Snoopy AKA "The Bat"

Snoopy AKA “The Bat”

Although your pet’s name might be something normal or even boring, like Rover, Patches or Princess, you don’t actually call your pet by that name, do you? Admit it. When you are alone with your pet, you sometimes call him other names that border on humiliating–comically humiliating, that is. As a devoted pet parent, you dearly love your furry friend and would never, ever deliberately mean the names you call him. Cremation Solutions has decided to make a contest out of the colorfully degrading names we know you call your pets when you actually really feel true, undying love for them. There are four (4) categories to choose from: most deserving name, most humiliating name, name that best describes a certain physical appearance, and name you can’t say on television (but can say on the internet). We will be offering some really awesome prizes related to the pet products that we sell to give you the perfect initiative for entering our contest. Here’s a few things to consider… “Trendy” Names Won’t Win Any Prizes! Remember, this is an “inappropriate” nicknames contest, not a “cutest” name or “hippest” name contest. For example, if you have a female pet that you call Stella, Ellie, Lola or Mia–well, you are welcome to enter but these sort of “appropriate” names won’t win a prize in this contest. Likewise with male pet names such as “Bentley”, “Tank”, “Cooper” or “Leo”. Yes, they’re dignified but certainly not inappropriate.

Mr Scrotum Need Som Catnipe

Mr Scrotum Needs Some Catnip…..NOW!

Dog and Cat Name Science According to theories of pet names, nicknames that make fun of a pet’s intelligence, bad habits or physical attributes make it easier to get a pet’s attention.

They Call Me "Stoner" I Don't Understand, Do I Look Like a Rock?

They Call Me “Stoner” Do You Think I Look Like a Rock?

Hard-sounding consonants like Ds, Ks, Ps and Fs produce broadband sounds that are energetic enough to cross sound frequencies capable of attracting an animal’s attention by activating numerous audio receptors in his brain. When you call a dog a name containing “soft” consonants (Hs, Bs or Ls, for example), he’ll just giggle, shrug his shoulders and amble away. Pet names like “Snaggletooth”, “Stinkerfart” or “Diddlysquat Kornhead” are great names to use when attempting to teach your dog some manners.

In fact, research shows that giving your pet a treat immediately after saying “Diddlysquat Kornhead” quickly teaches him to understand to pay attention when somebody says that particular name. Also, if you are worried that your pet will take offense to a degrading name like Pinhead or Shitface, don’t be. You are engaging in something all adoring pet owners have done without thinking about it. Anthropomorphizing is a long, scientific-sounding word, but its meaning is simple–you’re giving your pet human characteristics that really don’t apply to him. As much as we like thinking that our pets are more human than some people we know, they really don’t fully understand our language or experience human emotions as we experience them. However, pets do respond to the tone of our voices (soft, harsh, quiet, loud) but not to the meanings of the words we use. So if you lay awake at night feeling guilty for affectionately calling your cat “Butthead” or “Fatass”, roll over and go to sleep. You love him, he loves you and that’s all that matters!

Dog and Cat Names That Might Win Our Contest



To be more specific about what we are looking for in degrading names, here is a list of names that could possibly win our contest:

  • Gassy Geezer (old dogs and farts go together like pie and ice cream)
  • Loudmouth Lardass (fat cats that meow constantly because they endeavor to be annoying)
  • Asskissing Anklebiter (you know, those yappy, small dogs that bite your ankles then run to the nearest old lady for protection?)
  • Idiot Box (for all dogs that lack a few IQ points)
  • Psycho Killer (cats that pretend to like you one minute but want to claw your eyes out the next)
  • Rap Sheet Rocko (applicable to dogs and cats that commit crimes on a daily basis, such as flipping over food bowls deliberately)
  • Upchuck Chuck (mainly for cats–cat owners will understand this one)

Enter Our Contest and Immortalize Your Pet’s Nickname for All Eternity Just like/follow our page and then click on the link below to enter the contest! You could find yourself the recipient of great prizes and internet fame!   CONTEST DETAILS

Sour Puss and Her Sidekick Zippy

Sour Puss and Her Sidekick Zippy

Each contestant may enter one (1) name per category, allowing them the chance to win up to four (4) prizes total. Entries may be submitted through September 13, 2015. Winners will be announced on September 14, 2015.

CATEGORIES Most Deserving Name Most Humiliating Name Name That Best Describes a Certain Physical Appearance Name You Can’t Say On TV (But Can Say On the Internet)  

HOW TO ENTER Submitting your prize-worthy nickname is easy! Simply comment on this blog post with your best nickname and the category you are submitting it to along with your preferred contact information. Is there a story or picture behind your nickname? Share it in the comments with your submission! You can also submit by email if you prefer to  Remember, you can submit one (1) nickname for each category.

Jewelry made from a paw print

Silver Pendants Made With Your Pet’s Print

Prizes  You can win a silver pendant with your pets actual paw print on it and engraved on the back! Click Here to See What We Can Do


OR  You can win a canvas print with your pets paw print and or photo.
Click Here to See What We Can Do

You Choose Colors Words Fonts Ect.

You Choose Colors Words Fonts Ect.


Pet Paw Pictures

Our Graphic Artist Can Do What Your’e Thinking


We Will Mail You an Ink Kit to Get The Print!

This is my dog Java in protest of being washed. Second time this month she messed with Mr. Skunk! This is why we call her “Big Gerbil”    

Posted in Fingerprint Jewelry, Portraits MadFrom Fingerprints, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Why Celebrants Are Positioned to Preform The Majority of American Funerals!

Funeral Guy

R U Kidding Me!

WHAT! well it’s all true after one of the most extensive surveys and research ever conducted with the American publics attitudes towards funerals, all signs points to vast majority of the public would choose to use a Certified Celebrant for their loved one’s funeral. The problem is that the vast majority of the public still doesn’t know what a Celebrant is. And many funeral professionals still have their heads in the sand as to the value of offering Celebrant style ceremonies.

This post is in conclusion of our on-going series relating to the 2012 Funeral Foundation Study performed by Olson Zaltman Associates; which confirmed what many in the funeral professional already know: there is growing dissatisfaction among consumers with what can be called the “traditional funeral”. You may remember the conversation got started way back in November of last year with “Public Opinion Concludes Funeral Service Has Dropped the Ball!”  where I noted the study found there is no emotional or psychological transformation at a typical funeral. In fact, most respondents felt the event left attendees feeling sad and depressed; instead “they yearn to connect with the life that was well lived”.

As the series continued, it should have become clear that I felt there was a solution: Certified Celebrants who are trained to make and energize those connections. But there’s something getting in the way, and that’s consumer ignorance: in a really casual survey of folks on Facebook, Kim discovered most folks have little or no idea what a celebrant even is or can do for them. And some of those people (believe it) were funeral professionals.

“Okay, Remind Me Again: What is a Celebrant?”

Funeral CelebrantIn words from the home page of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute) “celebrants are individuals trained to compose and perform the highest quality personalized ceremonies for couples, individuals and organizations.” I wrote about celebrants and what I thought they could do for the funeral profession in a blog post earlier this year, “How Celebrants Can Help the Funeral Industry“:

“In the current social environment there are many people who do not define themselves as religious, thus they may prefer to keep religion out of the funeral ceremony. Instead they may prefer to celebrate the life of the deceased live with stories, music, and videos. They may want to share funny or poignant stories that show who they were in life. Grieving family members may ask for certain songs to be played instead of hymns, certain poetry recited rather than psalms. A funeral celebrant understands these different expectations and can help…say goodbye the way they want to say it: with meaning, with words, with love, and with joy.”

When asked to describe the “perfect” ceremony a participant in the study summed up the consensus of all: “It’s closing the book. We all have books, we all have chapters. We have our history and experiences. It’s a summation of events.” Families and individuals today want the event to be a celebratory summation that cements the legacy of the meaning of one’s life; one where the personality, talents, gifts and even the quirks–those things which made that person unique and memorable—are “center stage”. The mood, according to the study participants, should be “Transformative one of true celebration, not grief”. They want to feel better, not worse, for the experience.

What’s All This about Transformation?

ButterflyIt seems we human beings enjoy seeing transformation happen before our eyes; just consider the “oohs and ahhs” from the audience during a performance of a really talented magician. We enjoy watching the sky lighten at sunrise; and we often eagerly anticipate both the colors of sunset and the first star sighting which follows.

And we really enjoy reading or watching stories of personal transformation. A favorite of mine is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol“, first published in London in December of 1843. To this day (some 172 years later) people the world over continue to enjoy this story of a bitter, greedy, and totally unhappy man who is transformed (thanks to intervention by the ghost of his dead business partner) into a loving, gentle man. The kind of fellow you’d really like to call “a friend”.

As humans part of us hungers for transformative experiences like his; we hold onto the memories from a profoundly meaningful episode in our life which caused us to become “more” than what we were before. That’s exactly what a certified funeral celebrant brings to a family’s and a community’s experience of loss. And here’s the thing: a celebrant initiates transformation in a couple of different ways.

Certified Celebrant Kim Kirkley was quick to tell us of the transformative power of the event itself: “Unlike marriages or other ceremonies, funerals go to the heart of what it means to be human.” And if you read her story online at her funeral celebrancy website Life Story Funeral NYC you’ll find this beautifully-worded observation: “It is one of the few occasions where we have the chance to stand in the power of ceremony and notice that each of our lives has meaning.”

Yes, the celebrant-led service can transform sadness and enrich emotional connections; but there’s something she’s discovered during her years of service: transformation doesn’t just happen during the service. The very process of preparing for a funeral or memorial service with a celebrant enriches the overall experience of loss for families; the interview process, the memories shared and the review of the events and accomplishments within the deceased life becomes a long-remembered “milestone moment” for them, where this sought-after transformation takes place.


What’s It Like to Work with a Certified Funeral Celebrant?

Kristan McNames provides insight into the process in her guest blog post, “How Becoming a Funeral Celebrant Transformed My Funeral Home; as did celebrant Kim Kirkley during her interview with Kim. Despite the fact both were trained at different institutions, there are processual similarities. Both women have a set of questions which acts as a framework for an informal interview either in person or over the phone. “I’ve found that with several open ended questions, it’s fairly simple to get most people to open up and share stories and memories,” wrote Kristan. “I follow all of the guidelines that I was taught in the celebrant training.

Humans Connect

Making The Connections Towards Transformation

Both celebrants try to include as many family members and friends as possible in the interview segment of the creative process. Once they feel they’re ready, each steps away into solitude to write the presentation which is shown to the family representative prior to its public delivery. (In fact, it is a part of the Celebrant Institute’s Code of Ethics “to ensure that clients have complete choice of and final say over their ceremonies, and that the Celebrant’s personal beliefs are immaterial to this process.” This caveat “encourages clients in choosing and/or approving a ceremony that is satisfying to them.”)

Kristan concludes “Celebrant services are really a reflection of the life of the deceased. They give family members and friends an outlet to share their stories and express their grief. They’re not just for people that don’t have a church affiliation, or for those who consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or humanist. People with longstanding relationships with traditional denominations can benefit from a celebrant service as well. A Celebrant style of ceremony can be held as a part of or can be followed by a traditional Funeral Mass officiated by their parish priest. Tradition and modern funeral customs can co-exist.”

Will Celebrants Ever Become Mainstream?

CFI LOGO 2010If we can take our casual Facebook survey results to heart (where we found very few people knew what duties a celebrant performed) it would be a short leap to the assumption that celebrancy will never “take off” in the United States. But Charlotte Eulette of the Celebrant Foundation and Institute would stop us in our mental tracks. In a recent interview she noted certified celebrants perform 40,000 ceremonies a year in this country and that number grows each year. She was even instrumental in the January 2014 signing by New Jersey Governor Christie of legislation adding “civil celebrant(s) who (are) certified by the Secretary of State to solemnize marriage or civil unions” to the list of individuals that are statutorily empowered to do so. (Read more on the New Jersey State Department of State Certified Civil Celebrants page. “This is an avalanche that’s happening. It’s huge. It’s not happened yet, but in the next 20 years, there’s no doubt it will become mainstream.”  (We Have Proof) in Australia where the celebrant concept began over 25 years ago, weddings and funerals are NOW! being officiated by vast majority by Celebrants.

Here’s something else: if you’re a funeral home owner, adding celebrant services to your firm’s offerings can transform your business. It’s not just my opinion: Kristan McNames, CFSP and co-owner of Grace Funeral & Cremation Services thinks so too (enough so that she became a certified celebrant through the In-Sight Institute in 2012). In the post mentioned earlier, she wrote “We only have one chance to rock it, to make it memorable; to make sure that everyone in attendance leaves the room feeling like the time they spent meant something. There are too many meaningless funerals with those in attendance just going through the motions, too many people telling me at community events that they want to be cremated and thrown to the wind, too many people with funeral horror stories. It makes me sick, and makes me fear for the future of my profession. We have only one chance to get it all right. And becoming a Certified Funeral Celebrant has helped me get one step closer to getting it right for the families I serve.”

I couldn’t have said it better. But I’m sad to say Kristan is an exception rather than the rule: most of the funeral home owners and directors I’ve spoken to about celebrants stand in the other “camp”; the one where celebrants are viewed with caution. One director honestly confided “I’m not big on them. I’ve seen two.  It’s all nice and everything, but I don’t think it does it for me. I think it’s strictly a fad.”

Celebrant Elizabeth Phaire  says that celebrant ceremonies serve a genuine need, and with each of the over 50 funerals she has officiated awareness grows of her highly personalize services. She has experienced a steady increase in the adoption of celebrant services from funeral directors in her area. She is being requested more and more from both the public and the funeral homes she works with, and has received only positive feedback.

In Sight

Glenda Stansbury of the In-Sight Institute is a practicing celebrant, adjunct professor at the University of Central Oklahoma Funeral Department and a licensed funeral director/embalmer) believes most funeral professionals see celebrants as quasi-clergy, which significantly limits their acceptance of their services. Even Kristan McNames was cautious and states that she “didn’t do anything” with her celebrant training for a long time because she “didn’t want to offend the clergy connections our funeral home had (and depended on).” Elizabeth does not see a conflict with clergy, the families she serves request a non-traditional Officiant and without her help would have no one to officiate.

Recently after Elizabeth served an interfaith family who lost a 19 year old to a drug overdose, the funeral director thanked her and said “Elizabeth, no one does what you do”. He was referring to the way she was able to work with the family’s multiple religious and spiritual beliefs, and weave them with creative rituals into a meaningful ceremony that was a comfort to all in attendance. Through the extensive and healing interview process that celebrants use, she captures the essence of the deceased as a person, and the many ways their life impacted loved ones and the world. She designs ceremonial elements that are emotionally significant to the family to the family, and facilitates their expression of grief and love. An intensive amount of work and expertise goes into guiding the family and creating a fitting ceremony for their unique needs, which speaks to the value of a certified Celebrant. Glenda’s very cautious about the idea that funeral directors can also be effective celebrants. “I love the concept, but there are major time constraints which make it hard, if not impossible to do both jobs well. Instead she advocates a funeral director partner with a celebrant and act as a “Master of Ceremonies” to introduce the celebrant and retain “ownership” of the family and the service.

There is hope for widespread acceptance of celebrants, sooner rather than later (20 years does seem like a long time to wait). In fact, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association feels strongly enough about the worth and transformative power of celebrants to have committed to publishing articles written by celebrant trainer Glenda Stansbury, as well as stories from experienced celebrants like Linda Haddon, who works with Evans Funeral Chapel in Anacortes, Washington. In her 2014 ICCFA Magazine article “A Celebrant’s Goal: Wow! Every Family, Every Service” she wrote: “Celebrant services provide the best advertising you can have—word of mouth raves about what people can expect from your services. These services do involve more time and effort, from the family interview to the composing of the service, the staging, coordination of music and other detail. This is why the fee a Celebrant charges can easily be double the amount of the usual clergy donation fee. But if you weigh the importance of a well crafted funeral ceremony against all the other charges associated with a funeral, the cost of hiring a certified celebrant is the biggest bargain on the funeral bill! ” She ends on a cautionary note: “But these days, funeral professionals to not offer celebrant services isn’t really a choice, unless you choose to slowly but surely watch your funeral home go out of business. I guarantee, if you don’t offer families the choice of unique, personalized services, someone else will.”

Here Are Links to Previous Articles in This Series

Public Opinion Concludes Funeral Service Has Dropped The Ball!

Why People May Hate Your Funeral Home + “Remedies”

How Consumers See Today’s Funerals (and What We Can Do about It) Part 3

Erasing The Fear of Funerals

Posted in Celebrant Funerals, Funeral News, Funeral Service, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 5 Comments

“LIVE FOREVER”…… As A Hologram

23874436_mIt’s part of the human condition to feel the need to somehow effect the future after we have passed. We think of past generations, and future as well, and long to be connected somehow to those who came before and those who will come after. We want to leave something behind, some part of ourselves that will go on forever. At the same time, we want to hold onto those who have passed and who have come before us. Family heirlooms, old photos, and other physical mementos may bring us links to those in our past and fill in clues about who these people were, but they often serve to leave more questions than answers.

But what if we could ask our ancestors – or historical leaders, or greatest minds from history – questions about their lives? What if we could leave answers for future generations, a chance to reach out and allow them to bear witness to our stories? Thanks to advances in hologram technology, instead of trying to piece together a history after death you can now provide a “living” history for future generations to connect with.

The History and Future of YOU!

The History and Future of YOU!

The Way it was Before the advent of the internet, most of us would be remembered through an oral history passed down from generation to generation. Depending on the ability of our families to record and pass on these events, our lives would often be distilled down into a few quaint representations.

Most people still relate this way to their grandparents and great grandparents. From anecdotes and a few pictures, a very basic picture forms of their lives. However, for every generation that passes, more and more of the story is lost, until all that is left is a headstone representing a far-away life to which no one can relate.

Just look at the history of your own family. How much can you piece together of the generations before you? Only the leaders of our nations, war heroes or figures of significance are recorded throughout our history. These stories form the basis of our social fabric and allow us collectively to portray a societal memory. Unfortunately, it is a story of the few, one that frays around the edges and becomes blurry the more you delve into the lives of individuals.

The Way it Is

Today, when you think about providing your legacy to your family is a gift that will influence generations! You definitely have a few more options than the hundreds of generations before you. Technology has come a long way in helping us to preserve and create the stories of our lives; personal histories today can be much more in depth because of social media, the pervasive use of videos and cameras and even to a lesser extent the ease to get a memoir writer to compose your life’s story.

Timelines and news feeds are simply too new to offer many baby boomers and those born before the age of the internet the ability to provide a true recorded history of their lives. Of course these social media platforms offer an amazing view into the everyday lives of many people today and will become a treasure trove for future historians, autobiographers and memoir writers. Unfortunately, for many people that picture is still incomplete as it only covers half or less of their lives.

Funeral Tribute Video's

Funeral Tribute Video’s

Visual imagery – photo slideshows and collages, videos – is a preferred medium for many funeral services. A story told without words, without a true memory except for the visual representation of that history. The camera has been the tool for recording our personal histories for almost 100 years. Yet, how much can we learn from these pictures? A picture may speak a thousand words, but for every photo there are thousands more unspoken words that leave gaps in our stories.

But what if you could offer future generations your story, as you want to, direct from your lips in an interactive way that not only tells a story but engages your audience?

Matt Lauer Shows How it Soon Could Be

The advance of hologram technology offers a huge leap forward in interactivity. A holographic image recorder uses mirrors and laser light capture technology to create a “picture” that is more of a pattern than a stationary image. It provides a way to record an individual within a pattern to portray them much more accurately than a still image.

However, this is only a small portion of what this great technology can now do. Holograms as popularized by Hollywood show a conversation through space and time that allow a much deeper connection than a typical memoir, memorial video or still image. Up until now, this was simply a Hollywood notion. The 3D Hologram Time Capsule has become a reality, revolutionizing the way you not only tell your story, but allowing you to connect with your descendants.

A group of researchers led by the USC’s Shoah Foundation has created a way to record the information you want and provide it to your ancestors in a much more usable and engaging way. The new Hologram 3D Time Capsule records the person’s responses to anywhere from 100-1000 questions about their lives. This is recorded with voice recognition software and compiled by an algorithm to seek out patterns of questions and answers.

Now, not only do you have a 3D image of the person being remembered, but an interactive discussion can be had between the holographic individual and the person interested in their life. Loved ones and descendants for generations will be able to ask Grampa Jack, “What was it really like to fight in World War II?” In this example, Grampa Jack would be able to directly relate their experience in World War II and even provide answers to follow up questions.

Imagine the possibilities! This new process allows for not only a live image hologram interaction, giving a sense of depth perception simply not possible in still images or videos, but also a much more accurate depiction of yourself. Think of the way your mannerisms and body language can portray so much about your personality that is not always available in a still image. For people to have a conversation with your live recorded hologram hundreds of years from now will provide that special interaction as if you were standing right next to them.

Future Memorials

Influence Future Generations

Influence Future Generations

The future of human history is exciting, not only because of the progress we all expect, but because remembering our past has become so much easier. You will be able to impart within your family a much better understanding of your life-long struggles and achievements. These are the bedrock of the human condition.

The 3D Hologram Time Capsule, even in its most basic form, can provide a great social interaction that current memoirs, video montages or pictures simply will never reach. Imagine being able to start a family archive of Hologram Time Capsules that can truly weave the story of your family’s history into a long narrative. This narrative will provide invaluable history, lessons and your family’s greatest moments and sorrowful losses.

I predict these holograms will enter the funeral and memorial industry with an overwhelming positive reaction from those that have been able to leave a truly interactive “living legacy.” I can see it now….. You can choose from small facial holograms to full body holograms and from a small history to large full life interactions.

If you want to truly make an impact and lasting impression for your loved ones and their descendants, the only way to truly make that last is a 3D Hologram Time Capsule. This technology is even being considered for other applications, especially in the educational fields, because of its truly remarkable interactive ability.

Personal Urn for Ashes

Don’t Forget to Get a 3-D Printed Head Urn For Your Ashes as Seen Here

However, the most compelling use is still the ability it gives the average person to tell their story in a much more engaging way following their passing. It would be a great idea for those parents that know their terminal illness will take them away from their children. It can provide a comforting interaction and a way to truly leave a lasting impression on your children as they grow. Think of the many ways the Hologram Time Capsule could simply improve your ability to tell your story to future generations.

Posted in Funeral News, Funeral Tribute DVD, Funneral Planning, Memorial Videos | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Erasing The Fear of Funerals

“So, How Was The Funeral?”

I Got Through it OK.....

I Got Through it OK…..

Ask someone that question and you’ll probably hear, “Oh, you know…” And most of us really do know what the person means to say, but few can find the words to describe our emotional reaction to that question. There are clues hidden in the answer, though: people don’t talk about the funeral home, the brand new hearse or how thoughtful the funeral director was. They talk about the funeral and how it made them feel.

Where Are My Pills!

Where Are My Pills!


But when prodded, participants in the 2012 Funeral Foundation Study found the right words – and quite a few of them, at that. None were positively impressed by the experience. They described a traditional funeral as being like a lonely, lifeless tomb: suffocating, confining, cold, sterile, lifeless, and dark. After the service, family and friends remain sad and disconnected. In short, “it’s just about death and death is depressing,” the service makes them feel “sad and lonely, “there is nothing positive about it,” and absolutely “nobody wants to go to a funeral.”

Why are traditional funerals usually so sad? It’s easy to understand, really: it’s about fear. Death has always frightened us, and when we’re face-to-face with it, we’re scared, sad and uncomfortable. It’s so big, and so capricious; death can take any one of us at any time. Who wants to stare that reality in the face for very long? No one does, and the prospect of having to do so can make us scared–an emotional reaction which is akin to sadness. In fact, the emotions of fear, sadness and anger arise in the same part of the brain, the amygdala. No wonder they feel so much the same!

Scary Stuff

Scary Stuff

Death is scary; it always has been. The death-related rituals humans have created over thousands of years commonly share expressions of this fear, and little evolution has occurred is our emotional reactions. As Curtis Rostad, CFSP, penned in his book The Basics of Funeral Service, “We would like to think that in these modern times, our state of enlightenment would have totally dispensed with such thinking, but such is not the case. Even today, death is approached from a standpoint of fear.” From my experience I would say the more we avoid the thought of someone dying, the scarier it is when the reaper comes a-knockin’. People are sent off to nursing homes and then to die in hospitals; death is set off to the side of society. Those families more involved leading up to death are more in touch with the reality of death when it comes. Hospice helps a lot with keeping death real but as any seasoned funeral director will tell you, hospice has no clue as to the importance of funeral rituals and ceremonies.

But, it seems here in the United States we’re ready to let go of fear altogether. People want to make death real again and understand the importance of being part of the funeral process. In fact, most of today’s families want to put “fun” in funerals: they want to celebrate the uniqueness of the deceased, and the gift of life itself. But, as you’d expect, there are folks who hold the opposite opinion, like the fellow who wrote this forum post: “While I like the spirit behind ‘funerals should be a celebration,’ I disagree. I used to think that this was a great idea until my father died. For the five days until the funeral, I was in this kind of haze of shock and depression. It didn’t sink in and I couldn’t be happy about anything. The funeral was absolutely horrible, I cried and cried and cried…but it was good for me. Funerals allow you to get all your grief out and start getting on with your life. Having a party as a funeral is a nice idea, but I think it defeats the purpose of a funeral. A funeral is a place to cry and sob and be sad and say goodbye, so that you can be happy and celebrate another day.”

Another wrote, “Resist the overwhelming desire to get back in your car and drive away. Funerals are not about your feelings. Do what is asked of you, do not argue. Read in front of hundreds from the Bible, be a pallbearer, kneel before the casket, take Communion. You are the strong young, there to support the grieving old.”

35609816_mCertainly these opinions are a rarity these days; most folks would disagree. In fact, the common belief today is that traditional funerals “allow us too easily to forget the individual and dwell only in the ritual.” No one wants to be forgotten, ever. And if the ritual is mindless and meaningless to those in attendance, why even bother? As one study participant said, “just…bury the old broad and let’s get on with our lives.”

None of this comes as a surprise. If you read Part 3 of this series, How Consumers See Today’s Funerals (and What We Can Do about It), you’re already very much aware that most folks are dissatisfied with our traditional death rituals; they are looking for something more. They’re looking for transformation.

A good funeral should be transformative – it can balance you and take you away from that sad, pensive state. It brings light and life into the room, pushing out the darkness. It’s a service which presents a loving overview of the individual’s whole life, not merely a reflection on the fact of their death.  As I wrote in Part 3 of this series, “As a funeral director, I believe our biggest value is the ability to create a healing environment where people can come together for a memorable experience. This experience should promote those in attendance to support each other in their grief. The life of the deceased is the star and the theme is how that life affected their world and the world of others.”

The way the ceremony makes people feel needs to be at the very heart of everything we do as funeral directors. Most of the other stuff is just the mechanics and fluff of the funeral. Yes, you read that correctly: I said fluff. Was your funeral home a good janitor of the dead? How nice did the funeral home look? How well did the attending staff look and act? Were they helpful and considerate? They better be! All these things are important, but what do the people remember? Why, the funeral of course!

And who does the funeral?  I should say who officiates at the funeral, because funeral directors don’t. The funeral directors gave the funeral ceremony over to the clergy many years ago. The funeral home merely facilitates and organizes it, in most cases. Some funeral directors are now training to officiate funerals by becoming certified funeral celebrants. They receive their training at Insight Books and the Celebrant Foundation and Institute.

IMG_2136The ceremony and the way it makes people feel is the real value. Clergy are quite often more interested in reinforcing religious dogma, which can heighten the sense of emotional disconnect for those in the audience.

A funeral should be about love; the love we have for each other, ourselves…for the planet and for life itself. It’s about the connections we make and weave into our quilt of life. Life has many chapters and people need to know “The Whole Life” and where they fit in. But they also want to learn about those chapters which come as a total surprise. It’s a great feeling to learn new things about an old friend, even if it’s at their funeral! People come to funerals sometimes to see and feel how they fit into the life that was lived. They want to know how they fit into the equation and some come to justify their own existence.

22964164_mSo how do we as funeral professionals take back the funeral? I’ll give you one guess (and if you read either Celebrants Will Save the American Funeral or How Celebrants Can Help the Funeral Industry you already know the answer: we need to bring celebrants into the mix. Their work is to shine a light on the life of the deceased, effectively transforming the funeral service from the darkness of death and loss into the light of life and love. Not only do celebrants make the service meaningful and transformative, their work is helping funeral directors take back the funeral, one life at a time.

If you don’t believe me, in the next post in this series you’ll get to hear from the celebrants themselves, and the funeral directors who know the value of their services. Whether traditional or non-traditional, a funeral service can – and should! – be a deeply personal experience. Perhaps it will mean something different to everyone there, but it should always reinforce the value of the life lived, and the value of the relationships, the loving connections, between the deceased and each of the individuals in the audience. Next time, we’ll look at exactly how celebrants can do that.

If you’re a funeral director who has already brought celebrants into your service arrangements, we’d like to hear about your experiences–and feature them in our upcoming post. The same is true if you’re a celebrant, or if you’ve attended a service led by a celebrant. It’s your turn to stand up and be heard.

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Cremation Jewelry Going Mainstream

Ashes Jewelry

New Pandora Styled Cremation Jewelry

Funerary art and jewelry have played a strong role in commemorating the loss of a loved one throughout history. Memorial jewelry initially gained popularity because there weren’t many alternatives for remembrance; photography didn’t exist and there weren’t a lot of options for tangible mementos. While many technological advances are available to our society today, memorial or cremation jewelry continues to be popular as a very personal and meaningful way to hold on to connections to those who have passed. As this ancient tradition continues and even grows in popularity today, Cremation Solutions is happy to offer a wide array of cremation jewelry and customized services that turn a small amount of your loved one’s ashes into an heirloom creation that you can wear close to your heart forever.

Preserve Your Connection

During the Victorian period it was common for people to save small locks of their loved ones’ hair within jewelry like lockets. This practice has never gone out of style and it likely never will. People will forever mourn the loss of a loved one just as they hope to celebrate the wonderful aspects of their loved ones’ lives. Cremation jewelry helps people remember that connection, and helps to reinforce that the love shared will never truly be gone from their lives.

Types of Cremation Jewelry

There are various types of cremation jewelry that suit a wide range of budgets and style preferences. From colorful beads and charms to elegant pendants and more, we’re sure you’ll find something special to commemorate a loved one. We even often a selection for pets who have passed on. In addition, commemorative jewelry makes a meaningful gift for family members, who will appreciate having something to treasure that reflects the pure essence of their loved one.

Cremation Solutions offers three primary types of cremation jewelry:

  • Custom-made jewelry (such as glass and ceramic pieces) where the ashes are infused into the material during creation to become a permanent part of the piece.
  • Cremation crystals and diamonds actually made from the natural elements of the ashes.
  • Jewelry designed to be easily filled by the customer directly. Each piece has a hollow chamber into which a very small amount of ashes can be added.

Cremation Glass Jewelry

Ashes inside Jewelry

One of a Kind Glass with Ashes Infussed

Cremation glass jewelry is colorful and makes for a lovely medium for preserving a small amount of your loved one’s ashes. Cremation Solutions offers a dazzling array of styles and colors. Each pendant is handmade by an artisan who specializes in glasswork and glass-making techniques. Choose religious motifs like crosses or sentimental designs like hearts. You’ll find lovely glass designs to consider such as infinity symbols and abstract geometric shapes. Glass jewelry is durable because it’s formed as a solid, so you don’t have to worry that it will be more fragile than any other type of jewel, which makes it an ideal consideration as a cremation jewelry item.

Cremation Crystal Jewelry

Crystals made from ashes

Choose The Cut and Color of Crystal

To create a dazzling keepsake, consider ordering a crystal infused with your loved one’s ashes amidst beautiful sparkle and shine. The ashes are infused into crystal during its creation, using a patented process. Our crystal design gallery is filled with colorful pendants, rings, and earrings. Each crystal has an innate and radiant glow, perfect for reflecting the beauty and the timeless essence of your loved one.

Cremation Diamonds 

Diamonds from Ashes

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Cremation Solutions offers certified, high-quality, custom diamonds infused with the ashes of your loved one to stunning effect. These high-end jewels will truly become breathtaking heirlooms for you and your family to treasure. Each diamond is inspected, authenticated, and graded. These are true diamonds, created with the same chemical makeup and properties as mined diamonds. Choose from an array of colors, including elegant white, enchanting blue, or regal red to create a jewel that you’ll want to wear every day, for its beauty and for the ashes within its sparkle.

Cremation Jewelry Galleries

When you visit Cremations Solutions, you’ll find we have a myriad of galleries devoted to cremation jewelry designs. We invite you to peruse each one to discover your favorites. Within our traditional collection, you’ll find crosses, hearts, stars, and other meaningful symbols. Our modern collection boasts attractive and sophisticated styles that gleam with precious metals. Our nature collection features natural elements like seashell designs, birds, butterflies, leaves, and acorns. We even offer memory beads and charms perfect for Pandora-style bracelet systems. You can choose a design that reflects your interests or your loved one’s former interests, or contact us about creating a custom piece for something that is truly unique. Our artisans are happy to hear your ideas and collaborate with you to achieve the design you are after.

Ordering Your Cremation Jewelry

Ashes Jewelry

Jewelry To Hold Ashes

Once you decide on a jewel or jewelry, Cremation Solutions will send you a kit with detailed instructions on sending us your loved one’s ashes. In most cases, we only require a small amount. If you send us more than we need to create your jewelry, we will return the excess to you along with your beautiful piece of jewelry. We assure you that we take exceptional care of each order. Ashes are scrupulously labeled, contained, and tracked. Our process ensures the integrity of each order.

As Cremation Solutions is a well-respected New England-based company that specializes in cremation memorials and creations. You can trust our artistry and impeccable customer service. Every piece of jewelry we undertake to create is precious and we honor the role we play in creating this meaningful commemorative jewel that preserves your loved one’s ashes and memory.

If you have questions about our ordering process or our patented creation process, please contact us so we can share more information with you. We hope you’ll get to know our collection of jewelry and that we may be of service if you ever desire to honor your loved one with the timeless tradition of cremation jewelry.

Cremation Solutions

Posted in Cremation Jewelry, Cremation Solutions, Jewelry For Pet Ashes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

How Consumers See Today’s Funerals (and What We Can Do about It) Part 3

Kim Stacy

Kim Stacy

Because of her academic training in anthropology, I thought I’d ask Kim to open this post with just a short examination of funerals as rites of passage. (She’s got a Master’s Degree in the field and has spent over 40 years in the cross-cultural study of funeral ceremonies.) “The fellows whose work I studied in grad school: 19th century anthropologists

Arnold van Gennep, Robert Hertz and their 20th century counterparts Maurice Bloch and Victor Turner; shaped the way I saw these events. It was Gennep who first proposed them to be “rites of passage” marked by three distinct phases. The field work of the others, Hertz, Turner (an intellectual “hero” of mine) and Bloch refined his theory, focusing on the idea of liminality and the changes in social and psychological identities of survivors. Their primary point is a simple one: a “good” funeral ceremony is a rite of passage which is made up of a series of activities and varying states-of-being; and is, by its very definition, transformative.”

But it appears the funeral ceremonies here in the United States are not at all transformative. In fact, the participants of the 2012 Funeral Foundation Study did absolutely nothing to hide their dissatisfaction with what they know to be a traditional funeral.

“Traditional funerals are about death,” said a fellow named Rick. “It’s just about broken relationships and there is nothing posit

ive about it”, he continued. Another described a funeral service as “a lonely, lifeless tomb”; while a woman named Jody emphatically declared funerals are “mindless”. “They leave you sad at the end just like you were in the middle”, said John; in other words, there is no transformation.

And there’s no sense of community either. “When I go (to) a funeral,” Rick explained, “I feel like I am alone. You’re just there as an individual to say goodbye to this person. It’s depressing and it’s lonely.”

“Traditional services are almost a lecture of sorts,” observed Becky; who went on to say “Some…who preside over death ceremonies don’t allow for any release of sorrow. In fact, the ceremony itself makes participants more sorrowful. “I almost think of traditional funerals as puppetry,” she concluded “with someone in control manipulating the people in attendance to act the way they feel is appropriate.”

The consensus of participants was perhaps best articulated by Marilyn B., who simply said: “Nobody wants to go to a funeral. They’d rather be at Starbucks.” Uh, oh; that’s trouble. And it gets worse, because the study declared the trouble begins with the way we see ourselves and how we define the work we do.

The Underlying “Disconnect”

It seems when a funeral director sits down with a family; it’s almost like two people, each of whom speaks a different language, meeting in the room. (Chances are there’s going to be a lot of talking, but very little constructive conversation.) That’s what we call disconnect.

The researchers of the study qualified the nature of this separation. “Funeral industry executives see themselves as caring creators: healing wounds, helping to write the story of a life, building foundations and bridges to the future; weaving and mendin

g the fabric of a community. But consumers don’t see them the same way; in fact, they see funeral directors as robotic rulers. “At worst, they are bullies,” said Marilyn H.; while another woman recognized the reasons why: “They are there to make everything run efficiently. They’ve done this so many

times they are tough, emotionally. They have to switch on to their remote, automatic, robotic.” Study participant John said, “They remind me of some sort of machinery. Not loud, but repetitive. They have a job to do, there are things that need to be done and the guy is doing it.”

Tear Down The Wall and See The Light!

Tear Down The Wall and See The Light!

Here’s what I think: this disconnect is a wall that has been carefully built by funeral directors. For generations they have lurked in the shadows hiding in a cloak of secrecy. It’s been easier for them to keep the mystery in funeral service and keep the consumers guessing. Yes they like to think of themselves as caring helpers but the complex nature of funeral service has caused them to often seek predictable paths that help them maintain the comfort level they desire to simply get the job done with the least amount of stress possible (and the highest degree of profit).

Funeral directors are “pros” at diffusing any conflicts that come up in the arrangement process. They are not about offering up options that would begin arguments and create more questions of their abilities. Funeral arranging needs to be a creative process that needs to open door to solutions that will embrace individual needs.

Funeral Planning

We Have All The Options….A B or C ?

Funeral directors prefer the pick A, B, C or D option nice and tidy ducks in a row with no surprises. While this is expedient, it’s the opposite of what needs to take place to create a funeral service that is as unique as the deceased and the special needs of the survivors.

When funeral directors seek out the easy path, the results become more generic and the resulting funeral is not special. So much so that those in attendance and especially the ones paying the bill will be left with a feeling of “why bother”, and then they say the most dreaded words in funeral service: “Just cremate me and scatter the ashes. Use the saved money to have a party in my memory.” And then they have that party, and we funeral directors look from the outside and say “Gee, I could have helped them plan a much better party that would be so much more meaningful and memorable. I have the know-how and all the best connections to have done this right.” But guess what? It’s too late.

Cremation Casket

Funeral Director Agreed That it Was A Nice Box

Robin Heppell candidly addressed the issue of “disconnect” in a recent interview with Kim, putting the blame squarely on a primary source of funeral home profits: the casket. “I do think the executives want to see themselves as caring creators; but as a whole, I don’t think they successfully transmit that vision through to their licensed staff because the casket still plays a big role in funeral home profits. If there was little or no profits from caskets, they would be closer to achieving their ideal of being caring creators. As long as caskets have a potential of providing a large amount of profit to a funeral home, their will the conscious or subconscious desire of greater casket sales–and the public isn’t interested in caskets.”

He went on to say, “Until the funeral home is in alignment with consumers, there’s going to be this disconnect. I think the thing is–when you’re able to almost let it go–and truly just give the family what they want and offer things they may not have realized you could, there will be more synergy between the funeral homes and the families they serve.

PaulbearerOkay, so consumers do not see funeral directors as the kind of creative resource they are seeking. But it gets worse. One respondent, Marilyn H., spoke about what it was like to plan her sister-in-law’s service: “It felt like we were buying a car.” She went on to describe the situation: “…we were with a man part of the time, then we were with a woman, and then he would come back. Then they put us in this room and on every single wall there was stuff you could buy. It was awful, like (when) you go to a carnival and they have all the prizes.” Synergy? How about just shooting for an experience that is less than “awful”?

How Can You Deliver the Kind of Funeral Service Today’s Consumers Want?

When asked to speak about their ideal end-of-life service, one participant said “A memorial service is about celebrating someone’s milestones and accomplishments. For the survivors, it’s good to rehash it all. If they’re in a grieving state, misery does love company. The companionship, the camaraderie. It’s kind of a support group. If someone is really grieving, it helps them cope with it better by sharing these common experiences.”

Good Funerals

Here’ To You!

Another shared “I want plenty of dancing and laughing and having a great time.” What Arlene said next (about a friend’s funeral she had recently attended) was most descriptive of the transformation consumers are looking for.  ”When we left, everybody was laughing and talking about the person because we saw all the happy moments…everyone was in a festive mood. We didn’t grieve her life, we celebrated her life. I didn’t leave heartbroken. When I walked away from there, I thought they were…still with me. I (was) basking in her achievements and her friendship.”

You can see the problem: today’s consumer doesn’t just want to just “get through” the funeral. They want to create a memorable and healing experience that will form a platform which is strong enough to carry their memories into the future and help them to feel that they are actually part of the legacy of the life lived.

As a funeral director, I believe our biggest value is ability to create a healing environment where people can come together for a memorable experience. This experience should promote those in attendance to support each other in their grief. The life of the deceased is the star and the theme is how that life affected their world and the world of others.

What Does All This Mean for Funeral Home Owner/Operators?

What we may see as the “special need” of today’s consumers–the desire for a truly personal, improvisational and celebratory event which is transformative for all concerned–does create busy work for funeral directors; work they may not have the time or the skill sets to perform. But there is one thing you can do to reduce the workload:

  • Hire more specialized part-time employees and rely upon them for the more creative tasks. You should not have to hire more licensed funeral directors to meet the unique needs of today’s families. In truth, doing so could be counterproductive in the long run. Not only could it drive up the cost of the average funeral, chances are it won’t provide families with what they want.

If a specially trained Master of Ceremonies who 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. (Check out “Not Your Grandparent’s Funeral“, published “way back” in 2012, for a look at the enormous value a certified celebrant can bring to the service.)

  • Change the way your licensed staff make funeral arrangements. This is critical; funeral directors must focus more on the event and how it will make people feel. They need to be more aggressive in conveying the options when it comes to the location, look and feel of the ceremony. And the feel of the service can be a very positive reflection on their funeral home.
  • Use the latest bells and whistles available. Today there’s a wealth of them: video tributes, custom photo blankets, programs, funeral favors, keepsakes and memorial websites. If any of these will help support the goal of creating a healing experience; then why not use them to the best of your ability?

keyThe key lies in providing value to the consumer. Value that they can feel moved by. If our services don’t move people to say “Wow! That’s what I want when I die!” we will all become disposers of the dead as people flock to cremation societies and event planners. Never forget the clock is ticking. Chances are your attitude, demeanor and operational skill sets are already costing you customers. If you don’t decide to change your approach, the families in your service area will simply leverage the Internet to get what they want if they don’t feel your funeral home is up to their special needs.

Let’s Talk

Jeff Staab

Author and Funeral Director           Jeff Staab

We know you won’t disagree with the fact that consumers are turning away from “traditional funerals” in favor of more celebratory, life-oriented services. But we have made some strong statements here today which you might disagree with; statements like:

1. It’s unfortunate that funeral directors have long defined a funeral as “a traditional service for the deceased at a chapel or church with the casket present”.  “It’s the biggest screw-up ever,” said Rob Heppell, who went on to say it’s high time we omitted the focus on a casket. If consumers don’t want an expensive casket, and we define the very word as casket-oriented; then they won’t want it.”

2. As long as caskets have a potential of providing a large amount of profit to a funeral home, there will be the conscious or subconscious desire for greater casket sales. In promoting casket-oriented services funeral home owner/operators are guilty of putting their own needs first and in doing so are their own worst enemies.

3. Funeral directors intentionally built a wall between themselves and the consumer.  But, it has now been torn down by the information highway known as “the Internet”. Funeral directors can no longer play “cat and mouse” with the consumer.

4. It’s time for us to get real. We really need to work on our genuineness if we are to build any trust. If we can’t build a genuine trust people will do things themselves. Without trust we cannot effectively convey the real value of funeral service.

Don’t sit and stew over whatever’s on your mind; instead, speak up! Tell us what you’re thinking, and we’ll return the favor.

Posted in Celebrant Funerals, Funeral News, Funneral Planning | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Why People May Hate Your Funeral Home + “Remedies”

FoundationThis is the second in a series of posts where Cremation Solutions is focusing on the findings of the 2012 Funeral Service Foundation study. The first, “Can the Funeral Industry Change with the Times?” was published earlier this month as a follow-up to “Public Opinion Concludes Funeral Service has Dropped the Ball!” Today, we’re talking about what Alan Creedy called your “primary touch point” with the people living in your service area: your funeral firm’s facility.

Funeral ChapelIt’s not really very surprising but, no matter their reason for being there, it seems people really don’t like to go into most funeral homes. Participants of the study said funeral homes are “sterile,” “cold” and “intimidating.” One went so far as to say “it separates you from the outside like a coffin.” You’ve got to admit: the picture these words paint isn’t at all inviting. And perhaps neither is the idea of making significant changes to your facility–but if you read the most recent post and did your homework, you’ve already gotten a head start.

Don’t remember your assignment? We challenged you to go around your facility asking yourself this question: “What signal is it sending?” Depending your level of interest, it could have taken just a few seconds to complete (“Hey, it all looks good to me!”), or far longer (“Oh, that could be a problem. And chances are those drapes have got to go, and the…”) However long it took, we’ll bet when you were done, there was an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach. That’s because, if you thought “everything is a-ok”, you’re now concerned you were just kidding yourself (or downright delusional). Or, if you now have a long list of potential problems, you may be feeling anxious or overwhelmed by the tasks that lie ahead. Set those feelings aside, and let’s get down to specifics.

There are Four Major Goals

According to the researchers, in order to dispel these very negative impressions, funeral home design must focus on achieving these four things:

  • Minimizing the feeling of physical and psychological confinement
  • Providing consumers and mourners with a stronger sense of control
  • Encouraging creative thinking in the planning process
  • Highlighting that the funeral home is an area where a transformation takes place

Researchers made some very specific suggestions: you’re to encourage social interaction, making the funeral home “come alive” with a man cave like feel where mourners can retreat for relaxation; rooms with writable walls, outdoor gathering places, and a chapel that looks less like a chapel and more like a living room.

To reduce the uncomfortable sense of “confinement,” funeral home owners should incorporate outdoor areas (perhaps one for congregation and one for quiet reflection), bring in more natural light, and create comfortable, open indoor spaces.

I know these are really big recommendations, and major changes like these take time (and solid planning). But where do you begin? That’s easy: with the very first thing a visitor to your funeral home sees.

The Entryway

Welcome Friend

Welcome Friend

Go stand outside your funeral home and try to view it with new eyes; pretend this is the first time you’re seeing it. Ask yourself: what does the entryway look like? Is it clean and well-swept? Is the landscape well-maintained? In my opinion, entryways are the most important: it’s all about first impressions. Keep it light and inviting and understand that people want to know where to go: your signage should be clear and highly visible. My friend and collaborator, Kim, spoke with MaryAnne Scheuble, an interior designer and author of the Nomis Funeral & Cemetery News “Designing Woman” columns. In “Design Plan: Where Do I Start?” she was decidedly practical, simply asking readers “does the entryway have a safe yet attractive surface for bad weather conditions?” These are things which can make a huge difference in making visitors feel welcome from the moment they arrive at your door.


Start Outside and Bring it in

Start Outside and Bring it in

It’s really a no-brainer: good lighting sets the tone and creates the atmosphere in a room. Lucy Martin, author of The Home Lighting Effects Bible, argues “the key is to understand the use of that room and apply the relevant lighting to ensure it functions well.”

comfortable-roomAccording to Ms. Martin, you’ll want to hire a designer who can set the balance between task lighting and mood lighting, use lighting to enhance small spaces (or break up large open ones), and take into account the effects of reflection and shadow in a lighting scheme. “So much has changed in lighting over the last two years, it is a minefield to understand so if at all affordable get help. It will reap dividends in the future.” If you can’t afford a certified designer, I would recommend that you head over to your local lighting store and have a professional consultant visit your funeral home. In the meantime, however, here are some tips to get you started:



Get rid of those torchers and cosmetic floods and redneck bulbs you use to make the deceased look more life-like. Really, where else do you see these things? There’s got to be a better way to get some pink light on the bodies. And while we’re asking, do we really need the pink light?

Make the switch to Compact Florescent Light and Light Emitting Diode bulbs (CFLs and LEDs). It will lower your overhead and impress your customers that you really do care about the planet and the whole green thing.

Lighten up the drapes and let in the natural light as much as you can in every room. The days of heavy damask drapery are long gone. Today it’s all about bringing in natural light, and reducing oppressive feelings. Dump the drapes. Period.

Get rid of those old table top brass lights with the giant ugly cloth lampshades.  “Oversized lamps are out-of-date”, says MaryAnne; and we agree. Kim can’t begin to tell you how many times she’s seen photos of facilities where the lighting was just plain awful: pockets of bright light from floor and table lamps, surrounded by a sea of dark shadows. This is not the place for darkness; nor is it the right place for clinical lighting like in a hospital examination room. Remember to think “task” and “mood” lighting and provide adequately-lit transitions between task-oriented spaces.

MaryAnne Scheuble (in that same column noted above) offered three points-to-ponder regarding lighting when taking a second look around your funeral home (spoiler alert: that’s your homework for this week):

  • Is there directional lighting for flowers or memorabilia?
  • Does the room look balanced and visually interesting?
  • Are seating areas welcoming?

Carpeting and Floors

We’ve all seen some wretched carpeting, but hopefully not in your funeral home. If your firm’s carpeting is showing its age and is stained or just plain ugly and could be the cause of that “old smell”, it’s a relatively easy and inexpensive fix in the big scheme of things. My rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t put it in your house, don’t put it in your funeral home. Think light and airy, but remember you will have to keep it clean. I personally like the area rugs of artist Susan Sergeant. Or, if we want to be conscious of the potential for coffee and tea stains, how about hardwood or bamboo flooring in the coffee area?

Wallpaper, Paneling, and Paint

So who watches any of those home improvement television shows? If you do, you’ll know the paneling and wallpaper in your funeral home has got to go. The first thing they do is to tear this stuff down and so should you. It’s outdated, faded, peeling and ugly.

If your walls are painted, ask yourself if the paint is peeling, stained, or if the color is out-of-date. MaryAnne asks you to consider, before repainting, whether the paint color should be the same in each room (or should each room have a different color theme).


Earlier I advised to dump all the heavy drapery in your funeral home. But MaryAnne encourages you to ask yourself these questions:

  • Are your window treatments appropriate to the total design?
  • Do they provide “architectural” interest in a plain room?
  • Are they too full or heavy-looking?
  • Is their purpose to cover unattractive views or do they allow natural light?

Here’s something you might not know: there’s actually a professional association for people who make window coverings. That’s right: the Window Covering Association of America, where you can find a window covering specialist in your area. If you’ve got window covering issues, it might be the right time to call in reinforcements.


Belongs in a Museum!

Belongs in a Museum!

There’s certainly an abundance of styles: classic contemporary, modern, traditional, eclectic, rustic and even something called vintage industrial (which, although cool, may not be quite right for a funeral home). Again, it comes down to checking the simple things (before making any big changes):

  • Is seating firm and comfortable for those with hip, knee or back issues?
  • Are there pieces available to accommodate generously-sized people?
  • Examine all furniture for sagging seats, rumpled cushions, and weak or unsteady legs.
  • Do tables have scratch marks or stains?

    Say Yes!

    Say Yes!

Wall Art

I have some strong opinions about wall art. Art can make a huge difference in the feel of your décor, but I would urge you to modern it up! Make it real with real pics of people in your community doing all the stuff that make your community great! Use local scenery and highlight local events, like the town fair, the river, the mountains; whatever makes your community and region unique.

And in no uncertain terms, absolutely nothing dark and dreary! Visit your local frame shop and tell them you want to get hip! Frames can add so much. Giant gold gilt frames were beautiful about 200 years ago!

Couch-Wall-Display-21MaryAnne notes that “wall groupings are good; sparse or non-existent wall décor is neither inviting nor interesting.” If you check out the Designing Woman column for February 2015, she’ll introduce you to two firms who know the value of wall art. Coyle Funeral Home in Toledo, Ohio, where, “at the end of (a) hallway, guests are greeted with a hand-painted mural of double doors opening to a lush garden. Well-positioned spot lighting completes the effect of this trompe-l’oeil. Nearby furniture anchors the scene to reality. It is as if you could walk into that garden and escape into a more beautiful, peaceful world”.

Smith Funeral Home in Grinnell, Iowa features an equally memorable moment when, she writes, “a step in the door leads the eye to some remarkable antiques. The second look takes in in a long hallway carpeted in a Meadow Green color is punctuated by several wide doorways. The third glance is the most captivating: an artistic collection of veterans’ memorabilia from World War I through the present.” Here’s her bottom line: “funeral homes need to bring in more art; it soothes the soul.”

Ambient Temperature and Overall Air Quality

Is your funeral home warm enough? Maybe it’s too warm. Are there pockets of cold air, or bothersome drafts? Certainly opinions differ as to the right indoor temperature, but most experts tell us the comfort range is between 62°-74°F.

And while we’re looking at the topic of air quality, does your funeral home smell bad? My big tip of the day: burn candles. I prefer Relaxing Rituals Comfort Blended candles from Yankee Candles. They’ll get the whole place smelling inviting and awesome.

Outdoor Areas

Outdoor Healing SpaceThis can be the most important part of your property. Wherever you’re located, seasons permitting patios and garden areas should be easily accessible to those in attendance. Outdoor funerals can separate you from the competition. Look at all the outdoor weddings these days! In many rural areas, people would prefer to get married on a farm in a cool barn over any fancy catering hall. I believe they prefer real to fancy fake. In life and death when the going gets rough, people will always turn to nature to seek balance.

In the End

It comes down to making people more comfortable in what is a thoroughly uncomfortable situation. We want to contradict their expectations, and – to some degree (as in the case of Coyle Funeral Home trompe-l’œil mural) – to surprise them.

John McQueen spoke of this quiet surprise: “When a family comes in, the first thing we do is to give them a tour of the facilities. Usually they say, ‘This just doesn’t feel like a funeral home.’ Because I am who I am, I then ask them (somewhat jokingly) ‘Do you frequent funeral homes a lot?’ Nine out of 10 have never been in one. But they have a preconceived picture in their mind, and in renovating our facilities, we’ve done everything to contradict that mental image. In fact, we tore out all the heavy drapery about 15 years ago, and we’ve always done our best to not make it feel like a funeral home. ”

Alan Creedy remarked, “If I was building a new facility from scratch, every public room would have lots of windows for natural light, and I’d bring the outside in–eliminating that feeling of confinement described by the study participants.” He goes on to answer his own question: “What would I do if I had to work with an existing facility with none of the study-recommended features? I’d hire a certified interior decorator or designer–not your wife’s best friend or maiden aunt– but a fully accredited and recognized professional to assist me. I’d give them a copy of the study, and tell them, ‘This is the reason behind the changes we need to make’.” (Certified interior designers can be found on the website for the Certified Interior Decorators Association.)

Need additional inspiration? We’ve been prowling around the internet, and found dozens of galleries of wonderful funeral home design and decoration ideas, and I’m sure you can too. Here’s a short list to get you started:

What’s up next for you? Your homework this time around is to take that second look around your funeral home facility. Again, take notes, and keep them in a safe place, because we’re not done yet. See you next time around.

 [ML1]What are we really trying to say with this?

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Can The Funeral Industry Change With The Times?

Last November I published “Public Opinion Concludes Funeral Service Has Dropped the Ball!” where I outlined the findings of the 2012 public opinion study by Olson Zaltman Associates (OZA), completed at the request of the Funeral Services Foundation. To view the findings of the study see Funeral  Study. The post was meant to be the start of something much larger: a series of posts exploring the study’s findings and recommendations, but then I ‘hit a wall’. While I had about a billion thoughts about the ramifications of the study, I wanted to come up with some genuine solutions. I soon realized I would need to get the input of others if I was to come up with solutions that came from my singular experiences in my twenty plus years working as a funeral director. The study intrigued me and I was anxious to hear responses. There was some chatter about the importance of the findings and industry analysis of the findings, but very little in the way of solutions for those working day to day. Most suggestions from industry experts were met with the seeming paralysis of funeral directors and owner/operators.  I wanted to acknowledge the study as a whole and form true and tried solutions that even a little country funeral home could implement. I understand how working in this business can lead to reinforced comfort zones that can be scary to break out of. Fear like this limits the ability to make significant changes in the way they do business, and the very future of funeral service.; I couldn’t get any words on the page. I guess I too was a victim of a paralysis of sorts.


I decided to get help and called my friend Kim Stacey to collaborate with me on this project, there’s nothing like a second set of eyes (and ears) to reinvigorate a project. She spent weeks connecting with funeral directors, owner/operators, consultants and association administrators; all of who helped us to shine a brighter spotlight on the issues raised by the study. “So many people gave graciously and generously; not just of their time, but of their very best thinking,” Kim noted in one of our follow-up conversations.


She was also quick to share something else: a chat with Todd Van Beck had opened her eyes wide enough, so she could really see how those working in funeral service are more than willing–almost eager–to criticize ourselves and others in the business, all the while decrying the very future of the profession. We are, it seems, crippling ourselves with negative talk. “I believe,” he began “that the average, day-to-day, typical American funeral director has undergone…undeserved beating by the national media and the self-appointed funeral critics.” The cumulative damage of these beatings, he argues, “results in funeral directors being filled with fear for the future, fear of change, and fear of making a mistake.” Fear is indeed a powerful motivator, but it is a poor motivator.”


Because we know Todd to be right–that fear is a lousy motivator–Kim and I are both adamant this series will be different. We’re not here to make you feel worse about what you do and how you do it, or bemoan the future of funeral service; we’re here to discuss, motivate and uplift–and ultimately get you to make changes in the ways you see fit. We want you to weigh the evidence, trust your own thinking, and make only those changes which are authentically in line with your firm’s values; but bottom line–change is here and it’s always best to accept the fact and respond rationally, using all the resources at your disposal.


Basically, we want more funeral directors and owner/operators to see the significant potential found in the gap between how consumers see us and our services, and how we see ourselves. While we want to be positive and uplifting, we’re not going to sugar coat anything; so best be prepared.


What’s AheadCrossroads of Funeral Service


In the next edition of the Cremation Solutions blog, we’ll look at the initial finding noted in November’s post: that the general public sees funeral homes as dark, confining and sometimes even scary places. (In the OZA study, respondents said things like funeral homes “are real formal and not really inviting” and “sterile, cold and out-of-date”).  This is a really big issue, because these same people will do anything they can to avoid returning to a facility they think is unappealing.  ”If the consumer has less-than-positive feelings about a business,” began Alan Creedy, “but they go and experience the urge to leave, they will naturally do all they can to avoid coming back–and they’ll do what they can to keep their family from experiencing those same feelings. What does that mean? It means they’ll seek more comfortable alternatives to what you offer.”


oWe’ve all seen examples of funeral home design which is in line with the study’s findings: facilities like any one of the Anderson-McQueen locations: light, bright, open, and inviting.  Legacy Funeral Home in Edinburg, Texas has over 19,000 square feet of space, with a coffee lounge and reception area.

Scarry Funeral HomeYet, for every one of these fresh, modern facilities there are 100 small-to-medium funeral firms, often housed in aging buildings with too many small, uncomfortable rooms and too few windows. “Ninety percent of funeral homes are built ‘inside-out’,” said Alan. The public areas are interior rooms with no windows, and heavy drapery (often used to frame the casket). Add to those the low 8-foot ceiling, and you’ve got a funeral home that literally drives people out-the-door. But,” he notes, “if you’re running this kind of business you want them to linger, so you need to make the kind of changes which will cause them to stay awhile, share stories among themselves, and find communal comfort.”


We’re going to leave you now with a question. If your funeral home is, as Creedy believes; the primary touch point with those living in your service area–the very cornerstone of your brand– you will certainly benefit from looking around your facility and then asking yourself this question: “What signal is it sending?”


Don’t stop at just asking yourself the question: ask everyone you can. Take notes, and keep ‘em handy. We’ll be back soon, and want you to add your “two cents” (more would be even better!) to the conversation.  Shouldn’t “scary funeral homes” be a consumer perception from our past, not one from our future?

Posted in Celebrant Funerals, Funeral Service, Funneral Planning | Tagged , | 4 Comments

When is it The Right Time To Put Down Your Pet

Funeral Planning For PetsEvery pet owner dreads it. It’s one of the most heartbreaking events one can go through. Most would rather not think about it. But regardless of how they may feel, they will have confront the reality that their pet will not be with them anymore.

It’s a hard pill to swallow. As funny as it sounds, losing a pet is very similar to losing a relative. Your pet was an integral part of your family. Most of your family memories involve your beloved pet. It’s nearly impossible to not get attached.

Dealing with the loss of a family pet can be incredibly difficult. This is why it’s important to be prepared. This post will discuss 4 things:

  • How to know when it’s time to put down your pet.
  • How to deal with the emotions invovled.
  • The best way to go about doing it.
  • Saying goodbye to your pet.

This post is designed to make this heartbreaking event easier on you. If you follow the advice given in this post, you will have an easier time dealing with the pain this will c


Knowing when it’s Time

Knowing when it’s time to put your pet down is one of the most difficult part of the process. You know that it may be time to make the decision, but you don’t want to part with your dog or cat.

Pets Love Us

There are several factors to consider if you think it may be time to euthanize your pet. Considering these factors will help you make the right decision for your pet and your family.

Your Pet’s Condition

If you have determined that your pet has become terminally ill, it’s likely that it’s time to put them down. Especially if it’s a condition that is incurable and painful.

Your Pet’s Functionality

In some cases, your pet may not be terminally ill, but they are unable to do the things they were able to do before. If your pet has just grown too old to live happily, it might be time.


If caring for your pet has become a serious financial burden, then they may be too ill or injured to remain. In this case, it’s best to consider euthanasia.

Your Veterinarian’s Opinion

Pets to SleepIf you are unsure of the decision you should make, you should definitely consult with your pet’s veterinarian. They can advise you on the course of action you should take.

The veterinarian can go over any potential treatment options that may be available to your pet. In some cases, your pet can still live longer as long as they have the right treatment. Also, if it is time to euthanize your pet, your veterinarian can help you do this humanely and peacefully.

As you make your decision, you may wish to discuss the care of the remains of your pet’s body with your family and veterinarian. You have several options, and your veterinarian can provide information about burial, cremation, or other alternatives.

In the end, your pet’s care is your decision. Make sure you get as much guidance as possible. You don’t need to make the decision right away. Take the time to truly assess if it is the right time.

Coming to Terms with It

If you have made the decision to euthanize your pet, your family is likely going through a very emotional time. Especially if your pet has been in your family for many years. This can be very painful, but there are things you and your family can do to help you cope with the pain.


In some cases, a pet owner may feel guilty about deciding to euthanize their pet. This can be particularly difficult because the pet isn’t dying of natural circumstances.

You may feel like you should have known that your pet was getting sick. You should have seen this coming. Maybe you could have done something about it.

However, this isn’t true. In most cases, it isn’t easy to see that your pet is becoming seriously ill. Veterinarians may even have trouble foreseeing this sometimes. Don’t make things worse by blaming yourself. Just know that you cared for your pet the best way you knew how.


Losing a pet will cause grief for the entire family. Dealing with this grief can be very hard. If you are going to euthanize your pet, you need to make sure that you and your family are as prepared as possible.

It’s important to have a support network. Family and friends can help you get through this. Let the people close to you know about the decision you have made. They will know that they need to be there to support you and your family as you go through this time.

If you know people who have already been through this, they can be an excellent resource for you. They know what it’s like and can empathize with what you’re feeling. Others may not be as understanding if they have not owned pets.


Putting Pets To Sleep

If you have children, this can be especially devastating for them. As the parent, it will be your job to help them get through this in a way that is healthy.

Make sure that you are up front and honest with your children about the decision you have made. Let them know that it’s okay for them to grieve and to talk about it.

Make yourself available if they want to talk about it. A pet’s death can be very confusing and upsetting for a child. If you are there to comfort them, it will make it easier on them.

Try to talk about the positive and fun memories you have of your pet. The more funny stories you talk about, the better. It will help your child keep the pet’s memory alive in their hearts.

How to Do it

The best way to euthanize your dog or cat is to consult with your veterinarian. They know how to conduct the procedure in a way that is humane.

You will need to make an appointment with the veterinarian to have this done. Make sure you are able to take a few days off of work in order to give yourself time to grieve and comfort your family afterward.

Find out what your vet’s procedures are for the procedure. In many cases, the pet owners prefer to be in the room and hold their pets when it’s time. Most vets are open to allowing you to say goodbye and be with your pet during their final moments.

Finding Closure

So what do you do afterward? Many pet owners feel like they need to find some type of closure after having their pet euthanized.

It’s not unusual for pet owners to hold a funeral for their pet as a way of saying a final farewell. It’s something that you and your family can work on and plan together.

You can figure out things to do to memorialize your pet. There are many ways to do this.

Pet Funerals Here are some good suggestions:

  • Create a photo collage
  • Create a photo album
  • Write a poem
  • Write down stories about your pet
  • Create a plaque

You can do one or all of these things to keep your pet alive in the memories of your family.

Pet Ashes Urns

Urns For Pet Ashes

After the ceremony, you will have needed to decide whether you want to bury your pet or cremate it. In some cases, families prefer to cremate their pets. That way they can keep the ashes as a memorial for their pet. In other cases, they prefer to have their pet buried in a pet cemetery. That way, they can come and visit whenever they want.

Regardless of the choices you make, make sure your family makes them together. It’s important that the whole family participates in this process. It makes it a lot easier on everyone involved.

Jewelry for dog ashes

Pet Jewelry That Holds Fur or Ashes

It’s not easy dealing with the death of a pet. It can be one of the most heartbreaking traumas a person can endure. It can be especially difficult if you have children. Make sure you get as much input as possible before making the decision. If you need to, don’t be afraid to seek out counseling or other types of professional help. Losing a pet is a serious matter, and you don’t want to deal with this event in a way that isn’t healthy for you or your family. There are many counselors who specialize in this type of grief. Your vet may even be able to make some recommendations.

Have a good support system for your family. Make sure you have the right vet who can make this process easy on you. Finally, make sure you and your family find some way to find closure after your pet’s passing. Doing this will help you cope with the grief in a way that is healthy and comforting.

Posted in Jewelry For Pet Ashes, Urns For Pet Ashes | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How Celebrants Can Help the Funeral Industry

Death is part of life. We all know that, yet many of us are unprepared for it. Loved ones left behind are unsure how to go about laying their deceased family member to rest other than the basic burial or cremation. The funeral is often assumed to be a part of the burial, so they may expect matters to simply fall into place as they just go through the motions: Eulogy, followed by kind words, followed by psalms, followed by hymns, and so on.

You can rise up and go beyond the emptiness of boring traditions and help a lost and grieving family members celebrate the life of their loved in a different and better way with Funeral Celebrants who understand what your clients want and need to say goodbye in a way that feels whole and provides a transition to move on.

Families depend on you to create a memorable funeral.

Grief On HoldWhen family members come into your funeral home to arrange things, they are often dull with grief and expecting you to plan the funeral for them. You will ask them about their loved one and try to come up with enough information for a basic obituary. You can hand the funeral ceremony over to your choice of clergy, knowing you can count on them to get the expected job done. Im sure the clergy will get just enough information to be able to express who the deceased was in life: their beliefs and what they meant to their survivors. The bare essentials created out of those simple guidelines, plus some psalms and hymns to tie things together, you have the basic and expected funeral.

The best way to gain the trust and loyalty of the families you serve is to exceed their expectations! There is a better way and to prepare a funeral that celebrates the deceased and helps those in attendance move through the transitions needed to embrace a life lived and support each other through feelings that are unique to each individual.  Funeral celebrants are trained and certified to write beautiful and creative funerals that go beyond the expected funeral.

We can help you create memories of joy for loved ones left behind.

Funerals Can Be Enlightning

Funerals Can Be Enlightning

Families and friends who have attended traditional funerals often leave as sad as they felt when they arrived. The eulogies often simply address the years of life lived, who they loved and raised, and what they did for a living as they did their duty for love and family. That is all well and good, but what about the joy the deceased had in life? What did they do that gave them pleasure and laughter in life? What did they value and share with their spouse, children, siblings, and friends? What message did they value so much that they would hope would continue beyond their life span and be carried by those they touched in life. Celebrants ask these questions with a complete questionnaire and interview process that stimulates survivors to share real life stories of the deceased. They then craft all they learn into a well written a memorable ceremony that shares their beliefs, values, humor, love, and joy through words, video, music, and anything else the symbolizes the life of the deceased.

When the family comes into your funeral home, they are lost and often unable to think clearly about the funeral. They may be thinking of details such as the casket and burial locations, logistics such as when it will be done and how to get everyone there. The last thing they may think about is how to send off their loved one with meaning. The irony is that the following days after the funeral when they reflect and talk to each other asking “How Was The Funeral”? The first thing they will talk about is the ceremony and how it made them feel. Followed by how did it truly reflect on the life and relationships of the person who died. Did the ceremony say I lived, I mattered, and I cared! That is where the real value of using Celebrants will reflect a positive light on your funeral bussiness.

Who can become a funeral celebrant?

Funeral CelebrantVirtually anyone can become a funeral celebrant, even a licensed funeral director. Grief counselors, hospice care providers, and social workers may have a natural calling to become Celebrants. Member of the clergy are also naturals. The main reason people become funeral celebrants is that they found they have a calling to help assist people to mark or celebrate the important moments in life of the family member who has passed on. Women are far more often drawn to the profession.

Is there a license to become a funeral celebrant?

No, there is no license, but the  funeral celebrants receive training to write and perform the celebration properly and they may even receive certification to indicate their training, but there is no government oversight or regulation. Often Celebrants are also trained in other life events as well, such as births, weddings, divorce and life transitions.

Funeral celebrants come from different walks of life. The may have experienced a traditional funeral and left feeling like something was missing and thought to themselves there must be a better way to say goodbye. They may then search for this better way and ultimately learn about becoming a Funeral Celebrant.

For example, hospice providers are present during the final months of a person’s life. They may listen to the stories of the patient’s life from the patient, their family members, and close friends. When the patient passes away, the loved ones enter a period of sadness and grief, with brief periods of levity caused by the memories of the deceased.

This is a light-bulb moment! They found laughter and joy even in their time of grief! The hospice care provider realizes this is what was missing at the funerals she attended in the past. The patient lived a long, loving and heroic life, why not celebrate who he was at the funeral so that the ones left behind can feel that love and joy as they send them off into the next stage of life! Thus a Funeral Celebrant is born.

What can this mean to your funeral home business?

Funeral Director with head up ass

Typical Response of a Funeral Director on Using Celebrants!

When a family comes to you establishment and you can provide them with much more than a simple tradition and find out how the family really wants to remember them. You can then use the skills of a Funeral Celebrant to create a lovely and memorable celebration that will help sad grieving family and friends leave with love and joy in their hearts.

What does this mean to you? Those who experience a true celebration at a funeral often remark to their families that is how they want their funeral to be when they go. This has proven to increase the public’s desire to pre-arrange funerals. You can setup everything needed for the celebration ahead of time to avoid rushing about and missing important details.

Costs for Funeral Celebrants vary depending on what is needed for the celebration but expect it to cost twice as much as a typical clergy donation. This is mainly because of the simple fact that Celebrants put in much more time and on average take 10 – 12 hours just to interview and write the ceremony. The extra time and effort will show in the quality of a more personalized funeral. Extras may include a Life Celebration Video of the deceased or specific music or even props present at the funeral. The writer may not necessarily be the speaker, so that may be a separate fee. Conversely, the writer may be the speaker, so they may charge a flat fee for the complete service or separate fees for each aspect of the celebration.

Your funeral home is a business that celebrates life.

funeralhome1In every town or city there are several funeral homes. Most are traditional ones that perform the basics. Your funeral home can be the one that stands out as more progressive and truly knows how to celebrate life. When a family loses someone they love, they will look to you to help them. Celebrants are trained to work with funeral directors and consider it their job to shine a positive light on the funeral home the hires them. Your relationship with your Celebrant will grow and you may find new ways to use their services, such as a public holiday service of remembrance or the opening of a new business. They want you to call them again and again so be sure to explain your special needs and likes.

Traditional funerals often do not satisfy people.

In the current social environment there are many people who do not define themselves as religious, thus they may prefer to keep religion out of the funeral service. Instead they may prefer to celebrate the life of the deceased live with stories, music, and videos. They may want to share funny or poignant stories that show who they were in life. Grieving family members may ask for certain songs to be played instead of hymns, certain poetry recited rather than psalms.

A funeral celebrant understands these different expectations and can help you provide these services for your clients. Your job is to help the living say goodbye to the deceased the way they wish to say it. The difference here is that the funeral is planned and arranged with minute detail.  A funeral celebration is a calming balm to the soul in a time of loss and sadness to lift the hearts into love and joy. We encourage you to learn more about Celebrants for your funeral home to take your business to the next level. You can keep up with the current social atmosphere that prefers to celebrate life instead of mourn death. Celebrants are here to help you help your clients say goodbye the way they want to say it: with meaning, with words, with love, and with joy so that they will come back again to your funeral home when they need to say goodbye to another loved one.

To locate a Certified Celebrant in your area you can check out the Celebrant Foundation and Institute or call #973-746-1792
To hire a Celebrant online to write but not perform a ceremony check out our Funeral-Writing-Services.

Jeff Staab is a Vermont based funeral director and Certified Life Cycle Celebrant. He can be reached at #877-365-9474 or

Posted in Celebrant Funerals, Dealing With Grief, Funeral News, Funneral Planning, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments