Funerals should be as individual as the people they honor. A faith-based funeral and burial is the best choice for a family that finds strength and meaning in the traditions and rhythm of their faith. The selection of readings and hymns can bring great peace and comfort.

For others, the simplicity of cremation is the right choice. Many choose a corresponding memorial service, uniquely created to reflect the deceased, at a convenient gathering time. A memorial service following cremation may be as simple as a backyard barbecue, as elegant as a choreographed service in a formal room with live music, or as natural as the words of loved ones spoken on a hill as ashes are scattered.

For the veteran who honorably served our great country, a funeral or memorial service should reflect that devotion, and employ symbols of duty and country. We help families take advantage of federal benefits for a veteran funeral and burial.

There’s a world in between as well, where a funeral may be built on contemporary poetry and music, or the focus may be environmental consciousness to reflect the values of the deceased. Alternative funerals are not so alternative anymore. When someone requests a green funeral, we know what that means; we work with the family for a service that avoids embalming, caskets, and other accoutrements. For the country music fan, we might prepare a funeral with coordinating music and a well-chosen wood casket. For the gardener, we focus on plants and flowers that represent the life the honored brought into his or her own land.

A funeral or memorial service is an opportunity to honor a loved one in a way that best reflects the person they were and the life they lived. Families should carefully consider how to honor them while also accounting for their own need to say goodbye and deal with their grief.

For those planning your own future funerals, don’t be shy about sharing your thoughts and wishes about a service. Talk to your family now about a service meaningful to you.