Preferences Decide on Ways to Honor Your Loved Ones

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( — January 23, 2018) — When someone you love dies, it is an incredibly stressful and sad time in life. Not only do you have to deal with all the emotions; there are also many technical things that you have to consider. Although funerals have been fairly standard in the past, tradition is beginning to give way to preference. It is no longer about doing what is “standard,” but about following the wishes of your loved one and honoring them in a way that celebrates their life.

Just two decades ago, cremation was not a popular choice; partly because old traditions die hard and partly due to the Catholic Church’s stance on cremation, many people chose to bury their loved ones in cemeteries with a casket and a headstone, in the old-fashioned manner. Now attitudes have changed in religious circles, and people are also considering “green” space and the carbon footprint they left behind. This means many people are considering options like cremation instead of laying their loved ones to rest.

Cremation is not only a great option to save physical space, but it also allows you to take the remains with you to be buried or scattered according to your loved one’s wishes. If they loved the mountains, scattering their ashes atop a mountaintop can be an excellent way to honor their memory and return them to the earth in a very eco-friendly way. You can also keep some ashes with you or put them in an urn on your mantle. It all depends on what you are comfortable with.

The other advantage that cremation offers is that it is usually cheaper than traditional burial. Since you don’t have to pay for the crypt or the headstone, cremation can be a less-costly alternative – depending on what you choose for a funeral, memorial service, and for visitation.

Memorial services versus funeral home services

It is possible for you to have a burial for the immediate family but hold a public memorial service to allow others to grieve in a more non-traditional way. Sometimes it’s good to celebrate someone’s life instead of their death by having a memorial service in a less-formal atmosphere; this can also be done later, at a time when people are less in shock and are thinking more about all the pleasant memories they want to keep alive.

You are no longer required to have the traditional viewing followed by the funeral and burial, unless that is what you choose. It is really up to your family, your loved one’s wishes, and whether you want to give people time to come and grieve and celebrate if they live far away and can’t get to town quickly enough.


For Richard Wojcik’s, the newest trend in the funeral industry is “bio-cremation.” Although it was just recently approved by the FDA for human cremation, it has been standard in the veterinary industry for decades. Bio-cremation uses chemicals to dispose of the body. It’s a less-costly alternative if you aren’t concerned about the ashes or holding onto them; bio-cremation is also the “greenest” alternative that you can choose. It is only available in certain areas, though, so while it might not be an option for you just yet, it may be one you can consider in the future.

The average funeral can cost upwards of $10,000 if you honor your loved one in the traditional way. There is no reason to spend a fortune honoring someone you love if that is not what they would have chosen. It is always good to have a discussion ahead of time, but if you didn’t have time and are considering the best way to honor someone you lost, then think about what they would want.

You don’t have to go the traditional route, especially if your loved one never lived by the rules. You can tailor the way you choose to say goodbye to be less expensive, more their style, and be more environmentally friendly. It is your way of saying goodbye, so do what you think is right instead of what you think is expected; this is how you will honor them the way that they deserve.