In the past few weeks, I learned a lot about death and cremation. I was close with my Grandpa, but was shocked to see him pass. Afterwards, I had to help my family find the best ways to honor him at the funeral. This meant arranging the burial and making the decision to cremate. We wanted to find something beautiful that accurately depicted the type of person Grandpa was.
One of the things I will always remember about Grandpa is that he loved to watch the birds. He would wake up at 5:00 AM, brew his coffee and listen to the birds sing. Before he got sick, he built a stunning bird feeder that would attract some of the prettiest birds in the neighborhood.
After he passed, we weren’t sure what to do. We knew that whatever we did to remember him by had to be ecofriendly and it needed to incorporate our fondest memories of him. I did some research, since I knew he wanted to be cremated, and found perfect solution. He loved working in his garden and we all thought it would be appropriate to scatter his ashes there. We learned that special cremation urns are now available to scatter the ashes. We picked one that after the scattering the urn converts into a memorial birdhouse. Perfect to place in his garden! He would have loved it.
Cremation is a becoming more popular in the death care industry. I always thought that when a body is cremated, they had to be put in a jar and placed in the home. After talking with the funeral director, I learned that I couldn’t be more wrong. There are dozens of options available for people after they have been cremated. These options have made it possible to get a more custom funeral. Family members can also have peace of mind knowing that they gave their loved one the funeral they deserved and wanted.
Scattering ashes has become much more popular over the past few years, and it is easy to see why. The funeral director I spoke with said it is now the top choice among family members. More than half of the people cremated in the United States have their ashes scattered. It cuts down funeral costs significantly and allows us to conserve our resources.
We put together a memorial service in his favorite spot in the backyard. It didn’t take much to move his bird feeder to the side. The funeral director was happy to help us make arrangements. I was actually really surprised when he suggested a Birdhouse Memorial Urn.
I was also shocked at the quality. When I picture an urn in my head, I always think of black and gray metal urns with some decoration. The urns that I was shown were nothing like that. Birdhouse urns are beautiful, allowing them to serve as a peaceful reminder of the person. We selected a beautiful wooden urn made from a mango tree.
When the idea was first brought up to our family members, not everyone was receptive to the idea of scattering. Uncle Robbie knew that while Grandpa wanted to be eco-friendly, he was also a very traditional man. We discussed the idea as a family before deciding to have an open casket service in addition to the scattering ceremony. This helped keep our family traditions alive and allowed us to pay our final respects to Grandpa before his ashes were scattered.
Our Grandpa was placed in a Birdhouse Memorial Urn for a lot of reasons. Not only was it decorative, we thought we could place it close to the feeder in the yard, keeping all the birds in the neighborhood happy. We know that he wanted to share his knowledge and love for birds with everyone, so why not create a beautiful home for them?
The memorial urn that we got was specially designed to scatter his ashes safely and effectively. The ceremony we had was very lovely, and we are happy that we didn’t have to travel far. While it wasn’t a traditional funeral, the service helped us to remember Grandpa. I still remember all of his friends and family showing up. People stayed after the scattering and shared in a social reception. It was great to hear the stories of a younger grandpa. I had no idea he raced motorcycles!
Scattering ceremonies may seem like they are difficult to plan, but they are quite easy. For us, we knew right away that Grandpa would feel most at home in the backyard watching over us, his spirit soaring with the birds. I know a friend who said they wanted to have a similar ceremony in a park. We talked to the funeral director first, who helped us make some arrangements. Honestly, we had no idea how to plan a funeral on our own.
One thing that I noticed is that people like to see living memorials and are proud to be a part of the ceremony. Even in life we supported Grandpa’s ecofriendly practices, and everyone was happy to be able to fulfill his final wishes in a way that would support his ideals. Even the birds in our yard seem happier.
After the ceremony, we moved Grandpa’s bird feeder closer to his urn. We know that he would want to be able to see the birds, no matter where he was. It didn’t take long before a small pair of chickadees moved in. As the seasons changed, we saw a wide range of birds come and go, knowing that each one put a smile on Grandpa’s face.
I am glad that I don’t need to go very far to visit Grandpa. His birdhouse is a living memorial that I can see from my kitchen window. We are keeping his memory alive with a functional urn that allowed him to have a dignified funeral. It shows us that life goes on and that we can still thrive while remembering our dear Grandpa.
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