You can remember the deceased’s life without a burial or cremation and can hold a memorial service afterwards. A memorial service can take place anytime after the burial or cremation, which gives greater time for planning and preparation, and allows attendees to arrange their busy schedules in order to attend or make the necessary travel arrangements. The holding of a memorial service allows the funeral itself to be a private affair, and then follow up with a more public affair. You can hold a memorial service anywhere, and for some this is the most attactive feature. Examples to consider include the deceased’s place of work, favourite social venue, a hotel, as well as at the cemetery or crematorium. An increasingly popular venue is actually online, either via a webcast or meeting/chat room. Anyone can arrange a memorial service, but assistance can provided by professionals such as funeral directors.
Memorials at The Cemetery.
Your funeral director will be able to tell you what is permitted such as a headstone at the cemetery or churchyard you have chosen for the burial. Each cemetery have their own regulations regarding the style of the headstone, grave surrounds and also the words permitted. They will also explain the on-going responsibility and fees that you may have for maintenance of the grave.
A decision about a headstone does not have to be made immediately after the funeral as it is usually some time before it can be placed securely in the ground. If you have reused an existing plot it will also take time before it can be replaced if you have asked for additional lettering to be added.
The funeral director can apply to the church or cemetery authority for permission to put up a memorial on your behalf and the authority will normally charge for giving its permission. Your funeral director can also advise you about local monumental masons.
If you have chosen a burial in a woodland or similar cemetery, the regulations may be quite different and permanent memorials may not be allowed. Your funeral director or the cemetery authority will be able to advise you.
Permanent memorials such as headstones, surrounds, urns and statues can be sought from dedicated memorial stonemasons.
Memorial at a Crematorium.
Your funeral director will have information about the permanent memorial choices available at local crematoria. Usually the crematorium will write to you with this information soon after the ceremony. Many crematoria display a book of remembrance in a chapel dedicated to this purpose.
Memorial plaques can sometimes be purchased to be placed in special areas of the crematorium’s gardens and sometimes seats or benches placed with a plaque dedicating them to someone’s memory. Crematoria with large grounds may offer the opportunity to sponsor the planting of a tree or other plants as a memorial. Each crematorium will have its own fees for these services and some items are time limited, e.g. a rose bush may be purchased for a period of 5 or 10 years.
An increasing number of people choose to create an on-line memorial to which family and friends can add their own contributions. This type of memorial can be added to over time and visited whenever and as often as people feel the need. Often far more memories can be shared than is possible within the funeral ceremony and a gathering afterwards.