Thanks for the memory
Of Schubert’s Serenade
Little things of jade
And traffic jams
And bills we never paid…
(From ‘Thanks for the memory’. Lyrics by Leo Robin)
The first memorial most of us create to someone we have loved is a funeral service. This gives us an opportunity to share memories, as well as photos, and to talk about the person who has died. However, it can be difficult to plan this, often at short notice, so it does justice to the memory of a loved one in the time allowed. Some venues offer more flexible options, for example, longer services to accommodate your requirements.
Recent Covid-19 restrictions, that limit the number of mourners who can attend a funeral, have made it more challenging at some venues to plan the funeral or memorial service you wanted. Venues such as GreenAcres parks can incorporate live-streaming or recording of services so you can share them with many more people.
Of course, there are other ways – both traditional and less conventional – to remember your loved one and celebrate their life. And you don’t need to involve a funeral director if you’re organising a memorial service after a burial or cremation, or to commemorate the life of the person you loved in the way you wish. This can normally be arranged directly with the venue.
While many people choose to arrange for a traditional, permanent memorial, such as a headstone or mausoleum, others choose to scatter their loved one’s ashes in a place the person enjoyed visiting, perhaps a special spot in the countryside or at sea.
With increasing awareness of our impact on the environment, living memorials such as planting a native tree offer a ‘greener’ way to commemorate a loved one, as well as providing habitats for a range of wildlife. Parks, such as GreenAcres, have a range of native trees selected by the Grounds Team that a family can choose from. Or you can plant a biodegradable urn that, along with the surrounding soil, nurtures a tree or wildflowers with your loved one’s ashes.
Within burial parks and woodland cemeteries, like GreenAcres, you have the option of creating a memorial that’s also a natural habitat for birds, bees, owls, butterflies or bats. And at GreenAcres Parks, you can choose to commemorate your loved one in beautiful surroundings, regardless of whether or not they have been laid to rest at one of our parks.
It’s traditional for graves in natural environments to be marked with a simple oak plaque, with an inscription of your choice. You can also place a memorial bench or other memorial in some burial parklands, along with an engraved plaque to your loved one.
Personal keepsakes are designed to hold a small quantity of ashes. The wonderful thing about them is they can provide the opportunity for every member of the family to retain a treasured memory of their own should they so wish.
Keeping your loved one close
Some people achieve a feeling of having their loved one close to them by keeping some ashes in a cuddly toy. And there’s an increasingly popular trend, mixing ashes with body ink to create a permanent tattoo, to keep someone you love permanently close to your body. Ashes can also be incorporated into memorial jewellery or ornaments, a popular way of feeling near to someone you have lost.
Reaching for the skies
Families are increasingly looking for more original and personalised ways to remember someone, such as scattering their ashes during a tandem skydive, creating a vinyl record that contains compressed ashes, or saying goodbye via a professional memorial firework containing cremated ashes.
Burying ashes at home
Some people bury all or some of the ashes in their garden, although it’s worth considering what might happen if you move to a new home in the future, which might make it difficult to visit your loved one’s resting place.
Planning your own memorial
While it might seem strange to consider how you’d like to be remembered after your death, planning ahead can give you peace of mind. It can also help your family at a difficult time, by knowing they’re doing what you’d have wanted.
If you haven’t already thought about whether you’d want to be buried or cremated, and where you wish to be laid to rest, visiting a contemporary cemetery such as GreenAcres can help you to make some of those difficult decisions. You’re welcome to arrange a tour and talk things through with a member of the team.
GreenAcres parks provide a beautiful setting for your final resting place with many opportunities to represent the way you wish to be remembered for years to come. And, unlike many other cemeteries, when you purchase a plot in any of the parks (whether for a Full Burial or an Ash Interment), you can choose the place you want to be buried from a variety of beautiful settings. You can also select the type of funeral or memorial service you want.