There is one inevitable thing with every life, death. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich and famous or down on your luck and homeless, we all face the inevitable day when we pass on.
In most families, this is not something that’s typically talked about and historically has only been dealt after a person passes. However, a new movement is taking place where more families are starting to have the conversation before they pass and plan their memorial in advance. This gives people the ability to be remembered in a way that they want and allows them to take care of everything while they’re still alive so it’s not a burden on others and family doesn’t have to try to figure out “what they would have wanted”. Pre-planning is something that everybody should consider no matter how old or healthy you are. It doesn’t hurt to at least have the conversation and tell family or friends what you want, or meet with a local funeral director to learn more about the options available.
At the same time more people are pre-planning their memorial, cremation is taking center stage as the most popular choice of Americans who pass. With the growing cremation trend, many new and uplifting memorial options are coming available that people can choose from.
Below are examples of a few recent creative memorials that may inspire some ideas if you’re thinking about planning your own memorial..
Jim was an avid golfer. He played at least twice a week for over forty years. He had always joked with his wife that when he died she would find him on the golf course. A week after Jim passed, his wife was made aware of The Living Urn, a biodegradable urn and planting system where you can grow a tree from the BioUrn containing a loved one’s ashes. When she saw this, she knew it was perfect for Jim’s memorial and it needed to be a planted where else, but at a golf course. She immediately contacted the local golf course and told them about the idea. They loved it and agreed to plant Jim’s memorial tree right next to his favorite spot – the 18th hole! Now, Jim’s red maple memorial tree is thriving at a place he truly loved.
Bob was passionate about fishing and frequently visited a specific lake in Northern Minnesota far from the grid to get his fishing “fix”. Prior to getting Alzheimers, Bob made it known to his family that he wanted to be cremated and to have his remains scattered at his favorite fishing spot in his favorite lake. So, after he passed his family did just that. They took Bob’s ashes up to his fishing hole, held a brief ceremony there (‘brief’ was something that Bob insisted upon), then slowly scattered his remains into the lake from a beautiful biodegradable scattering urn picked out by his grandkids (called Eco Scattering). Then, they took the urn used in the ceremony with his favorite quote etched on the side, and set that in the exact spot on shore where Bob could be found on most Summer weekends.
Emma loved a great party and would always be dressed to impress. She was the type of person who would catch the attention of everybody as she entered the room. Even up to a week before she passed at the age of 95, she always made sure her makeup was perfect and her jewelry was an exact match for her outfit. Because her youngest son is a funeral director, he made sure that she pre-planned her memorial far in advance of her passing last year. Emma chose her memorial to include placing her ashes in three diamonds – one for each of her children.. Now, Mom is always with them and is shinning, like she always has.
Linda loved skiing the trees at her favorite resort, Keystone. She was a regular at Keystone for over twenty years and found it fitting that after she passed she would be buried in a Living Urn bio urn and grow into a beautiful Colorado Blue Spruce at her family’s cabin overlooking the ski runs. Linda passed unexpectedly last summer at the young age of 42. Her family, along with her two kids, held a beautiful planting ceremony per her request. Now, Linda’s Colorado Blue Spruce tree memorial is growing and thriving at a place she loved!
Whether you’re 25 or 95, pre-planning is something that you should seriously consider. It gives most people peace-of-mind that their wishes will be fulfilled and takes the burden off of family and friends to guess “what you would have wanted”.