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Solid Wood Cremation Urns, Made in the USA: The Real Deal

Premium real wood urns made in the USA

When choosing the cremation urn that will serve as your loved one’s final resting place, it is worth the time and effort to find the best quality at a respectable price.

While there are many types of urns out there, perhaps there is no greater disparity in quality among wooden cremation urns. While the photos you see online may look similar, don’t be deceived. There is an unbelievable difference between genuine solid wood cremation urns and the cheap knockoffs that use veneers and particle board.

You want the real deal. You want solid wood cremation urns, made in the USA. Continue reading Solid Wood Cremation Urns, Made in the USA: The Real Deal

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Euphemisms for Death: Ways to Say That Someone Has Died

300 ways to say that someone has died

Euphemisms for death about. This is because there are many ways we talk about death.

Sometimes we talk evasively, in a way that avoids really talking about death. Other times we are trying to be polite and sensitive, especially around the family of the one who has died. Still other times we turn it into a big joke, blunting the razor edge of death’s horror with humor.

We can talk about death clinically, with a focus on the physical symptoms that avoids the emotional aspect. And of the flip side we can use purely emotional, whimsical terms like “living on in our hearts” as a way to deflect the crushing reality.

Continue reading Euphemisms for Death: Ways to Say That Someone Has Died

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12 Tips To Get The Headstone Inscription Just Right

12 tips for the headstone inscription

Headstones are big, expensive, and permanent, so you want to get it just right. The headstone inscription can be a lengthy description or a short sentence or anything in between, but whatever length or style you want it done well.

To that end, here are 12 tips to help you get the headstone inscription just right. These tips work equally well for inscriptions on cremation urns, niche cover plates, memorial gifts, and more. Continue reading 12 Tips To Get The Headstone Inscription Just Right

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How to Find Comfort in a Time of Loss

Finding comfort in the midst of grief

I awoke from a vivid dream around four in the morning. Though my eyes were swollen from all the tears I cried earlier, I began quietly sobbing again, in the stillness of the night. Nobody else was awake in my house. It was just me and my tears, replaying memories in my head like a music player replays my favorite song.

My dream was about my dad, who was very ill. At the time, he appeared to be near death. The day before I visited him at a hospice care center with my husband and two young daughters. We brought him yellow flowers, something cheery to brighten up his cold, stark room. Then, we said our good-byes.

Continue reading How to Find Comfort in a Time of Loss

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Death Doulas & Caring for the Dying

Have you heard of “Death Doulas”? They, of course, prefer the term end-of-life doula, but the catchier term is the one that sticks in the mind and is what most people search for when first diving into this broad topic of death, dying well, and end-of-life care. Continue reading Death Doulas & Caring for the Dying

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The Aron: Jewish Burial Caskets & Where to Find Them

Where to find Jewish Burial Caskets

Jewish burial practices are very similar to the contemporary eco-friendly trend, the “green burial” movement. As people begin to realize just how harmful some of the modern “traditional” funeral practices are, a movement back to the old ways it beginning to take place.

For the Jewish community, the reality is that they have been doing it right for many years and the rest of the Western world is waking up to the wisdom of a simple, natural burial. Continue reading The Aron: Jewish Burial Caskets & Where to Find Them

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Mailbag: Questions about Scattering & Scattering Urns

Questions about scattering, urns, and TSA compliance

In today’s reader mailbag, we have a series of questions about the use of scattering urns for holding the ashes, airline travel, scattering, and eventual display as a memorial. Continue reading Mailbag: Questions about Scattering & Scattering Urns

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What is a death doula or end-of-life doula?

Applying the doula approach to end-of-life care

Death is coming. It’s easier to not think about it at all, but when the dreaded diagnosis or the irreversible decline from age comes it’s hard to avoid.

Still, we can keep busy in a number of ways bypass thinking deeply about death. There are always surgeries, procedures, medications, and other medical interventions that offer hope. Sometimes these help, or at least delay death. But ultimately it is a false hope. Death inevitably comes. When we spend all our time and effort looking for the perfect cure, death seems to hit even harder.

We can also get sidetracked by an agenda or list of tasks. Plan the funeral, finalize the will, keep the lawn mowed, donate stuff, get the medical bills paid, check off items on a whirlwind bucket list. Adding more and more tasks is a good way to avoid thinking about the fact that you and your loved ones are going to die.

But maybe that isn’t you. Perhaps you realize that death is coming, and you want to address it and face it head on, with clear eyes and full hearts. You recognize that death is a natural part of life, and you want to die well. You want to take care of your family, leave behind a meaningful legacy, and have your own or your loved one’s final wishes fulfilled in an honorable way.

Maybe you want all those things, but you just don’t know how to make it happen. Continue reading What is a death doula or end-of-life doula?

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory (Book Review)

Book Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory is an entertaining and at times thoughtful book about one of the most tucked-away but necessary jobs in the funeral industry: The Crematory Operator.

Written by Caitlin Doughty, who worked as a crematory operator and is now an “alternative” funeral director, author, and YouTube personality, the theme of the book is not really cremation or funerals or gory details, though it definitely includes that. The main theme is death itself. Specifically, how our culture interacts with death (or tries to avoid it), and what things might be like if we looked death – in all of its messiness – straight in the face.

In large part a memoir of Ms. Doughty’s first six years working in the funeral industry, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes functions in turns as an exposé of the funeral industry, a defense of a healthy interest in death, and an inside look at interesting funeral and memorial observances of various individuals, families, and cultures, as seen through the eyes of a crematory worker.

These things are all tied together by a question: Does the contemporary funeral industry help us die well?

Continue reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory (Book Review)

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21 Beautifully Christ-Centered Funeral Hymns

Beautiful Christian Funeral Hymns

There are few things more powerful, encouraging, and comforting than singing a beloved and Christ-exalting hymn in the midst of a difficult time.

When a Christian dies, they have the solid hope of being together with the Lord, free from sin and pain and the troubles of the world. Yes, it is a grievously sad day, but it is not a sadness without hope. Those of us who remain, including the believer’s family and loved ones, can draw much comfort while expressing our hope and grief through a well-chosen hymn sung in faith. Continue reading 21 Beautifully Christ-Centered Funeral Hymns