There are many factors and choices to consider when arranging an end-of-life celebration for a loved one.
As you go through the planning process, you may find that you have some unanswered questions. For instance, you may wonder what type of memorial is right for you and your family. Or, perhaps you want to personalize the service, but don’t know where to start.
Whatever end-of-life option you choose for your loved one, you’ll want to be sure it’s as unique and special as the life lived. While we’ve all heard of burial or cremation as a final wish, keep in mind there are other unique options that you may have not considered.
For more information about end-of-life options to celebrate your loved one, continue reading below.
1. Go Green
Earth burial is the most common burial choice in Northeast Ohio. However, a new form of burial is growing in popularity and interest. More people are considering green burial, or natural burial as a final disposition.
According to the Green Burial Council (GBC), “It’s a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that aids in the conservation of natural resources, reduction of carbon emissions, protection of worker health, and the restoration and/or preservation of habitat.”
Green burials are free from formaldehyde, metal or concrete grave liners and burial vaults. Caskets, coffins or alternative containers are made of biodegradable materials to transport the body.
Advocates of green burial take comfort in knowing that as their bodies decompose, they become part of nature. While many funeral homes may say that they support green burial, look for a facility that is certified by the GBC. Busch Funeral and Crematory Services is one of only 16 GBC-certified funeral homes in Ohio.
In order to become GBC-certified, a funeral home must submit an application and undergo an evaluation process. If passed, the funeral home is granted a license, verifying that the establishment is a certified Green Burial Provider. To ensure a funeral home continues to meet certification requirements, GBC conducts periodic compliance monitoring. In addition, GBC has a list of Cemetery Certification Standards for green burial to take place.
To honor the final wishes of a loved one, lay him or her to rest in harmony with nature at Foxfield Preserve—the first nature preserve cemetery in Ohio. The land is maintained as a forest and prairie, and offers a beautiful final resting place for the deceased.
2. Give the Gift of Life
Have you or your loved one considered organ donation?
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people.” And since thousands of people are waiting for life-saving organ transplants everyday, it’s important for families to discuss such topics and make end-of-life wishes known to one another.
An individual may decide to become an organ donor while living via a driver’s license elective. Or, in the event that a loved one suddenly passes from an accidental death, families can help facilitate an important desire of theirs to give the gift of life to others.
It’s a simple act of love and generosity, and may provide some meaning to an unforeseen loss. Additionally, some families may choose to receive a letter of confirmation upon the success of transplantation(s). This too can provide comfort and closure for friends and family of the deceased.
For more information about organ donation, visit Lifebanc.org.
3. Personalize the Service
If you want to design a meaningful tribute that helps tell the story of your loved one’s life, talk to your funeral provider about personalization options.
From customized memory boards showcasing special photographs to music and mementos, personalization is a simple and easy way to celebrate the life of your loved one, while honoring your beliefs.
Personalization options may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Bereavement and sympathy gifts.
- Display of cherished belongings.
- Memorial candles.
- Multimedia tribute.
- Photo collage presentation.
- Unique requests.
In the event that you’re planning a funeral for a veteran or public servant, there are additional personalization options, benefits and honors to ensure a memorial of the highest caliber. Depending on the funeral home, some services and merchandise may be offered free of charge.
There are several unique ways to honor the life and legacy of your loved one. But, to give you and your loved ones ultimate peace of mind, consider preplanning your funeral to document your own end-of-life wishes.
Preplanning is an act of love for your family and a way to prevent added stress during an already emotional time. By having these conversations, you can be confident that your final wishes will be met. For more information on preplanning, download our free guide, Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements, or schedule a consultation with one of our preplanning advisors.
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