The spirit that once animated the body is gone. Some believe that it has gone to join God in heaven. Some believe that it has merged with a Universal Life Force. Others believe that the spirit will find its way into another body, for further lessons here on Earth. Some believe that what we call the soul was a manifestation of a purely organic brain, and it is no more. Whatever one’s belief, there is no denying that the spirit lives on among us in the form of loving and very real memories.
And what of the body that contained that spirit? For those who have lost a loved one, it is a practical question that must be answered almost immediately. The choice to cremate or to bury is a very personal one, based on family traditions, religious practice, and individual preferences. In either case, one must find a container to hold that which remains .
For those who choose cremation, there are countless burial urns available. There are traditional styles, and original variations. Engraving is an option, to personalize the urn with a name, a date, a phrase of your choice… There are myriads of shapes available; anything from a children’s building blocks container for infants, to maritime or aviation themes, to urns that include frames for photos of the loved one – almost anything you could think of. There are even artisans willing to take your design idea and turn it into an urn. One popular option is smaller keepsake urns that come in sets, so that cremation remnants can be shared among family members. Keepsake urns can be free standing, or they can be jewelry items, intended to keep memories close. Finally, for those who plan to release the ashes back to the natural world, there are temporary containers available. These are not meant for permanent display. Some are earth friendly.
Caskets are available in numerous styles. Depending on your religion, your tastes, and your financial abilities, choices range from a simple pine box to elaborately decorated, plush varieties. Consider whether you would prefer a casket that has the permanence of metal , or an earth-friendly version that will ultimately return to the soil, along with the body it contains. Caskets come in a variety of metals in varying price ranges. More traditionally, there are a variety of wooden designs available, in hardwoods and softwoods, built in a range of styles from simple to extravagant. There are cloth-covered caskets. They can be lined or unlined. There are artist designed caskets with religious themes, military themes, or any decoration you could dream of.
We are often called upon to make a choice about a casket or urn at a moment of great grief. Take a moment to reflect and consider what your loved one would have wanted. The urn or casket for which you wish is available.