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What you need to know about cremation

What you need to know about cremation

A traditional urn is only one choice with cremation.

For those who may have lost a loved one or are doing advance planning for themselves, cremation is becoming a more popular option. If you are considering cremation, or are curious to know more, here are some helpful facts.

Cremation is a disposition, not a funeral ceremony

Many people don’t realize that cremation is a method of disposition or a process. A visitation service or celebration of life accompanying the cremation allows people to pay their respects.

Many families choose to have a visitation prior to the cremation with the body present, or a gathering with family and friends after the cremation has occurred. “A celebration of life in memory of the loved one is a meaningful way to honor and remember the life that was lived among us,” said Haley Ayers, a transfer specialist at Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service. This service may be personalized in ways that will help families find support, including pallbearers and a procession to the cemetery.

Many options exist for handling the remains of your loved one

Display urns come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes. These urns are usually kept at home. Keepsake urns are smaller versions of the larger display urn. These are often chosen so that multiple members of the family can keep a small portion of the cremated remains of their loved one.

Biodegradable urns are constructed with biodegradable materials and will disintegrate when released into the water, gently scattering the remains placed inside.

Scattering is another popular option. This process involves allowing the cremated remains of a loved one to rest in a favorite place: the garden, a riverbank, or perhaps the ocean (ocean scattering must be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency and requires adherence to certain regulations). Scattering urns are made specifically for this purpose, are relatively inexpensive, easy to use, have esthetically pleasing designs and can be kept in the home until the scattering takes place.

Cremation jewelry is created by many manufacturers with different options. A small portion of cremated remains may be fashioned into beads or placed inside a locket or other jewelry; some options include the thumbprint of your loved one on the outside of the locket. Choosing jewelry may help someone feel a close connection to his or her loved one.

Finally, a living urn is a unique way to memorialize a loved one and can have profound significance for a family, Ayers says. When a living urn is chosen, the manufacturer will ship the sapling of a tree indigenous to the area where it will be planted. The cremated remains are placed into the ground, where the roots of the tree surround it. The loved one’s remains will nourish the tree as it grows.

If you have any questions about burial and cremation needs, visit Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, the oldest continuously operated business in South Richmond – since 1870. Morrissett is the only funeral home in Virginia to be awarded the National Funeral Directors Association’s prestigious “Pursuit of Excellence” award each year since 2013 and is the first funeral home in central Virginia to have trained therapy dogs available on staff.

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