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Can I Have a Funeral Without the Body? Some Practical Ideas

A funeral without the body present happens more often than you might think. It seems that many families, friends, and loved-ones holding funerals today don’t involve an actual physical burial. If there is a burial, it tends to be held privately at another time and place with just family present.

As there may be no actual physical body to bury due to death-related circumstances like disappearances, natural disasters, car accidents, and other circumstances, those dealing with unconventional losses are turning to memorial services rather than traditional funerals. With cremation, a burial service isn’t required and memorial services tend to be a little less traditional as well.

Having a funeral without a burial isn’t unusual, but knowing how to celebrate a life this way can be tricky. Below are some ideas.

Funeral Services without a Body

Funerals without a burial are handled in a similar manner to memorial services. The service can be held at a funeral home in a room set aside for family members and friends. Sometimes these services include photographs or videos of the person being honored, so family and friends are able to see the person throughout their natural life one last time.

Families can participate in the funeral memorial by putting together photo montages, collages or timeline displays of pictures and captions of their loved one, or they may set up a funeral memorial table with a collection or assortment of favorite things from their family member’s work and personal life.

Achievement Memorials

This kind of memorial service would focus on the contributions and achievements that the deceased made during his or her lifetime, perhaps with family and friends speaking of the goals the person achieved and how others benefited and were blessed by the person’s presence.

The memorial could be held at one of the person’s favorite places, such as a park, mountain retreat, beach area, or even a favorite restaurant or friend’s home. If the outdoors were a big part of their life, bio-burial options for ashes and remains could be a good option as part of the ceremony. Friends and relatives could arrange a special luncheon or dinner at any one of these places and set up a memorial table with expressive quotes or sayings concerning the crowning achievements of their loved one. There could even be a balloon launch with the written words inserted in the balloons with a sendoff after the memorial.

Church Memorials

Church memorials are usually held in the home church of the deceased several weeks after the passing of the individual. If the church sanctuary is not used, a fellowship hall or other appropriate location within the church is used for a life celebration. There is no set format for a memorial service, though prayers, scriptures, music selections, short sermons, homilies and spoken words from family members and friends are often given.

A photo display is often put at the entrance to the sanctuary that shows the high points of the person’s life. A luncheon or dinner for family, friends and other church members is frequently held after the memorial.

Wake Celebrations

A variation of a memorial would be a wake celebration, which can be used as a means of honoring an individual in spite of a burial not being part of the gathering. A wake is usually a party and celebration for the deceased to give them a proper send-off and keep them moving in the right “heavenly” direction. It is not a somber type of memorial, but it can be a way of remembering a person who would have wanted and liked a happy sendoff rather than a sad and gloomy goodbye.

Whether a funeral or a memorial, any joining of families and friends is a reunion or coming together of those who want to honor the deceased, and it isn’t necessary to include a burial as part of the service, particularly when the person is presumed dead and there is no body for burial, or other circumstances suggest that a burial will occur at a later time. A memorial can serve as a means of closure which helps family and friends to accept and deal with the loss and continue on with life.

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What should I send as a memorial gift instead of flowers?

Memorial Gift Ideas

Funeral flowers are beautiful, but many people find them depressing. After all, once the hubbub of the funeral or memorial service subsides, the flowers sit on a table and… die. A sad collection of wilting flowers isn’t exactly the image you want to leave with the recipient of your memorial gift.

So many people look for funeral flower alternatives to give that somehow celebrate life. Continue reading What should I send as a memorial gift instead of flowers?

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What To Do When You Lose A Loved One

Processing Grief

You never thought it would happen, but it did. Someone you deeply loved has now passed away. Even though we are told, “dying is just a part of life”, it still does not remove the sting of saying goodbye to someone we have cherished and enjoyed our life with. When something like this happens, we all respond in unique ways. Some try to be tough, suppressing their pain the best they can in hopes to avoid the weight of the situation. Others take time to grieve, but end up dwelling on the pain for so long that healing is delayed and they are not able to enjoy a healthy life. Continue reading What To Do When You Lose A Loved One

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Horse Themed Cremation Urns for People Who Loved Horses

Cremation urns for people who loved horses

Horses are loved by many. The majestic power, the graceful movement, the equine beauty. Horse themed cremation urns are a popular choice as a memorial for people who loved horses, and there are plenty from which to choose.

At Urns Northwest, we offer some brilliant and premium horse themed cremation urns. Continue reading Horse Themed Cremation Urns for People Who Loved Horses

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How To Safely Travel With Cremated Remains

If you are traveling a long distance by car or flying to retrieve the cremated remains of one parent or both, you will probably want to take the remains with you back home. Or perhaps you might want to honor a last wish and scatter them somewhere with sentimental value. Cremation is a popular practice that affords different options to honor a dead parent or keep them close. Whether you are honoring a final wish to scatter the ashes somewhere sentimental or take them back with you, you will want to keep the remains as safe as possible depending on the traveling methods. Continue reading How To Safely Travel With Cremated Remains

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Grief & Self-Care: 44 Tips for Healing, Comfort, and Peace

50 Tips for Comfort, Health, and Healing

A death in the family deals a tough blow. If you were close to the one who passed away – a spouse, parent, or child – you will need time to grieve and heal. You will also need to care for yourself throughout the grief process. Here, we address grief & self-care by offering 44 tips for healing, comfort, and peace while you do the difficult work of mourning. Continue reading Grief & Self-Care: 44 Tips for Healing, Comfort, and Peace

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New Wood Lighthouse Cremation Urn Designs

Wooden Lighthouse Cremation Urns

In recent months, we’ve added an array of new wood lighthouse cremation urn designs so that any and all who love lighthouses and the seacoast can find the perfect funeral urn. These wooden urns are crafted in the USA, available in your choice of four types of solid premium woods, and can even be made in larger companion urn sizes for a couple to remain together always. Continue reading New Wood Lighthouse Cremation Urn Designs

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Frugal Funeral Planning: 50 Tips for a Funeral on a Budget

Frugal Funeral Planning on a Budget

In this article we distill frugal funeral planning into a boatload of simple, practical tips to help you plan a funeral on a budget. Whether you’re planning ahead for final arrangements or finding yourself in sudden need of some advice, you’ll find many economical and creative ideas below. Continue reading Frugal Funeral Planning: 50 Tips for a Funeral on a Budget

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When a cardinal appears in your yard, it’s a visitor from heaven

Cardinal memorials

There is an old folklore saying that, “When a cardinal appears in your yard, it’s a visitor from heaven.” Let’s take a look at the legacy of this quote and the memorial tributes it has inspired. Continue reading When a cardinal appears in your yard, it’s a visitor from heaven