Introducing Our Funeral Celebrant Writing Service

Americans have embraced the current trend of Celebrant style Funerals and Memorials. These powerful, meaningful and soul healing ceremonies are here to stay. Now those planning a funeral can use the services of a professional Celebrant no matter where and when the ceremony will take place. You can now hire a professional Life Cycle Celebrant to write a well crafted ceremony that you will be able to have conducted by a Celebrant or anyone  you please.

What to do RevTraditionally, funeral ceremonies have been rote rituals typified by the same old hymns, prayers and eulogies. Family members and friends are often left feeling empty. Today, families and friends are seeking a funeral ceremony that is more meaningful, and celebrant funerals are surely the answer!. As a result, people are getting creative in crafting their own personalized ceremony that reflects their loved one’s life. I lived, I mattered, here is what I believe, please share my legacy” are thoughts that most people desire to have their funeral or memorial communicate to their loved ones. Crafting a unique eulogy, adding personalized photos and videos and selecting more contemporary music are just a few of the ways people are creating a spiritual experience along with celebrating or honoring a life lived. Not only do we grieve, we rejoice in life.

Funeral Writing

Unique Like You!

While many clergy prepare eulogies the old-fashioned way, most people today are opting for a more meaningful service that truly captures the personality, beliefs and life philosophy of their loved one. The stage for traditional funeral ceremonies has been replaced with celebrant funerals and celebrant memorials. At Cremation Solutions we are proud to offer our innovative and personal celebrant funeral writing service that goes hand-in-hand with celebrant funerals and celebrant memorials and can be ordered right online. With our funeral writing service, you fill out an in-depth questionnaire one line and then have the opportunity to work with a certified funeral celebrant selected just for you. The Celebrant will first review your answers and then through consultation by phone, email or Skype will capture the information needed to write a complete funeral service as well as committal services if necessary. You can guide the funeral celebrant with the tone and feel that you desire for a personalized service. Our funeral writing services can be used in any location and be conducted anyone capable of public speaking.  We also offer a custom “Life Story” video service as well as professionally printed funeral programs to help further support funeral services.

Funeral Writing Service by Professional Funeral Celebrants

Sky CelebrationOur funeral writing service is written by professional certified life cycle celebrants trained at the Celebrant Foundation and Institute to write and conduct healing ceremonies. Although celebrant funerals are popular today, celebrants are not in every town. With our funeral writing service, you can have celebrant style funeral services written by pros and performed by a friend, yourself or added to the ceremony of your clergy. Keep in mind that celebrant funeral ceremonies create an atmosphere of healing and are a natural stepping stone for what was and what will be your legacy. You’ve got only one chance to get it right and leave an appropriate legacy of your loved one.

CFI LOGO 2010Our funeral celebrants take in-depth training at the Celebrant Foundation and Institute for six months. Our funeral celebrants undergo the intensive study of ritual theory, ceremonial structure, symbolism, choreography, storytelling and the history traditions and ritual throughout the world. The training at the Celebrant Foundation and Institute is the gold standard for the industry, and you get a professional who can create and write a ceremony for your unique needs.

Celebrant Cost

Including Prices

Working in close collaboration with you, our celebrant funeral writers will carefully craft a eulogy to create a meaningful ceremony. There are many options when preparing the eulogy, including preferred readings, poems, memorable quotes, rituals and music. After crafting the idyllic ceremony, you are given a draft for approval. We never deliver a written eulogy until every detail has been checked and approved by you and your family. In addition we have celebrants from coast to coast and if you want a celebrant to conduct the service as well. we can connect you to one in your area.

Life Story Videos and Funeral Programs

Funeral VideoIn addition to our funeral writing service, we offer life story videos that can be played at the funeral or reception. Life story videos capture important events that create forever memories. Viewing life story videos at any funeral ceremony allows friends and family to reflect and rejoice on their memories of a loved one. Even though life story videos cannot eliminate grief, they are an excellent resource for psychological, emotional and spiritual comfort. They always add a special touch to any funeral service and copies can be made to share as a precious keepsake.

Our funeral FuneralProgramThumbprograms are created online using one of 30 different designs. We have beach scenes, spiritual themes, classic designs, patriotic templates and music themes. The themes can be matched up with the video theme as well. There’s something well-suited to most everyone’s life and interests. However, our funeral programs are far from stock, one-size-fits-all pieces. Our program allows you to add as much or as little information as you see fit, to truly make a personal remembrance of your loved one.
 You’ll find that working with funeral celebrants offers you a lot of flexibility and versatility in the preparation of a funeral ceremony. These professionals come with no set rules and no set agenda and can incorporate multiple religions and life styles with no bias. They can help you prepare the perfect ceremony that is upbeat, solemn or a mix of both. The focus is to provide friends and families with a ceremony that is truly comforting and personalized.

If you’re planning a funeral ceremony and want only the best, you can turn to the pros at Cremation Solutions. Whether you choose our funeral writing service or a life story video, we keep you engaged in the whole process. It’s your input that allows us to create the perfect ceremony for that special one. To find out more about our new Funeral Celebrant Writing Service, including prices and details  CLICK HERE!

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Posted in Celebrant Funerals, Funeral News, Funeral Programs, Funeral Service, Funeral Tribute DVD, Funneral Planning, Memorial Videos, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrants Will Save The American Funeral

I Hereby Predict That Celebrants Will Save The American Funeral !

Celebrants
Bringing people back to funerals, One life at a time

Celebrants are:
Shining light on a life well lived

Funeral Celebrants are
Putting the spot light on the lives we live

Celebrants
Helping funeral directors take back the funeral, one life at a time

Celebrants
Write the outline on the back of the book of life

Celebrants
Helping lives to shine on, one funeral at a time

Invite the deceased back to the funeral, hire a celebrant

Celebrants
Artist that paint portraits of the lives we live

Celebrants
Narrators of the book of life

Take the wheel of life on a final voyage
Hire a celebrant

Celebrants
Taking the wheel, for life’s final passage

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Holograms Allow The Dead To Attend Their Own Funerals !

All eyes were on the stage at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, as no other than music legend Michael Jackson took the stage. That is right, nearly five years after his death, new holographic imaging technology allowed for his 3D, free standing image to grace the stage once again. This is not the first time holograms have been used to wow the audience. CNN used holograms to grab the attention of their viewers as they had correspondent Jessica Yellin and guest star and musician Will.i.am report live on TV as a hologram for the 2008 elections.

CNN used live people to make their hologram debut, but what about Michael Jackson, he has been gone for since 2009. This site was reminiscent of the 2012 Coachella Festival when Snoop Dogg took the stage with his long-time friend and fellow rapper, Tupac, who had died in 1996. This new technology of bringing the dead back to life is receiving mixed reviews by the public. While some people are amazed at the technology and love seeing their favorite icons back on stage, other people find it disrespectful to the dead and a little creepy.

What is a Hologram?

Holographic technology was the brainchild of Dennis Gabor, who came up with the theory that this type of technology was possible. This technology has advance greatly over the years, especially in the last decade and seems to be making dramatic improvements all the time. When CNN created their holograms for the 2008 election night, they used a series of 35 high-definition cameras to capture video pictures from different angles that were used to create a hologram. In this instance, the co-anchors on the show could not see the hologram on stage with them, but it could be seen on the screen and by the viewing audience.

Typically, a hologram is created using a different method that involves laser beams, mirrors and beam splitters. The laser beam is directed towards the mirrors, which work to reflect the beam to the beam splitter. This actually cuts the beam in half by sending half of the light to the object being captured and the other half to the hologram. These two beams are again redirected ,and meet at a photographic glass plate, where it is recorded.

Unlike a photograph where the image is recorded and the transferred into a picture, holographic technology only captures a pattern. This pattern is what is used to transform the object into a hologram. One of the most amazing things with this technology is that if a magnifying glass is used in the process it will magnify the object automatically. If the hologram were created prior to the person’s death, they would be used at the object being recorded. If the person were already decease, previously taken pictures and video footage would need to be used.

How to Integrate a Hologram into a Funeral

The increasing use and popularity of holographic technology has many people wondering if there is an effective way to integrate holograms into a funeral. This technology is only expected to improve in its capabilities in the upcoming years. In addition, the use of these technology and its tools will likely decrease in costs as it become more popular. This will certainly make hologram integration into funeral planning possible, but how will it work.

Hologram Funeral Planning

Or Just Bring R2D2 To The Funeral!

This simplest way to make this integration occur is to have a holographic message prerecorded before a person passes away, and then play it back during the funeral. This will give a person the ability to leave a final message to their loved ones. This has actually been done for years, but through a video recorder with the video displayed on a screen or TV. A hologram will provide a life-like version of the person and make it seem like they are almost in the room at the funeral.

Another way would be for the families, as part of their funeral planning, to convert their loved one, through the use of old video footage and pictures, into a hologram. Of course, this method would require more work and probably cost a bit more, but it would still have the same effect. This would be a way for grieving family members to honor their loved one and pay a special tribute to them. This may also allow friends and family to say their goodbyes in a more personal way.

Not only could a hologram be used as part of the funeral service allowing the deceased to say his/her final goodbyes, but it could also be used in during viewing allowing family and friends to pay their respects to the decease. In addition, the hologram would be something the family could look back at days, weeks, or years later to remember their loved one by.

Is the World Ready for this New Technology?

Funeral Hologram and Video

Iron Man Uses Them. Why Not Funeral Directors!

The big question is not can this technology be done or even if a funeral hologram can be used effectively. The bigger question is how will using this new technology be received by those who attend the funeral. If the onstage performance of either Tupac or Michael Jackson shows any indication, society is split down the middle on how they feel about the use of holograms for the deceased. Many people thought that seeing Michael on the stage again was fantastic and some of his friends claimed that even Michael would have loved being a hologram. However, other avid Jackson fans felt it was disrespectful to his memory and just a bit creepy.

While this involves feeling about some of the top names in the music industry, how will people feel about it for a funeral of a loved one or close friend. It really is hard to tell. Presumably, people would not find it disrespectful if the deceased had prerecorded the holographic message before they passed away, since that was their choice to make. However, when the family makes the holograph after their loved one’s death, it may get different results. It may also depend on the delivery. Including a holographic message as part of the funeral services may not be as overwhelming for people as the thought of standing next to this hologram.

The truth is that holograms are already gaining in popularity and now that one of the most famous legend in the world has made his holographic musical debut, it is only going to become more popular. The use of a funeral hologram in the services may be inevitable, whether the world is ready for it or not. As with most new trends, the more people get used to seeing them, the less debate there will be about their use.

There are certainly some circumstances where a funeral hologram may be a great idea. Imagine the mother dying of cancer who wants to make sure her children remember her, or the father who wants to know his family will be alright after his death, or even someone who wants to be as humorous after his/her death as he/she was in life. For some people, this may be a great way to have people remember them just the way they want them to, rather than only thinking of how they died.

Urns For Ashes

Personal Urns “Too Real”!

If you are planning a funeral with or without cremation services and trying to determine if a funeral hologram is right for you or your loved ones, you should consider all your options. For now, at least, holograms used for the deceased are still surrounded by a lot of controversy. This may cause some people to feel uncomfortable, think (Personal Cremation Urns) while others may think the idea is great.

In the end, it is a very personal decision that can only be made by yourself, and/or your family members. It is important that you take everyone’s feeling into consideration when making the decision to use a funeral hologram or not. What kind of message would your hologram give at your funeral?

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Speaking of Death Prepare to Die!

 

Talking about death and what kind of arrangements need to be made at the end of your life isn’t an easy conversation for anyone. Many people don’t know how to discuss their wishes with their family because it makes them uncomfortable, and then when the individual becomes medically unable to make his or her wishes known, family members are left to handle a number of difficult decisions. As a result, this makes those choices twice as hard. If you’re looking for ways to have this discussion with your family in way that will open up the conversation in a positive manner, then The Conversation Project can help. This project is committed to helping individuals talk about the end of their lives and their wishes concerning hospice, medical care, and other end-of-life decisions so that their families aren’t left to make the choices on their own and so that they can celebrate the life of their loved one instead of feeling overwhelmed. A well planned funeral is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

Funeral PlanningAbout The Conversation Project

The Conversation Project is the brainchild of Ellen Goodman, whose own experience with caring for her mother at the end of her life and the challenges she faced spurred her into discussing the subject with friends, colleagues, and even doctors and clergymen. Goodman found herself overwhelmed with medical decisions when her mother could no longer make them, and after talking with others who’d had the same experience, Goodman and those like her launched The Conversation Project in 2010. The goal of the Conversation Project is to help people talk to their families about the end of their lives, the decisions they need to make concerning the care they receive, and how to honor those wishes so that they can be carried out when the time comes. So many people are aware of what they want to happen as they get older and are no longer to care for or make decisions for themselves, but sadly, they never discuss it with those closest to them because the subjects of death and dying are so difficult to broach. It is the ultimate goal of The Conversation Project to shed light on this issue and help people see that the best time to discuss these topics is before people become unable to, not after.

Presently, The Conversation Project works with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). The project began to work with IHI, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to better health care for individuals all over the world, in 2011. Along with a number of other committed professionals, The Conversation Project has already helped a number of people make this difficult subject easier for their loved ones, has brought them closer together through these conversations, and has allowed people to make arrangements for their aging loved ones so that the end of their lives can be peaceful instead of fraught with uncertainty and pain.

Why Are These Conversations Necessary?

While some individuals put funeral directives in their wills, very few people include directives concerning their desires if they should become unable to make decisions for themselves, and this is a conversation that everyone needs to have before it happens, not after. While this may make you and other people uncomfortable, consider what might happen if you should develop dementia, Alzheimer’s, or have a stroke that rendered you unable to make medical decisions for yourself. This would leave your children or your spouse to make these choices in your place, which may make them uneasy, guilty, or frightened about what you may have wanted. By having these talks early on, you can make your wishes known and what they need to do in the event of medical emergencies and the events that may follow. While many people talk about writing down about the type of care they want at the end of their lives, few people actually follow through. These conversations are more than just talking about what you want to happen after a medical emergency or if you want medical intervention: it’s a conversation about long-term care, your happiness as you reach the end of your life, and communicating your desires about funeral arrangements as well.

These Talks Can Ease Your Family’s Grief and Allow Them to Celebrate Your Life

It's Your FuneralWhile it’s difficult to discuss what kind of decisions should be made for the end of your life, it’s even harder to talk about your wishes concerning your funeral, but The Conversation Project can help you learn about how to approach the topic with your loved ones. It could be that you have even tried to have this discussion with your family in the past but they were unwilling to talk about it. This is a common reaction, as talking about the death of a loved one with that person makes many people feel awkward and uncomfortable. However, there are many advantages to starting these conversations, especially if you and your children or spouse have any disagreements about your wishes. When these conversations happen and your wishes are made clear, your family members can celebrate your life in a more meaningful way instead of feeling guilty that they made the wrong choices. The Conversation Project can help you talk to your loved ones about how understanding your wishes can benefit them as well.

How The Conversation Project May Benefit Survivors

When people become incapacitated at the end of their life and their loved ones are forced to make decisions for them, such as whether they wished to pass away at home, wanted full-time medical care, or what type of medical procedures they wanted in order to prolong their lives, when that person dies, those who live on are usually not only grieving but burdened with grief as well. Some of the questions they often ask themselves after their loved one has died are:

  • Did I carry out all of my loved one’s wishes while they were alive?
  • Were they happy at the end of their life?
  • Were they unhappy and simply couldn’t communicate it?
  • Was there anything I could have done to make their passing easier?
  • Are the final arrangements I made what they really wanted?

All of these questions can affect people emotionally and mentally long after their loved ones have passed, affecting their lives on a day-to-day basis and adding to the grief that they are already feeling over their loss. This is another way that The Conversation Project can help; by teaching you how to approach the topic of your final wishes with your family and getting together to put it in writing, those who live on will never have to wonder about whether the decisions they made on your behalf were the right ones.

Talking about what you want the most when it comes to your final arrangements will also help those who are left behind focus on carrying out those wishes with dignity instead of having to agonize over every choice they make because you never discussed them. Burial, cremation, and the location of the final interment or placement can be carried out without your family members squabbling over what they think you would have wanted.

Pass on Your Beliefs and Goals

Good Funerals

Here’ To You!

Your family can’t carry out your end-of-life goals and wishes if they are not made aware of them. By using The Conversation Project’s Starter Kit, you can let your family know that discussing your wishes and how you want to live at the end of your life isn’t really such a frightening thing. In fact, it may ease their minds because in many cases, those with elderly parents are just as worried about these issues but don’t know how to discuss them either. By using the starter kit together, you and your family can get the conversation going about how you’d like to live out your final days, what kind of medical care you’d approve of if you were able to, and even where you’d like to be laid to rest and how. By talking these issues out beforehand, you might even discover that your loved ones are curious about your beliefs and why you have made these choices.

Make Your Wishes Known Today

Talking about how you’d like to live out your final days is never an easy conversation for anyone to have, but with The Conversation Project, you can open up a frank discussion about decisions that will have a great deal of impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones as you approach the end of your life. Weather you prefer cremation services or burial. urns or caskets, clergy or a celebrant, let your wishes be known. Having this talk today with those who are going to be making these decisions will not only ease any feelings of guilt or fear they might feel later on, but it will also give them peace of mind when they carry out those wishes. If you would like to learn more about how The Conversation Project can help you, log onto theconversationproject.org and download their free starter kit today or talk to your doctor about what’s most important to you when it comes to living your final years with dignity and happiness.

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Bad Grief! When No Body Comes Home

Missed PersonEach year, more than 1.8 million American men, women and children are reported missing. Although the majority of these people are located, many stay missing, leaving their families to wonder for years and years if the person they love is dead or alive. Sometimes, this situation is the result of a monumental tragedy, like 9/11, that strikes an entire community or nation. Other times, it’s as simple and as devastating as a woman with dementia walking away from her caregiver, never to be seen again. Whatever the circumstances, the uncertainty, pain and isolation felt by the person’s family and friends is the same…and unimaginable to those who haven’t experienced it.

When tragedy strikes and people are presumed dead, but no body is recovered, it changes everything that traditionally surrounds the natural process of grief. Two recent news stories have included just such situations–the missing Malaysian aircraft and the big mud slide in Washington State. Families and friends of those involved in these situations are experiencing this rare types of loss. They yearn for both answers and a starting point from which to confront their loss. However, without a body, the mind still wants to believe anything but the truth. Such deaths, called “ambiguous deaths” by the psychiatric community, require unique handling and sensitivity from family and friends as well as funeral professionals called upon to oversee the final arrangements.

Death in the news

Missing  370 Missing 370 in Sand  On March 8, 2014, Malaysian flight 370 disappeared without a trace. The nightly news has focused regularly on the recovery efforts by crews from more than a dozen different nations. More than one month later, not one fragment of the plane or its occupants has been found. The latest speculation is that the plane is at the bottom of a particularly deep part of the Indian Ocean, more than 2.8 miles from the surface. If this is true, there is little likelihood of the plane and its dead will ever be recovered. The pressure at such depths makes it impossible for any manned craft to navigate the area where the plane likely lies.

The 238 passengers and crew members of MH370 came from 13 different countries, but their families share a common pain, the roller coaster ride of hope and the despair of not knowing what happened to their mother, husband, daughter, father, wife or son.

Washington_Mudslide-088c6Another situation with unrecoverable bodies occurred recently in Washington State last month when a rain-soaked hill collapsed without warning, engulfing more than three dozen homes in a massive mudslide. As I write this, 36 bodies have been found and 10 people are still missing, including two children. Recovery efforts continue more than four weeks after the disaster.

Why are such enormous resources–both in manpower and money–expended trying to recover bodies long after it is reasonable to assume that a person could have survived? After 9/11, the recovery effort continues for more than eight months and ended with a solemn ceremony at the site. Our culture associates death with a body. Not having that body of our loved one disrupts the entire grieving process.

Grieving without a body

Grief On Hold

Grief Stuck In Limbo

In our society, we associate death and grieving with a physical body. Most funeral arrangements involve a viewing, where friends and family can share memories and get a last glimpse of the body that once was their friend or loved one. We usually follow that with a service that culminates in the lowering of the casket in the ground or the handing of the ashes to the survivors. Without a body, all of those traditions are disrupted.

Denial is one of the classic stages of grief. Our mind naturally wants to assume that our dead loved one will walk through the front door any minute. When their is no body, our mind can get stuck in this stage, even when all evidence points to the fact that the person is gone. This is why enormous amounts of time and money are spent on recovery efforts in situations like the mud slide and the disappearance of the Malaysian airliner even when the likelihood of finding a live person has long since passed.

Planning funerals without a body

Deaths where there is no body present challenges for funeral professionals as well as for family and friends. Like loved ones, funeral professionals are used to dealing with a physical body as part of the funeral rites, either as a burial or a cremation. A death without a body throws this traditional system out of alignment, while at the same time offering the challenge of trying to comfort a family during the most terrible time in their lives.

When Hope and Grief CollideDeaths without a body, while rare, are not unique to current events. After 9/11, friends and family of thousands of men and women missing from the Twin Towers had to deal with their grief even though fewer than a quarter of the bodies of those in the buildings had been recovered. Some chose to use an empty casket at the funeral to give the service a sense of normalcy. Others used caskets for whatever part of their loved one had been found, even if it was just a finger.

Often funerals without a body are handled similarly to memorial services, with photos and/or videos of the deceased adorning the service, so that family and friends are able to “see” the person who died one last time. Having the family put together these images, even making a video or a few photo collages can help in the healing process. Take it a step further and have the family create a memorial table filled with items that were important to the life being mourned .

When dealing with deaths where people are presumed dead but there is no body, it is important for funeral professionals as well as friends to be especially empathetic and willing to listen. Any death of a relative or loved one is somewhat isolating, but a death without a body can make the survivors feel that they are the only ones who have ever had to go through this anguish.
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It’s Not Easy Being The Last One To Let You Down!

Good Old Bernie

Good Old Bernie

The job of a funeral director is often misunderstood. Most people in this profession are driven by passion as much as the desire to pursue a career, some are just born into it. Being a funeral director is one of the most stressful jobs there is. You have to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and you see people going through some of the toughest times of their lives. Even people who are usually easy going become sensitized and hard to please. Details are everything and unlike wedding, you have very little time to pull it all together. It’s really hard to make and keep plans and your own family often suffers from your absence.

Funeral Guy

Going Doooown

The suits and fancy cars can mask alcoholism, depression and divorce are all part of the territory for funeral directors. Most people that go into the funeral biz are out of it in three to five years. Often portrayed as as opportunists and vultures, funeral directors don’t have an easy life. No wonder they prefer to keep to a rigid day-to-day routine and seek the shelter of tradition. Today, as funerals are quickly moving away from tradition, due to internet searches and the Baby Boomers’ desire to create new traditions. Funeral professionals are faced with even more challenges as they are forced to venture out of their protective, traditional bubbles. They need to either find a way to adapt to today’s needs or face extinction. Some are adjusting well but most are not!

Funeral Directors: a Final Friend

Funeral directors sometimes get a bad  press. However, the truth is that the vast majority of the more than 23,000 such professionals working in the United States are dedicated, compassionate and committed to facilitating the last wishes of the deceased and making it easier for their families. The best funeral directors are the best listeners and ensure that the funeral and burial rites go smoothly without imposing themselves into the proceedings. There is a fine balance between explaining the many new options while not coming off as a salesman of opportunity. That’s not as easy as it sounds.

What a funeral director does

A funeral director plays a number of roles. He or She is usually the first person that a family meets with when they visit the funeral home to begin planning a funeral. They are event planners that have one chance to get it right.  In that function, he or she is both marketing director and customer service representative, not to mention grief counselor.  They are also small business owners, who must order and maintain inventory (caskets, vaults, etc.), market their services and manage the bookkeeping. Funeral directors also act as human resource directors for their own staff, handling the hiring and firing, coordinating benefit programs and assigning work schedules. Funeral directors are also involved in transporting the dead (at all hours) preparing the deceased for viewings and burial, an art and science in itself.

The future of funeral homes

funeralhome1The way the American public looks at funerals and burial rites is changing quickly and dramatically. In an experienced based society funeral pros better step up to new challenges or go the way of the neighborhood butcher, baker and travel agent! Independent funeral homes, once fixtures in every town, have now mostly been absorbed by large, national corporations. As an industry, funeral professionals can do a better job, but to do so, they must be willing to come out of their comfort zones.

Just a few of the ways funeral professionals can embrace and adapt to changing views about the end of life include:

1. Your best form of advertising is to do good funerals!
Good FuneralsEach funeral / memorial is a custom created event that draws from all involved and weaves it into a special event that allows social healing and an open environment that provides a safe haven for people to share in their support for each other.
On the surface, if using the latest bells and whistles available to us such s video tributes, custom blankets, programs, funeral favors, memorial websites ect. will help support the goal of creating a healing experience, then why not use them to the best of our ability. If a specially trained MC that knows just how to draw on all aspects of a life lived and craft all that information into a well balanced and touching ceremony would help, then you should be hiring the best Certified Life Celebrant you can find. If you cannot find a good Celebrant in your area, you should find a person that you think would be good and pay for their training.

2. Using social media. A funeral home on Facebook? Why not? Increasingly, Americans are making plans for their funerals before they die and are shopping online for a funeral home just as they shop for someone to fix their furnace or landscape their front yard. However, less than half of funeral homes are using social media in their marketing plans.

By using social media platforms, like Facebook, funeral directors can take some of the “scary” out of the funeral profession, put a face on the business and become a more human part of the community. Show them how proud you are of your grand kids, while at the same time establishing themselves as experts in the industry.

3. Content marketing. Content marketing, the art and science of boosting your website’s–and your company’s–visibility by adding regular new, valuable and interesting content to your site is a natural for funeral homes. If someone searches on Google or other search engine for funeral home in (insert your geographic area), you what them to find your business, not the competition. Since most people plan very few funerals in their lifetime, you want to be the first business they encounter online. Content marketing, done well, can help you head the list in search engine results. Write about whats going on in your community and become a source for local news.

While more than 80 percent of funeral homes have a website, many use it primarily for information about funerals currently being planned by the business and/or for message books for friends and family of the deceased. While these functions are both important, funeral homes that don’t use their websites to marketing their services are missing a huge opportunity.

3. Blogging. Funeral Home SEOWhereas more than 65 percent of funeral homes use traditional newspaper advertising, less than 10 percent include blogging in their marketing mix. Adding regular blog posts to your marketing plan has several advantage. First of all, such posts will help your SEO efforts and make you more visible to families looking for someone to help plan their loved one’s funeral. In addition, the cost of blogging is negligible, especially when compared to the cost of print advertising.

The way the American public views and shops for funeral services is changing, and funeral directors need to be changing with it. There will always be a place for a competent, compassionate, efficient funeral director. The trick is getting the word to those who need such services in this increasingly digital marketplace.It’s Not Easy Being The Last One To Let You Down!
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Cremation Solutions on TV to Help Joan Rivers with her Dog’s Funeral

Dog Funeral

Joan and Her Beloved Max

Sometimes life–and death–surprises you. I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear from the producers of the “Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” reality TV show when they called me. It turns out that comedian, Joan Rivers is aware of our pet funerals and the urns, cremation jewelry and keepsakes we offer for people who have lost a beloved pet. Joan’s 12-year-old rescue Pekingese, Max had died and she wanted to do a show about a funeral for the dog. Of course, I said we would help, although I had no idea what to expect.

Planning a dog’s funeral

We started the funeral for Max by finding a location that worked well for Joan as well as hiring a New York celebrant to write and officiate at the service, Chris Shelly rose to the occasion. My friend Nancy Burban help us search for a location in New York City. One of the things Joan was most concerned about, and one of the reasons she called us, was the many options we have for displaying Max’s ashes. One of the scenes in the show takes place in Joan’s New York City apartment, where I’ve brought several of our urns, cremation jewelry and pet keepsakes to show her. Of course, with Joan, even funerals can be funny and she makes jokes about the different options. It was perfect blend of fun and serious.

Farewell to Max

Love Urns

Max’s Round Simplicity Urn

Joan decided on an urn during the segment and also wanted to get some jewelry to hold a few of Max’s ashes. She choose one of our Pandora-style cremation beads that matches the colors of Max’s coat, a charcoal, almost black hue.

She also decided to use our new “Loved One Launcher” to blast Max’s ashes all over his favorite stomping grounds. This piece of equipment can blast your loved one’s ashes up to 70 feet. The ashes can be mixed with confetti to give the launch a festive, party-like atmosphere. It’s a perfect salute to a being, like Max, who loved life.

We ended the show with Max’s funeral.

Admittedly, the funeral was a little bizarre, but the grief was real. As the owner of a rescue dog myself, I can relate.

You never know what you’re going to encounter in this business. I had fun doing the show. I think Joan and I had a little chemistry and the spontaneous jokes were streaming. This really was reality TV; nothing was rehearsed.

About “Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best”

Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best” is a reality

Scattering Ashes

Joan Holds The Loved One Launcher Ash scattering  Cannon

series on WEtv, featuring comedian, Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa as they try to keep the peace while living under one roof. The 30-minute show debuted in 2011 when Rivers moved from Los Angeles to New York City and moved in with her grown daughter, Melissa. The show is just beginning its fourth season.

About Cremation Solutions

Although all of the attention and excitement of doing a TV show is nice (and kind of rare in our business), Cremation Solutions doesn’t just cater to celebrity dogs. We

Dod Funerals

Jeff Staab, Joan, Melissa and Padfoot

have a whole range of affordable pet funeral services as well as cremation urns, jewelry, keepsakes and art to help you remember all of your loved ones and keep them close to you even when they have passed. Check out the beautiful tapestry behind Joan and Melissa. It was a gift from Funeral Home Gifts.

Our episode on the “Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best” show airs on WEtv on April 12, 10 PM EST on the WE TV network. We hope you’ll tune in.
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Life Matters! What Will Your Monument Look Like

Why Do Humans Have Monuments?

Scary Man Monument

Are You Big And Scary!

Headstones and monuments  serve as an important piece of history that marks the life and memory of a loved one that has passed. The main purpose of these monuments is to mark where the soul has gone to rest, while bearing the name and lifetime for the deceased so that all can remember. Messages are important, but the material has to remain for a message to remain present. A monument provides you with a place to go and see your loved ones name and remember all of the things they did in their life.

Originally, humans would mark the place of rest with nothing more than a simple field stone. Natural stones such as sandstone, granite, marble, slate and limestone were all used at some point in history. Today, the most popular of all stones is that of granite.

History of Monuments

Natural Stone MarkersBack in times where cemeteries weren’t around, people would often have the burial plot near their family home. Most of the time, the grave was marked with rocks, rough stones or wood as a means of preventing the dead from rising. They mostly contained the name of the deceased, their age and what year they passed. Over the course of time, churchyard burials came into play and large, square-shaped monuments were prepared out of a slate material (1650 – 1900) or sandstone material (1650 – 1890). Inscriptions that were carved into the slate tended to be a little shallow, albeit readable.

During the 19th century, the public cemeteries evolved. Eventually, people started to note the importance of headstones as a means of memorializing those who passed on. They began engraving the headstones with a few words about the one who had passed. Often, those words were either written by the person who had passed or someone who was still alive. One of the biggest advantages to this is that when you read the information contained on the monument, it provides you with information about the deceased. It makes it easier to trace the family history for future generations.

Angel MemorialsIn the Victorian era (1837 – 1901), a strong emphasis was placed on practices and customs that were associated with death. It was during this period that the path was paved for elaborate monuments. When you went to the cemetery, it looked more like a park because of how lavish and elegantly decorated all of the monuments were.

Most of the tombstone symbols that arose from the Colonial period were more of a reflection of being fearful of the afterlife. They believed that very few people were going to be allowed into Heaven upon their passing. Their thoughts were that the majority of people were going to be deemed sinners and there was nothing that could be done about it.

Monuments 101: Everything You Need to Know

Many people opt to purchase a monument in advance. They do not want to wait until they are gone and leave the burden on those who are left behind. After all, who is the best person to decide what they want their marker to have on it than the person who passed away. Also, losing a loved one is stressful enough. The grief can be more than some can handle, so having made this difficult choice beforehand makes it easier on those you love.

Geek Monuments

Game Over!

Today, the majority of monuments and markers are composed of either marble, granite or bronze. Granite is one of the most sought after materials because of how durable the material is. Beyond lasting for years, it also looks beautiful on the site. Granite has been shown to withstand the elements quite well, so it won’t wear out quickly or break down before its time. Marble tends to be more of a sedimentary stone, so it is going to break down far quicker when exposed to the weather. Centuries can pass with no change in a granite stone. You can also choose to purchase a monument in a number of different colors and styles, so the stone can be crafted and designed to reflect the personality of the one who has passed.

Even though you don’t have to get a marker for someone who has been cremated, you might want to think twice about not getting one. The marker provides you with a place where you can go to reflect and find comfort in their passing. Some monuments actually hold the ashes inside. It is also an excellent means for marking the genealogical information of loved ones for any future generations to come.

The cost of the monument is going to vary depending on material, size, carving and etchings and the time spent to create and any extras that you add on to the piece like ceramic photos or a vase. Remember, you are going to get what you pay for. Make sure you are purchasing something that is going to last for years.

What Do You Want People to Remember You For?

Like Your Blackberry Much!

Like Your Blackberry Much!

You move through life from one day to the next like a well-oiled machine. Day in and day out you are doing one thing after another. Some of those things are quite valuable and exciting, while other tasks are mundane. Regardless of who you are, there are always things that you strive for. You want to do good and please all of those around you. Leaving your mark on the world is just one of those things that you want to do during your time on Earth. Heck, maybe we just want to make ourselves happy and do all of those things that we enjoy in life.

Many people don’t consider the aftermath of their actions. They only think about themselves and what they are going to gain out of it in the here and now. In reality, our actions could have a significant effect on all of those around us and how they might perceive themselves for the future. Truthfully, our existence will live on long after we are gone. In the days, nights, months and years once we have passed, our actions will continue to affect those who we cared about the most.

Monumental Fail!

Monumental Fail!

You are only a baby once. You only have one chance to be a toddler, child, teenager, adult and elder. You don’t get multiple times to go back in and make things right. It’s a one shot deal, so you want to make sure you do it right the first time to prevent any undue repercussions. With your one chance, you want to do everything you can to do things right. When you hit that fork in the road, you only get one chance to make a crucial decision. Regardless of what decision lies before you, there are no do-overs. It’s a one-shot deal, so you want to make sure you make the best decision possible. Don’t worry about the pressure being placed on you.

Headstone

Just Passing Through

Take the time to make a decision that is going to be in the best interest of yourself and those you love. No matter how much you pine for the past and regret the decisions you made, you cannot change them. They are what they are. You can only dream, wish and hope for a better future. As time progresses, you quickly learn that all of those things you did are an infinite reminder of who you were and what you became.

As humans, we are social beings. We thrive on being around others and communicating with them. In our everyday lives, we are surrounded by people from all walks of life, regardless of whether we like those people or not. You have to think about the fact that you only have a certain amount of days with those individuals, so don’t you want to make the best of it while you can?

Statue

Almost Glad I Didn’t Know Her!

Once you pass on, you are never forgotten. Those who knew who you were and had the chance to interact with you are going to have sentiments and thoughts about you and how you lived your life and acted toward others. Since you only have one chance for every moment, you want to make that chance count. People are going to think about the time they spent with you. The conversations they once had with you are unforgettable. For some, they will mourn your passing and lament on how your life was. On the other hand, there will be those who are happy to see you go.

It doesn’t matter what the case may be, you are in control of whether people are going to have positive thoughts about you or ones that are filled with resentment and hate. Don’t let it be the latter. Have a positive influence on everyone you come in contact with. Life isn’t all about what people believe and say once you are gone. It is really about how you lived your life while you were here. Did you make the most of your life? Did you do everything you could to enjoy it? You are the only one who can determine what journey you are going to take, so make it a good one.
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Suicide is Fatal

 L'Wren Scott

L’Wren Scott

Last week, fashion designer and stylist, L’Wren Scott took her own life at her Chelsea apartment in New York City. She hung herself. Ms. Scott’s death made newspapers and website headlines around the globe because she was the long-time girlfriend of veteran rocker, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. However, Scott is just one of more than 38,000 people who die of self-inflicted injuries in the United States each year. In fact, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America, according to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. Although such persons may have felt alone at the end, on average, a person who commits suicide has six survivors.

Why suicides are particularly difficult for survivors

 

Grief Talk

What Would You Want To Hear?

Suicide deaths are particularly difficult to handle for both survivors and funeral directors. Often the person is young. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, suicide is the third most common cause of death in Americans aged 15 to 24. Almost always the death is unexpected. Unlike deaths from illness or those who die at the end of a long and happy life, those who die from suicides are healthy one day and gone the next. Rarely do family and friends have an opportunity to say goodbye. Too often survivors are plagued with guilt, wondering if they had missed the signs and/or if there had been anything they could have done to prevent the suicide.

The truth is that 95 percent of people who take their own lives suffer from a mental illness–either diagnosed or un-diagnosed, according to grief speaks.com. Such people generally aren’t thinking about the pain and the anguish their death will cause their friends and family. At that moment, they can only see their own pain.

Suicide is also often a spur-on-the-moment decision. According to a Harvard University study, more than 70 percent of those who survived a suicide attempt said that they tried to end their life within 30 minutes of making the decision. That short window of time, obviously, doesn’t give the person a change to fully examine all of the ramifications and consequences of their action.

Why Suicide funerals are the hardest funerals to swallow

Funerals for those who have committed suicide can be some of the most difficult funerals for funeral directors to plan as well as for families and friends. For one thing, most suicides are unexpected and family and friends haven’t had time to think about what sort of arrangements the deceased may have wanted. That is especially true when a young person dies.  In addition, family may still be in shock and denial about their loved one’s death. This can hamper decisions like choosing a casket, a service and a burial site.

 

Funeral ProfessionalFuneral planning suicide: how funeral directors can help

Handling the funeral arrangements for a person who has committed suicide can be a challenge for funeral directors, but it can also be an opportunity for your funeral home to help start the healing process for family and friends.

 

Helping survivors cope

Funeral directors are in a unique position to help survivors of suicide fatalities to cope with their loved one being gone. According to the Harvard University study, there are several things that funeral directors (and others) can do to help suicide survivors cope.

  • Normalize the situation. People who have had a family or friend die from a suicide tend to feel isolated and even ostracized from the rest of society. This may come, in part, from traditional church views condemning suicide and the stigma that still remains about suicide. Treating the funeral arrangements and planning as if it were any other funeral can help the family and other survivors cope with the situation. Avoid making the arrangements seem anything but a “typical” funeral.
  • Allow them to talk. Suicide survivors may have no one else with  whom to share their feelings. Allow a little extra time for such consultations so that you have time to listen if necessary.
  • Provide information about support groups. Suicide survivors may not be comfortable talking to their friends and co-workers about the cause of death. In fact, according to the Harvard University study, nearly half of the survivors surveyed explained the death as an accident or other mishap rather than a suicide. Having information on support groups available can help such persons find others who have been through such a situation and help them to realize that they aren’t the only ones.

Planning a funeral for someone who has committed suicide can be a challenging–and a rewarding–experience. Keeping in mind that family and friends of such persons have special needs in the grieving process and doing what you can to keep the funeral planning as “normal” as possible can go a long way to helping start the healing process for those left behind.

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New Collection of Funeral Poems

Funeral Poem#1
We walk through the valley in the shadow of death
Shedding light to the families in grief
We make their loved ones look beautiful one last time
So their goodbye to life is tolerable for those left behind
We hold up those closest to the ones that have passed on
Giving them silent strength to face the sadness ahead
We care for Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister one last time
As if we knew each one of them personally
We offer them the one thing they can’t give to themselves
A dignified goodbye.

#2
I remember grandmother differently.
We would stay up late when I spent the night, much later than mom or dad would let me
We would drink hot cocoa and talk about Santa Claus.
We would bathe her cockatrice parrot together and laugh as he tried to escape the sink.
This is the essence of my grandmother.
Her laugh will follow me down hallways and through deep dreams, it is unforgettable, unexplainable.
They call it her final “resting” place, but I cannot find any rest here.

Then the funeral director came.
He sat and listened when no one else wanted to listen to a 9 year old.
He wanted to know my memories of grandmother, he shared with me his own memories of his “nana”.
When he spoke about grandmother he included my stories, he told everyone she will live on in us.
He let me say goodbye to grandmother alone.

Even now that I am a man, I remember the affect his simple gesture of a warm smile had on my life.
How much laughing together about memories can ease the pain, how humanity can resonate with you.
I want to thank him but there is no adequate way to do so.
He would always tell me “I am just like you, we all go through this, I am happy I can help.”
I will never forget grandmother, and I will never forget the man who helped us truly honor her memory.
Thank you, to everyone who has helped a stranger,
and to the special people who devote their lives to it.

Selecting Funeral Music

#3
Now that I have gone, imagine instead that I have only returned
Before I entered this world, I was the same as I am now
I truly came from pieces of the universe
I was the universe experiencing itself
Now I have taken a new form
My essence returns to the planet which provided me with so much
My memories, my words, my actions, my loves.
They live on in those that come after me.
If you look for me, look behind your eyelids.
If you weep for me let they be tears that slide out during slumber
If you whisper to me let it be in the ears of my children
If you visit me may it be when you return with me to the next journey

#4
You are not a ghost, we loved you too much to leave anything unfinished.
Yet I hear the house moan for you in the sleeping hours.
I smell your perfume as I let the shower warm my joints, stiff from sleep.
In the corner of my eye the shadows bend as you try to take shape.
When you favorite song comes on, the singer now sings it differently.

If I am haunted by anything, it is the strength of your love.
If there is a ghost it is me, constantly reliving the past.
I am a residual haunting, I am a residual haunting.
If there are skeletons they are within me and closets.

Death cannot touch us, it can only halt us.
Nothing is lost in the end, the time we borrowed goes on.
I do not sleep alone, you are part of every dream.
These creaking boards, these slamming doors.The music of our lives.

#5
The light never begs forgiveness, a beacon of time and being.
A testament of our earthliness, a blindness to our seeing.
The cruelty of the unknown, a callous trait of pace.
The beauty of a garden grown, mirrored by your grace.
Such temporary bliss we share, fleeting until the end.
Great complexity seems unfair, though cast into the wind.
Remember not the tears and woe, remember not the pain.
Reflect the light of years ago, a glow that still remains.
Memories of love and bliss, a legacy to behold.
The light we will always miss, is ours to now unfold.
Infinitely your reflection travels, immortalized and compelling.
Continuing as the future unravels, within us forever dwelling.

#6
Who Broke God’s heart?
When did the world start?
Will she ever get married?
Is she even worried?

Seattle looks great from the looks of things
But I cannot afford your metal wings
I can see from this worn out part of time
It is our last shot so stop and taste the wine

Sandwich shop in downtown New York
Great place to start not so great to stop
A young man gets his plate and sits on down to talk
He asks her how she could and the courtesy of turning calls

His voice is getting louder reverberating off the walls
It is here where it all began you and me Arkansas

Who broke God’s heart?
Her name is lost to memory
but look around and I think you will see
He is trying to capture her in mountains and in trash
The sick that bridge the painted wall, and those hard up for cash
This woman she has plagued him for a billion years or so
He is painting her something, to ease his jealous soul
So many worlds he made none quite suited for
A place where he could recreate that day outside her door he says:

“Why is nothing else like her
All those people down there they are happier
I made them out of searching for a soul like she had
I made a lot of good things and I have seen a lot of bad
But nothing in this universe like her it drives me mad

Suddenly I can taste that evening at the opera house
You and me and death and his former spouse
We used to be friends you know, we used to jam some songs
But now he works against me, I shoulda seen it comin’ all along

You can see the school I went to deep under the sea
The kids I used to play ball with, fire, earth, and seed
The place where we first met, today they call it electricity
The sky can’t begin to hold….girl you are beyond pretty”

He is listening he just expects accountability
He has been through it all can’t you see the writing on the wall
His canvas is your face and his pillow is the sun
But just remember this whole place started with just one

Opened my eyes I hadn’t prayed in so long.
And on my bed God had left this song
at the end it said make it sound like her
Put her grace in each and every verb

I asked with a whisper “God why do you keep this earth”
He said “boy I tell ya, you guys don’t know your own worth.”

#6
The funeral was beautiful, it was like you were there.
These were your guests, not your mourners.
The table was set exactly as you would have it.
All your music was playing throughout, we smiled knowing you picked it.

The funeral home was truly that, a home. Our family filled it with your life.
We celebrated your accomplishments, we spoke of the ferocity with which you loved.
We truly felt the empty space beside us, you had gone on, we would be along ourselves some day.
The time you gave us with you on earth could never be long enough.

The greatest gift you gave us, was also the most temporal, it only made it more beautiful.

#7
Losing you felt like losing myself
I would give up everything to have you back, even my own health.
But life is not that simple and it never will be
The hardest part of all will be setting you free.
This task I fear and I feel too weak to stand
But this task I do not have to do alone, for there is another man.
This man he has cared for not only me but for our family,
This man has created your final resting place and I wish you could see
The calm he has brought and the strength he resonates
Makes me feel that I may be ready to face our fates.
I step to the podium to say my goodbyes
And as I step to that podium I can feel everyone’s eyes.
There is a knot in my throat and tears on my face
How I wish I could go back just to simply erase.
This terror I feel and the pain in my heart
Fades away when I look at that man, and I begin to start.
“Though you are gone you will always be with us,
we are like Dove’s, one is not complete without the other.
But this Dove that remains here is not alone or afraid
for she knows you have sheltered her under your wing.
And though she may not see or hold you again
She knows you are there, watching, loving, and waiting to be together again.”
With my final words I become overwhelmed with emotions sadness
I suddenly begin to feel like I myself may slip into this madness.
But this man, that man, is there in an instant and speaks to keep the order.
To my lover, I have said my goodbyes until time decides that we are ready to fly again.

LEARN HOW TO WRITE A FUNERAL POEM (CLICK HERE)

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