Designing Your Funeral

There are two facets of the design process. First, we ask you to consider how you wish to honor and celebrate the life. When those important decisions are made, we’ll turn to the issue of how you wish to care for the physical remains.

How to Honor a Life

It’s about bringing those you love together, at a time of loss. It’s a natural thing to do, and over time, has become a socially-expected practice. More importantly, a funeral or memorial service, whether traditional, or contemporary, is the first step in healing.

You can have your service anywhere, and any way, you want. Your choices include the place of celebration, day of the week, and time of day; the musical selection, what prayers will be said or songs you’d like sung. We can arrange to have doves, butterflies, or balloons released at the close of the service. Keepsake gifts of wildflower seeds or a tree seedling can be given. We’re here to help you create the most memorable and meaningful service to honor your loved one.

Burial or Cremation?

Your next consideration focuses on choosing between burial and cremation. Frequently, people are clear on this point. In fact, your loved one may have told you, or someone else, exactly how they wish to be cared for. But it can be a hard decision for some families, especially when the wishes of the deceased were never clearly stated, or if they conflict with personal ideas or beliefs. If that's the case, please know we're able to help you come to the perfect decision for your loved one, and for you.  Once you decide, the finer details come into focus.

If you've chosen burial, your decisions include the selection of the casket, vault, and desired cemetery. Many selection options exist and we will make them all available to you.

If cremation is your choice, you'll find more options than you might have expected.  Many of our families opt to have services with the body present for visitation and/or funeral service, followed by cremation and burial of the cremated remains at a later date. Cremation requires a rigid container to carry the body from the service or funeral home to the crematory.  Several options are available including rental caskets for visitation/service, wooden caskets or corrugated containers (combustible).  Choose from a wide variety of permanent urns or a temporary container to hold the cremated remains.  Disposition choices include placing the cremated remains in a mausoleum niche, burying on the cemetery grounds, scattering, or keeping in the family's possession.  Keep in mind, delaying the final resting place decisions too long may complicate and prolong the process of healing. 

In our community, there is the option for 'green burial.' where the body is buried, without embalming, in a natural setting.  Home wakes, public visitations at the funeral home, church funerals and graveside services are options that may be arranged. If that's what your loved one would prefer, we'll help you select environmentally-friendly choices for burial or cremation.

What's Next?

Now that we've given you the basics, it's time to reflect more on exactly what is appropriate for you and your family. If possible, gather everyone together to speak of their feelings and desires. 

Still looking for inspiration? Speaking with a professional funeral planner will help to clarify your thinking. Reach us at (585) 244-0770 in Brighton and (585) 872-6380 in Webster.