Category Archives: Cremation Services

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

The “Why” of Organ Donation

Every day, at least twenty people in the United States alone die due to a lack of organ donations. Tissue and organ donation has wide-reaching benefits, as those who need skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, heart valves, and more often have no other options. While organ donation is a great choice for before cremation services in Monroeville, PA it’s not necessary right for everyone. Should you donate your organs or not? 

There are many reasons to donate your organs, including: 

  • Save Lives – It’s a fact that organ donation saves lives. Depending on your donation preferences, your organs can save up to eight different people if you choose to donate your heart, intestines, pancreas, liver, two lungs, and two kidneys. If you choose to donate tissue, eyes, and other parts, your donation can improve and save the lives of even more people.  
  • Find Meaning – Death is scary, but choosing to donate your organs will ensure there’s meaning in your death.  
  • Move the List – The organ donation list has over 107,000 people! By donating, you are moving the list so those people can get the help they need and so there’s more room on the list for new people that need help. 
  • Advance Science – Whole body donation to research is how most medical and scientific advancements are made. Your body can be used to study and treat diseases, development new medical procedures, and educate future generations of healthcare providers.   

Here are some common reasons to not to donate to help guide your choice, like religion.  Many religions forbid organ donation, oftentimes because they believe the body needs to be whole in order to reunite with the soul in the afterlife. The most common religions that discourage organ donation include Native Americans, Shintoists, Confucians, Roma Gypsies, and some Orthodox Jews. There are also personal beliefs. Some feel that organ donation doesn’t save lives, but instead that it only puts off the inevitable. Organ donation is your choice, so this belief is well within your right. Certain diseases or conditions including HIV, heart or kidney disease, cancer, and diabetes make organ donation unsafe for the donor and the recipient, and other people choose not to donate because of distrust. 

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Many people don’t want to donate their organs because they’re worried that medical professionals won’t work as hard to save their life so the doctors can harvest their organs. They don’t trust that doctors or hospitals will look out for their best interests. Also, others don’t want to donate because they don’t have any control over the recipient. In most cases, organ donors have no control over who will receive their organs or tissues. Instead, organs go to the next person on the list, no matter the donor’s preferences. Whether any or all of these reasons apply to you, or you’re not comfortable donating for another reason, you don’t have to do it. Simply make sure your family and loved ones are aware of and understand your feelings. 

Organ, tissue, and body donation is a personal choice. No one can decide for you, and no choice is wrong. We are here to help if you want to learn more about body donation or Monroeville, PA cremation services.

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Did You Know? Cremation Service Urn Facts

Is the first time you’ve ever thought about cremation urns right before or after a cremation service in Penn Township, PA? Here is a list of things you should know about cremation urns to help you get ready for the death of a loved one or to prepare for your own passing.  

  1. You can pre-purchase urns. If you’re planning for your own eventual passing, you can prepurchase a cremation urn. This way, you’ll not only ensure that you get the urn that you want but you will also take one thing off your loved one’s to-do list. Simply store your urn in a box until its needed.  
  2. You don’t have to buy a cremation urn from a funeral home or cremation provider. While its often very convenient to get a cremation urn from your provider, you don’t have to. You can buy an urn online, at a store, or wherever you can find one. You can also make an urn or use the one that comes free with the cremation.  
  3. You can rent an urn for a service. If you only want to have an urn for a funeral or memorial service, you can rent one. This is a great way to save money if you’d rather use the expensive, fancy urn for the service but want to scatter, bury, or otherwise inter the ashes afterward. Most funeral homes or cremation providers have a selection of urns you can rent, so check with your provider. 
  4. Capacity is important. While you should check an urn’s exterior measurements to see if it will suit your needs, you also need to check its capacity to make sure it will fit the cremains. Many urns have decorative edges or accents, making exterior dimensions useless when it comes to determining the urn’s interior size. Always double check an urn’s interior dimensions before you make a purchase.  
  5. A Cremation urn is just a container. An urn can be whatever kind of container you want or need it to be. As long as the container can hold the cremated remains, it counts as a cremation urn.  
  6. The funeral home will transfer the remains for you. Since funeral homes are required to use a cremation container of your choosing, they will transfer the cremated remains into that container for you.  
  7. Use exterior measurements for placement. Do check an urn’s exterior measurements to make sure that it will fit in the place of your choosing. For example, if you want to house the urn in a columbarium niche, make sure it fits the niche’s dimensions. Or, if you want to keep the urn on your mantle, ensure it’s not too wide or too tall to fit safely

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We are here to help you, as there are a lot of things to think about when you’re planning a Penn Township, PA cremation service. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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The Benefits of Cremation Over Burial

There are many who prefer cremation services in North Versailles, PA, even though traditional burial is still very popular for many reasons. In fact, some might argue that cremation is quickly becoming the standard for final disposition. To better understand cremation’s popularity and to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you, here are some of the benefits of cremation over burial:

  1. Choosing the Service Time – With traditional burial, you’re pretty much limited to the standard service timeline of a few days to a week after the death. This can feel like a ticking clock that only adds to the stress of a death. However, cremation allows for much more flexibility when it comes to scheduling a service, providing you with the time and ability to plan a service that works with your needs.
  2. Cost – In many cases, a full-service funeral with a cremation can cost about half as much as a full-service funeral with a traditional burial. Direct cremations and cremations with memorial services can bring that total cost down even further.
  3. No Embalming – Embalming is almost always required for burial, but many embalming techniques use a chemical called formaldehyde that’s very bad for the environment. Cremation allows you to skip embalming entirely, which helps the planet in the long run.
  4. Portability – Since cremation reduces remains into the smallest possible components, the process makes remains incredibly portable. This means that, unlike with burial, cremation allows you to bring your lost loved one with you if you so choose, whether that means on a hike for you to scatter them in a favorite spot or even when you go on vacation, so they’ll be always near you.
  5. Keep Loved Ones Near – Cremation also allows you to make cremation jewelry so you can always keep your lost loved one close to you. Cremation jewelry can be one of two things: one, a jewelry item made with some kind of container that holds a small portion of the cremains or two, a jewelry item that was made with some of the remains infused with the metal.
  6. Saving Land – The world’s population is only growing, but the world itself is not. This makes land a very valuable resource that, in some people’s view, shouldn’t be used for burials. Cremation is a wonderful solution to this issue as it does not take up any land at all.
  7. Choosing the Final Resting Place – A burial means that your lost loved one’s final resting place will be a cemetery. Cremation, on the other hand, allows for a low more flexibility when choosing a final resting place. From an urn kept at home or in a columbarium to scattering at sea or in a special location, your loved one’s final resting place can be almost anything with cremation.

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Remember, there is nothing wrong with burial and it’s still a wonderful final disposition method if it’s what you want. These are just a few of the many benefits of cremation over traditional burial. Do you want to learn more about North Versailles, PA cremation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today for more information.

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Gravesite Decoration Ideas

A great way to celebrate your lost loved one’s life, honor their passing, and soothe the feelings of loss is by decorating their gravesite. If you’re decorating a gravesite after your lost loved one’s cremation service in Monroeville, PA and burial, you need these helpful tips and inspirational ideas:

  1. Floral Saddle – A cemetery saddle is a flower arrangement resting on a metal “saddle.” It has legs so it can balance on top of the headstone.
  2. Solar Flowers – Solar flowers are fake flowers that light up at night after charging throughout the day in the sun.
  3. Personalized Flower Vase – Instead of a standard vase, invest in a personalized one that features a special message to your loved one, an etching, or any kind of meaningful inscription.
  4. Fresh Flowers – Even a simple, fresh bouquet that you leave once a week mean a lot. Plus, they give you a chance to visit the gravesite often.
  5. Solar Lights – Solar garden lights charge during the day with solar power, then light up at night. Find ones that are flush to the ground or ones that stick up on stakes.
  6. Preserved Flowers – Keep the flowers on your lost loved one’s grave fresh forever by preserving them. Order a custom preserved bouquet in resin, or purchase a paperweight orb with flowers inside.
  7. Memorial Candles – Flameless battery or solar powered candles are just as beautiful as real candles, but are much safer and longer-lasting.
  8. Personalized Photo Lantern – You can order custom lanterns that are printed with a photo of your lost loved one. Place a flameless candle inside the lantern and leave it on the grave to light up at night.
  9. Candle Figurines – Buy a candle figurine that holds any candles you choose and represents a meaningful image, like an angel, animal, or symbol. You can even repurpose an old jar or mason jar by filling it with candles or twinkle lights.
  10. Personalized Flag – Place a flag in the ground near the gravesite with a personalized photo, message, or image. Add dates to make it even more personal.
  11. Memorial Stones – Stones have been used in memorialization for centuries. There are even examples in the Bible. Paint a stone yourself or order one online.
  12. American Flag – If your lost loved one was a veteran, plant an American flag or the flag of their armed forces division.
  13. Grave Blankets – Grave blankets are painted with grass, foliage, or flowers so they can make the grave green and lovely even in the winter months when it’s too cold for fresh plants.
  14. Homemade Tributes – Nothing is more meaningful than a homemade tribute like handwritten notes, paintings, drawings, or even typed up poems or memories.
  15. Memorial Benches – If the cemetery allows, place a memorial bench near the gravesite so you always have a place to sit and remember fond days when visiting.

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These are just a few of the many ways you can decorate your lost loved one’s gravesite. We are here to help if want more inspiration or information on Monroeville, PA cremation services.

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Ideas for Out-of-Town Memorial Guests

It’s common for memorials after cremation services in Penn Township, PA and other locations are much more than one-day events. This is especially true if people are traveling from out of town for the service. But the question is: how will you occupy everyone’s time beyond the memorial itself? After all, you want your friends and family to have a nice time while they travel, even if it’s for a somber event like a memorial. There are tons of different activities you can set up for your funeral service guests before or after the service itself, such as these ideas.

Try shopping at local shops or hitting an amusement park. Bring guests to a local mall, shopping area, main street, or wherever there are lots of fun and unique stores and boutiques. Who doesn’t like a little shopping? This is a good idea because everyone will get some time to explore on their own plus pick up a souvenir or any last-minute items they might need for the service. You can also try taking in the arts. Out-of-town visitors almost always enjoy art and history. Plan a trip to a local art gallery or museum so your guests can enjoy the arts. Try an art museum or science museum, antique shop, or art gallery.

Got lots of time? Why not try and take in all three! What about picnics or local foods? Most towns have lovely local parks full of sunshine, green grass, and shady trees that just scream picnic. Have your guests pack their own lunches and then tell everyone to meet at a certain area of a local park for a picnic, some relaxing, and even a few lawn games. After busy days of shopping and sightseeing, your guests will probably be hungry. Set up reservations or make recommendations for all the must-eat restaurants and bakeries in the area so everyone can refuel and treat themselves to something delicious. If there’s an amusement park in your area, be it a Universal Studios or a Six Flags, your guests will be in for a nice break from grieving and thinking about the loss. Even if everyone doesn’t like rollercoasters, amusement parks generally have other kinds of activities and attractions like shows, carnival games, and even face painting.

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See a show! Who doesn’t like live theater? If there’s a theater in your area, set up a night where everyone goes and sees a show. Bonus: many theaters offer group discounts, so try and buy all the tickets at once. If there’s no live theater in your area, go see a movie instead. You can also go on hikes. People will want to stretch their legs and get some activity in while they’re traveling or grieving. So, plan a hike! Choose a nearby trail or walking path that’s not too difficult so everyone can participate.

These are just a few ideas for activities you can do with your funeral guests from out of town. Do you want more tips on Penn Township, PA cremation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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What is Abbreviated Grief?

Did you know there are different kinds of grief? Whether you’re planning a funeral or a cremation service in North Versailles, PA, you should be aware of the different kinds of grief and how to handle them, like abbreviated grief.

Abbreviated grief, like the name signifies, is mourning that doesn’t last a long time. Though its short, or abbreviated, this kind of grief isn’t any less real than other kinds. Abbreviated grief is most common when there isn’t a close relationship with the deceased or when there’s an immediate replacement of the deceased. For example, it can occur when a widower remarries quickly after the death of his spouse, or when a distant relative dies.

It can also occur after a terminal illness because of a phenomenon called anticipatory grief, which is when you do part of your grieving before the person actually dies so you don’t grief as long after a death. Here are some fast facts about abbreviated grief to help you better understand and cope with your own loss.

To begin, children often feel abbreviated grief. Its normal for children to feel abbreviated grief depending on their age and relationship with the deceased. Also, abbreviated grief is grief. While this kind of grief may not seem real or standard, it’s still very real and does happen often. Plus, everyone grieves differently.

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Abbreviated grief can affect your health. No matter how short or long, grief has been shown to affect health by causes issues like increased blood pressure, poor sleep, physical aches and pains, trouble concentrating, and even heart palpitations. There is no shame in seeking help for physical grief manifestations. Though abbreviated grief is short you still need to remember to take care of yourself. Eat, sleep, and exercise if you can, as keeping your body healthy will make it easier for you to feel better. Also, feeling your grief is always best. While it may be very tempting to numb your grief and pain with drugs, food, alcohol, or distractions like work, it’s always best to feel your feelings. It might be uncomfortable or painful, but you won’t be able to properly heal if you don’t allow yourself to truly grieve.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to lose a loved one to grieve. People can experience abbreviated grief, and other kinds of grief, after a loss that isn’t a death. These can include divorce, loss of a friendship, job loss, or learning you can’t have kids. Finally, don’t feel pressure to prolong your grief or feel guilty over the length of your grief.

Everyone mourns differently and in their own time, so don’t feel pressure or judgement because of how you feel. Remember, everyone grieves in their own unique way and in their own unique timeframe. Don’t compare your grief to someone else’s or judge another person for the way they mourn, even if you or they are dealing with abbreviated grief.

Do you want to learn more about grieving or about North Versailles, PA cremation services? We are here to help. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

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Can You Have Pallbearers with Cremation Services?

While pallbearers are traditionally used when the body is buried in a casket, people can choose to have pallbearers carry the casket at a funeral before a cremation service in Monroeville, PA They can also carry or walk alongside the urn before or after a memorial service.

Were you asked to be a pallbearer for someone’s service before or after a cremation service? Here’s everything you need to know about pallbearers in order to help prepare you.

  1. How Many Pallbearers are There? While there can be as many or as few as desired, there are traditionally six to eight pallbearers. If there are six, three stand on each side of the casket. If there are eight, the extra two stand on the front and back.
  2. Who Can be a Pallbearer? Pallbearers can be anyone the bereaved or deceased choose. However, they are usually close family or friends like siblings, older children or grandchildren, colleagues, or friends. And yes, women can be pallbearers even though it doesn’t happen very often.
  3. What is a Pallbearer? A pallbearer is someone that helps carry or officially escorts a casket during a funeral or service. Their duties traditionally consist exclusively of carrying the remains from the hearse to the church or funeral home before the service, and then back into the hearse after the service. If the remains are to be buried or inurned, the pallbearers also carry them from the hearse to the final resting place.
  4. How Heavy is a Casket? Caskets can weigh as little as 60 pounds up to 400 pounds or more depending on the type of casket and the size of the remains inside. For example, pine caskets generally weigh about 150 pounds, while mahogany can weigh up to 250. Metal caskets, on the other hand, can weigh between 160 to 200 pounds depending on the kind of metal and the metal gauge.
  5. What Is an Honorary Pallbearer? An honorary pallbearer is someone who will not actually carry the casket but is still recognized in some way. This title is usually used for older friends or relatives who might not be able to physically carry the casket. Sometimes people even choose to have deceased friends or family members as honorary pallbearers, as they don’t have to carry the casket or even be physically present to have the honor.
  6. What Should Pallbearers Wear? Its best for pallbearers to dress conservatively, ideally in a dark suit and tie, dress, or pantsuit. However, be sure to wear clothing that is comfortable enough for you to move and lift in. Don’t forget to wear flat or low-heeled shoes so you don’t trip while carrying the casket.

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As intense or scary as this job seems, being a pallbearer is not as overwhelming as you might think. We are here to help if you have more questions about pallbearers or Monroeville, PA cremation services. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

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Do You Know How a Body Prepared for Cremation?

Learn the different steps a body goes through, from processing and identity verification, to be prepared for a cremation service in Penn Township, PA after the death of a loved one. Here are all the details of how a body is prepared for a cremation:

  1. The Funeral Home or Crematory Picks Up the Body – After the death, the funeral home or crematory of your choice will usually pick up the body and bring it to the funeral home or crematory. Once there, it will be placed in a prep room or in refrigeration.
  2. Planning the Service – The bereaved will then meet with a funeral director or cremation provider to plan a service, if desired, and determine the cremation details. During this time, the body is kept in a refrigeration unit between 36 and 39 degrees to slow decomposition. If the deceased or bereaved chose direct cremation, the body will stay refrigerated till the cremation. If they chose a public viewing, the body will be placed in a prep room for embalming.
  3. Preparing the Body – The cremation provider will prep the body by removing all jewelry, pacemakers, or medical devices in order to prevent melting or explosions during the cremation process. Jewelry is returned to the family and medical devices are often recycled or returned to the family. If the family or deceased chose direct cremation, there is no other preparation required. If the family chose a public viewing, the body will be embalmed, bathed, dried, dressed, and put in a casket.
  4. Verifying the Identity – A family member or next-of-kin will complete and ID Verification form after preparation to signify that the body has been properly identified and is ready to be cremated or viewed at a service. Each facility and state have different procedures, but your funeral director or cremation provider will walk you through each step.
  5. The Cremation Itself – After the body is identified and after any chosen service, the body is then placed in a cremation container. Cremation containers can be solid wood caskets designed for cremation or corrugated cardboard boxes also designed for cremations. The cremation container with the body inside is then put into the cremation chamber and heated between 1400 and 2000 degrees for about two hours. Some crematories allow family members to view the cremation itself. If you wish to view the cremation, speak with your provider.

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After the cremation, the remains are cooled for about an hour and then processed through a machine that grinds the remaining bones into powder. These powdered remains are returned to the family in an urn of their choice or in another kind of container.

We are here to help if you want to learn more about the cremation process or Penn Township, PA cremation services in general. Stop by and pay us a visit or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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Preplanning Questions to Ask Your Loved Ones

It never will be easy to talk to your loved ones about their after-life plans for cremation services in North Versailles, PA. Though it’s impossible to be completely prepared for the death of a loved one, you can be somewhat prepared by having a plan. Even though talking about death is never easy, these conversations are essential. When you’re ready to have the discussion, you can use these questions to help guide you and make sure you get the information you need.

To begin, ask if they have a will. According to a study done in 2020 by Trust & Will, only 32% of all adults have a will or living trust, and only 36% of adults with children under 18. Wills are vital documents that make sure a person’s last wishes are followed in the event of their death. Create a will with your loved ones, or make sure that they have one of their own, and keep it in a safe but accessible place. You also need to ask about financial information. Financial institutions are strict about giving people access to other people’s accounts, even if they are a spouse or close relatives. That’s why it’s important for your loved ones to have their financial information written down so that you know where it’s kept. They should include sources of income and liabilities, accounts receivable, bank accounts, real estate, assets, securities, and personal property.

You should also discuss how they would like to be celebrated. Perhaps the most important part of the after-life discussion is how your loved ones would like to be remembered and celebrated. Do they want to be buried or cremated? Have a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life? Asking about this now ensures your loved one’s wishes will be honored after their death. Ask about who will take care of their pets and what you should do with their online accounts. Most people love their pets like children and will therefore have specific wishes as to how they should be cared for upon their death. Make sure these wishes are written down in a safe place. Some people choose to keep their online presence as a digital memorial upon their death, while others would prefer that their digital presence is removed. Either way, make sure you have a list of their online accounts and passwords so you’re able to carry out their wishes when they pass.

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Don’t forget to ask about Powers of Attorney or Health Care Powers of Attorney. Power of Attorney is a document that gives a designated person the power to make legal decisions for another person if they become unable to make them for themselves. A Health Care Power of Attorney does the same, but for medical decisions instead of legal ones. These documents can be essential if your loved one is getting older or suffering from cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.

We are here to help if you have more questions about preplanning, or would you like more information on North Versailles, PA cremation services. Call or visit us today.

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Tips for Buying a Casket

Though it’s not common, many people do choose to buy a casket for their loved one for a service before a cremation service in Monroeville, PA. However, buying a casket can be expensive since caskets are big-ticket items, come in many different sizes and materials, and have a wide range of features.

Need some help shopping for a casket? These tips are here to help!

To begin, consider your lost loved one’s wishes. If your lost loved one left behind instructions or preferences as to the type of casket they want, follow those instructions. Not only will this help honor your lost loved one, but it will also make your job that much easier. If they didn’t leave any instructions, think about their tastes and personality to help narrow down your choices. Another tip is to enlist help. You don’t have to shop for a casket alone. In fact, it’s often best to have a shopping companion along to help you make the decision and offer additional support. Also, having someone along to help might also make it easier for you to stick to your budget and request samples or information on lower-priced options. And finally, its’ almost always helpful to talk over the pros and cons of your various options with someone else. Beyond that, you need to know your rights.

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Take your time and know your rights. While you don’t have all the time in the world to choose a casket, you do have the time to take a step back, breathe, and center yourself if you begin to feel overwhelmed. Oftentimes just taking a quick break can make all the difference. Consumers of the funeral home and cremation products have certain rights under federal law. These laws are intended to help protect you from being pressured into buying products you don’t want or need simply because you’re going through a loss. For example, the Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide you with transparent pricing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You need to have all the information before you can make a good decision.

You should also shop early and set a budget. Buying a casket is hard to even without adding the additional stress of making the purchase when you have high emotions, are under a time constraint, and are feeling vulnerable after a loss. The best way to combat this issue is to shop as early as you can, whether that means picking a casket before you pass to make the choice easy for your family or moving the task of buying a casket to the top of your funeral to-do list. Caskets can vary widely in price, from a few hundred or thousand dollars to tens of thousands. All these options can be very overwhelming, so it’s best to start shopping with a set budget in mind. What’s more, you don’t want to overspend and put extra stress on yourself during your time of loss.

We are here to help if you want more information on buying a casket or Monroeville, PA cremation services. Call or visit us today.