse following the scattering of the ashes! With the new “Loved One Launcher” ashes can also be blasted 70 feet into the sky along with confetti and streamers. Talk about going out with a bang! When it comes to ashes there is no right or wrong way… just personal choices and family traditions. Often family members will use small keepsake urns to divide the ashes up between family and friends. These keepsake urns allow those who choose to scatter to retain a small amount of the ashes forever.

Ashes Jewelry

Jewelry To Hold Ashes

Cremation JeAshes inside Jewelrywelry serves a similar purpose and can be worn as a lasting tribute and close connection to the loved one. There is cremation jewelry that has an inner chamber to hold the ashes inside and also cremation jewelry that is custom made with the ashes.

Assorted Cremation Monuments



Even monuments are made that will hold the ashes inside as an alternative to burial. Some are styled like traditional monuments and many look like natural rocks and boulders that can blend right into the family garden. The advantage of cremation style monuments is that they can be moved as well as serve as a memorial focal point.

Scattering: The decision to scatter ashes is no longer unique. With more than half of all Americans and Canadians now choosing cremation.

Clem's Ash Scattering 2005.09.19 016Scattering is NOW the #1 disposition of cremated remains in the United States and Canada and continues to grow. Funeral professionals are the only ones that aren’t catching on. Most funeral professionals consider scattering a dirty and unprofitable choice of final disposition. They will help you get buried or interred. They will help you create funeral and memorial events. But when the choice is to scatter the ashes, they will help you as far as the door! Some of the more progressive funeral homes now offer special urns for families that choose to scatter the ashes, but that’s about as far as it goes.

Cremation can be an exciting and beautiful way to celebrate the deceased and bring together their friends and family for a positive and memorable experience. It provides an opportunity for the departed to bring together those that they leave behind and touched most during their life well lived. Cremation: it can be more economical; it can be greener; it allows for more time and planning; and it has infinite options only limited by the creativity of the living!

Posted in Cremation Jewelry, Cremation Monuments, Cremation Urns, Funneral Planning, Scattering Ashes | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments