Memorial & Funeral Options for Cremation

“A good funeral is one that gets the dead where they need to go, and the living where they need to be.”
– Thomas Lynch

Memorial ceremonies are only as limited as your imagination today; there are no rules here. Cremation allows you an endless number of ways to express yourself or the essence of your loved one. One of the saddest things I have found that is quite common is the number of people who have the cremated remains of a loved one stored on a shelf in a closet because they just don’t know what to do with them. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.


The simplest is often the best. Often when cremation is decided upon, burial is sometimes overlooked. Burial provides the all-important place to visit for those left behind. A permanent memorial provides a lasting tribute to a loved one and a tremendous source of comfort, tribute and visitation opportunity to the living.

Green Burial

The United States is just now catching up on a trail the United Kingdom blazed years ago. There are a few states that offer green cemeteries and many cemeteries will offer a green burial section within a traditional landscape. These areas should not require a concrete vault, which is typically sited as necessary to maintain a level landscape for eternal care.

Planting a tree is a wonderful way to create a living memorial. If you don’t have land or a place to plant, check with cemeteries in your area. Many have gardens specifically for cremated remains. A good source for information is The Green Burial Council. Green cremation urns are available in biodegradable materials including wood, salt, corn, bamboo or other woven fibers, natural fabrics and paper.


One of the most traditional ways of memorialization is internment in a columbarium, which is a niche that may be indoors or outdoors, in a wall or structure built for that purpose. Niches may be enclosed with glass, stone or bronze and can accommodate partners or even families. Be sure you check sizes of urns in relation to the columbarium. As with burial, costs for eternal care need to be taken into consideration and incorporated into your plans.


A piece of art can capture the essence of an individual and provide comfort in having their remains always with you. Very often, artists can be commissioned to create a piece. Materials and design are unlimited, wood, metal, glass, porcelain, ceramic and even more contemporary materials such as fiberglass or resin. Be sure that the size of the urn is adequate. A pound of body weight is roughly equivalent to one cubic inch of cremated remains, so an individual weighing 200lbs requires an urn of 200 cubic inches. Your artist or urn supplier should provide this information for you.


  • Small urns, adequate to hold only partial remains, are a wonderful way to sharemementos. There may be multiple family members who wish to hold the remains near and keepsake urns are made just for that purpose. You can often find an urn with matching keepsakes.

Memorial Jewelry

  • is available in any number of styles that incorporate a small amountof remains in the fabrication process, or simply provide a vessel to hold them. Glass, silver gold jewelry are common, and even gems, such as simulated diamonds, are made today with remains. A good source for this is LifeGem.

• Paintings and portraits can be commissioned incorporating cremated remains in the actual pigments. My suggestions here is that you be confident of the artist’s style and expertise and request a preliminary sketch.

Build a Reef

For those fascinated with the wonders of the sea, a memorial can be built underwater. Visit Eternal Reefs to find out how.

Orbit the Earth

Celestis is an organization that has made possible the opportunity to send a portion of remains into space. Launched by a rocket and documented by video, this is a wonderful memorial tribute for those who hold a reverence an awe of space travel, our universe and the cosmos.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 11.53.14 AM