Why is a funeral like a wedding?
In both situations, you usually get a new home.
When you get married, you may move into a new apartment, condo or house - even if you have lived together for some time. It represents a new start - not yours or mine but "ours".
And when you die, your casket or urn is your eternal home. So you had better choose carefully. When it comes to caskets, quality is important. Here in Dallas, I have seen some caskets (not from us, thankfully) that were so poorly constructed, we were afraid that when we lifted them, the base and the body would stay on the truck! So be sure that you choose a quality casket. If you choose a metal casket, be sure that it is made of 20 or 18 gauge steel at a minimum and preferably made of stainless steel, bronze or copper as these give the best support. If you choose a wooden casket, the named woods, such as pecan, pine, walnut and especially mahogany are better in quality than a hardwood. A traditional all-wood construction, such as an Orthodox Jewish poplar or cherry casket can also provide high quality, even though no metal is used in its construction.
These caskets do not have to be expensive but they are worth every penny. You might say that, "Well, it's going into the ground so it just doesn't matter. Why pay a lot of money for a box?" That may be true but realize that this casket also is a reflection of you and your family values. If you are lying in state during a visitation or rosary in a cheap looking casket, does that say that you were a cheap person? Not everyone could - or should - choose a mahogany or copper casket but remember that your final home speaks as much about you as your home today.
Now if you choose to be cremated, the same can be said of your urn. There is a great variety of choices in urns today. You can choose from wood, metals, stone, ceramic and even biodegradable materials (more about that in a future posting). So consider that the exterior of the urn also reflects who you are. Do you want to place an inscription on the urn? What will it say? Will the urn be placed in a glass-front niche? How will it be displayed at your memorial service?
So these questions take a lot of thought. By planning ahead with a trained and caring counselor, you can reflect upon these questions, record the answers, pay for your decisions in advance and then share your caring choices with your family. This will spare them the agony of decision making on the worst day of their lives - the day when you are no longer there to make these decisions for them.
But for now:
Always walk on the bright side of life.
Family Service Director
Sparkman Hillcrest Funeral Home
Facebook: Dallas Pre-Arranged Funerals