Ask the Expert: Choosing Cremation

funeral cremation

by: Steve Hodge, Manager, McEwen Funeral Service – Mint Hill Chapel 

Q: I know I want to be cremated, but I’m not sure I want a memorial service. Any advice? 

A: In my experience, a funeral or memorial service can be very important for two reasons. First of all, your life is unique! Why not celebrate all you are and how much you meant to others? With cremation, you aren’t limited when it comes to memorialization or remembrance. Cremation provides a great deal of flexibility. A tribute of any kind can be held before or after the cremation has taken place and with or without the casket or urn present. The service itself can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. And whether you opt for a tribute with catering or calla lilies, it’s your special celebration and should reflect your life and your passions.

Secondly, many people who don’t want a memorial service may not realize that a ceremony can help your loved ones begin to accept your passing. Cremation is simply one way of preparing for remembrance and memorialization. There is still a need for a meaningful gathering to celebrate the special life of that loved one and to assist survivors in the grieving and healing process. A memorial gives people who are close to you the time to come together and remember your life—and the chance to say goodbye. Without such a service, people sometimes struggle to find the closure they will need.

Q: What happens to the “ashes” after the cremation service? 

A: As the number of people choosing cremation has grown, so have the available options for permanent memorialization. Today there are many ways to create a lasting and beautiful memorial for those choosing cremation. From simple remembrances to more elaborate family memorials, cremation allows you to choose from a wide variety of memorial types. Families often choose options such as family estates, cremation niches, in-ground burial or personal memorials in specially designed cremation gardens.

After cremation, creating a lasting, personal impression of a special life helps to ensure that memories will live on in the hearts and minds of family and friends. Your funeral arranger can provide information about ways you can memorialize your loved one or plan ahead to leave your own lasting legacy.

Q: What should I look for when choosing a cremation provider? 

A: Here are some helpful guidelines when selecting a cremation provider:

  • Find a reputable full-service provider who can offer your family trusted, caring service. You should always feel comfortable asking questions and expressing your wishes.
  • Choose a provider who adheres to the highest standards of quality, including observance of all state and federal regulations, to ensure that your loved one is treated with dignity and respect.
  • Choose a provider that offers you the option of making your own wishes for cremation known in advance so that your family won’t have to guess what you would have wanted.
  • Look for a firm that allows you to transfer your pre-arranged services through a network of firms.

If you have more questions about your cremation options, visit your local funeral provider. They are a good source of information available to those choosing cremation