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Don’t Be Afraid of The Fire

posted in Funeral by

MOC GraffitiIt’s interesting that in the year 2015, so many of us are caught up in our own little worlds. We become more narcissistic as every day goes bye, thinking of ourselves and how to better ourselves and get ahead of other people .

Many, not all, but many think little about their neighbours and worry less about families.

I see it every day as a funeral celebrant. Families forget their loved ones wishes and think ‘it’s what we want for them’, actually NO! If they don’t want Amazing Grace played, why play it at their service? Sure they can’t hear it, but it’s their service NOT YOURS! Leave instructions on what you want, you can’t be annoyed if people don’t follow your wishes!!!

Families bicker about why he’s reading a verse and not me, or how come my little Johnnie can’t be a pallbearer. Seriously?! Just being present at a funeral service is paying respect enough. What do you really think your loved ones would say if they knew you were bickering over the songs to be played, the people carrying the coffin and who’s reading what?


Many people think very little about what is to happen to them after the eulogies are read and I ‘thank everyone for being in attendance at this service’ . Statistics show that more and more people are choosing to be cremated rather than be buried.

Rates of Cremation and Burial

Cremation was the method of disposition for 45.1% in 2013; 48.9% of people were buried in 2013.

Cremation and Burial Projections:

2014 2015 2020 2030
Cremation 46.7% 48.2% 55.8% 70.6%
Burial 47.3% 45.8% 38.1% 23.2%

I know what I want! Give me the fire any day! I know what my wife and my parents want, and even what my in-laws want! But still many people are afraid of cremation!

One of Australia’s greatest civil celebrant, if not the best in Australia Dally R Messenger writes in one of his ceremonies ‘we commit this body to the purifying fire’, “the purifying fire”, what better way could someone go, than to go and be purified at the same time!

Here’s a few things to consider, that unlike burial, the cremains are very mobile, wherever you go the cremains can go with you in an urn, vase, or a variety of other containers.  These containers even include rings and necklaces that hold a small portion of the loved one’s cremains. When the cremains are divided many family members can have their own keepsake.  Your funeral director will assist you in dividing the cremains if this is your choice.

Also allow me to point out that there are many options if a family wants a permanent place for the cremains.

They include:

  • Scattering the ashes; a kind of “giving back to nature”
  • Placing the urn in the ground (burial)
  • Putting the urn in a mausoleum
  • Or, placing the urn or ashes in a memorial garden.

I must admit most of us are not educated as to all the options with cremation.  There are many.  Your funeral director knows and understands all of these options and will help you design the appropriate one for you and your family.

Remember the most important thing with all this, is to show the love and respect your loved one deserves by celebrating the life they lived.

The other thing to remember is to ‘talk to your family’ today about what they want, don’t leave it too late and wander what on earth they wanted, when they are no longer on this earth.

21 Jul, 15

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