Category Archives: cremation

cremation services in Langhorne, PA

Budget-Friendly Cremation Service Ideas

While all of the more expensive memorialization and cremation services in Langhorne, PA are lovely, there are plenty of less expensive options that are just as comforting and respectful.

Use these ideas for budget-friendly cremation services:

  • Jewelry – If your loved one was cremated you can easily carry them with you at all times with jewelry. For example, you can put their ashes in a locket with a photo.
  • Charitable Giving – If your lost loved one was dedicated to a certain cause, why not make a donation in their honor? It doesn’t have to be a large donation for it to be meaningful and to do some good. You can also ask funeral or me memorial guests to make donations instead of bringing flowers.
  • Photographs – It’s likely that you already have lots of pictures of the deceased. Turn those pictures into a memorial by making a scrapbook, gallery wall or another display dedicated to your lost loved one.
  • Memories – Memories of the deceased are free and plentiful. Put out a jar or dish at a memorial service and have guests write down their memories of the deceased to place in the jar. Then, read them one by one on special occasions or whenever you need some comfort in your grief. You can even make this idea digital and have people send memory emails to a special email address.
  • Listen to Music – Music can be very powerful. Listen to the deceased’s favorite song or artist or find a kind of music that is soothing to you in your time of loss. You can create a mix or a tape of the comforting music to play when you’re sad or to give to others who are feeling the same loss.
  • Plant a Garden – Plant a memorial garden in the deceased’s honor. Seeds and flowers are very cost-effective, plus gardening is a constructive way to release grief. You can always add a memorial bench or stone.
  • Write a Memorial – While you may not feel like a poet or an author, sometimes the act of putting your feelings into words can be very comforting and honoring to the deceased. You can write short stories of their life, create a poem to honor their memory, or just write down how much they meant to you.
  • Repurpose Belongings – Instead of donating or storing your lost loved one’s belongings, see if you can repurpose some of them into remembrance items. Sew a shirt or dress into a pillowcase you can keep on your bed or on the couch or patch up their jeans to give to younger generations.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to honor your lost loved one as long as you act from the heart.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you’re looking for more tips or information on Langhorne, PA cremation services? We have years of funeral and cremation experience we would love to put at your disposal, so give us a call or pay us a visit today.

cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA

Death Certificates and Cremation Services

You will need to get a death certificate for almost any cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA, but do you really know what a death certificate is?

A death certificate is an official document that formally declares a death. They usually list the date, time, location and cause of death as well as some other personal information about the deceased. There are a lot of different reasons why you might need a death certificate, but they all have to do with proving a death. Some of the most common reasons you would need a death certificate are to access insurance policies, Social Security, property ownership, Veteran’s benefits, safety deposit boxes, last will and testaments, post office accounts, bonds, stocks or brokerage accounts, pension plans, treasury bills, IRAs, and tax records.

No matter what the reason you need a copy, there are a few different ways you can order a copy of a death certificate: through the funeral home that did the service or cremation, in person at your state’s vital statistics office, or online at your state’s vital statistics website. It’s important to note that not just anyone can access death certificates and copies. The only people that are eligible to get a copy of a death certificate are:

  • Spouses
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Grandchildren
  • Legal guardians
  • Representatives
  • State agencies
  • Federal agencies.

You must submit proof of relation to the deceased when applying for a copy of a death certificate with your state’s registrar. Proof of relation could be a birth certificate, legal document, or a letter stating how the applicant has legal representation rights to the deceased. There are some cases in which someone needs a copy of a death certificate, but they are not one of the eligible relations. For example, a cousin of the deceased might be eligible for death benefits but cannot access the death certificate. In these instances, the person must ask an eligible person or party, like a life insurance holder, to request the death certificate for them.

Though death certificate laws can vary slightly from state to state, they generally are required to be registered with a state’s Department of Health and Vital Statistics. If you need a copy of a death certificate you can visit your state’s vital records office to be issued a certified copy. Death certificates are not free. Their exact cost depends on your state and how you order them. For example, the cost of extra death certificate copies from the funeral home is probably different than the cost of copies from the office of vital statistics or the state’s website. You can make it easier to obtain death certificates quickly and affordably by having your funeral home or cremation provider order several directly from the state office.

cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA
J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here for you if you want to learn more about death certificates or Washington Crossing, PA cremation services? Call or visit J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss. We are happy to do whatever we can to help.

cremation service in Newtown, PA

Mourning Rituals After Cremation Services

Mourning is an important part of grief after a cremation service in Newtown, PA, and mourning rituals are symbolic activities that help ease the pain of loss and the heavy weight of grief, you should look into forming rituals of your own.

Mourning rituals help those in grief connect with others over the loss and find support in one another. They are traditionally based in religion, like the catholic funeral service or the Jewish shiva. However, as classic religion is on a decline, many people are looking other places for their mourning rituals.

Are you looking for inspiration for a ritual of your own? You can try burning sage. Sage burning is another very traditional ritual. Sage has long been associated with cleansing and can therefore help you feel like you’ve aided the deceased in their passing or can assist in cleansing away negative emotions. You could also carry a remembrance item. You can carry an item that belonged to or reminds you of the deceased and help you remember that they are always with you. Remembrance items can be anything, such as a watch, handkerchief, lighter, or piece of jewelry.

Food brings people together, especially in hard times. Cooking the deceased’s favorite meal and then sharing it with others allows you to honor their memory and connect with those that are also grieving the loss. What about lighting a candle? Candles have a long history of being associated with both rituals and grief. Take this tradition and make it your own by lighting a candle for the deceased at a certain time of day, a special date, or whenever you need to feel connected to them. Some ancient cultures would host a “giveaway” in which they would each take a piece of the deceased’s possessions to use as their own. You can do a modern version of this in which you go through and donate the deceased’s possessions with other grieving people.

What about writing a letter? There are often many things left unsaid when someone dies. A healthy way to say those unsaid things is to write a letter to the deceased. You can bury the letter with your loved one, burn it to release the feelings, or hold onto it for later remembrance. Coloring a picture, painting or sculpting is a wonderful way to release feelings of grief and loss. Create in the deceased’s memory in whatever medium feels comfortable to you. Though altars are traditionally more Eastern, they have recently become more and more popular in Western cultures. An altar for your lost loved one can be anything from a collection of meaningful items to an array of photos, candled and incense.

cremation service in Newtown, PA

These are just a few options for simple yet powerful mourning rituals you can use after a loved one’s death. Do you want more information on mourning rituals or Newtown, PA cremation services? Just get in touch with J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel. We are here to help in any way that we can. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call today for more information.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

Burial Markers After Cremation Services

You will most likely need to choose some kind of burial marker, whether you’re preplanning for your own eventual passing or dealing with a loved one’s recent death and cremation service in Langhorne, PA.

A burial marker, like the name denotes, is what marks a burial site. However, they mean usually mean much more than that as burial markers are also what will symbolize the deceased for the rest of time. Of course, you will always have the memories of a lost loved one, but their burial marker will be what you go to visit or show future generations, and what other people will see.

When most people think of burial markers they just think of gravestones. But there are actually lots of different kinds of burial markers, including bench memorials. They are just what they sound like: benches that either mark a grave or are a memorial for a deceased person. Though they are more unconventional and can be expensive, they create peaceful spaces that allow the bereaved to sit and reflect on the life of their lost loved one. Some people choose to decorate their loved one’s memorial bench with quotes, etchings, and the name of the deceased. There are even some benches that house cremated remains.

Mausoleums are free-standing, above-ground structures that provide a secure, dry and clean place for bodies to be interred. They also come in many different shapes and sizes, with some being small for just one body and others being massive to house multiple generations of the same family. More commonly referred to as gravestones, upright cemetery monuments are what you will most commonly see in cemeteries and graveyards around the world. These upright markers are easy to see, making it simple to find a certain marker in a full cemetery or field. You can easily customize a gravestone into almost any shape, size, color or material from classic stone headstones to white crosses, marble angels and more. You can also customize what the gravestone says, with most people choosing to put their loved one’s name, dates of birth and death, and a short message.

Flush and flat grave markers are inserted into the ground above a gravesite. They are usually very simple and subtle to match their streamlined, in-ground design. But there are some kinds of more elaborate flush and flat markers, like those with vase attachments that allow the bereaved to leave flowers and other tokens on the grave.

As you consider which one you might choose for your lost loved one, just remember that there really is no wrong choice if you choose from the heart. Think about what your loved one would have wanted and what would best symbolize him or her, but don’t over-complicate it or get stressed.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

These are just a few of the many options for marking a final resting place. J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel offers Langhorne, PA cremation services. We offer a range of services and can help you choose the best grave marker for your loved one.

cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA

Common Cremation Service Questions

Many people have lots of questions about cremations, funerals and other related topics. For example, perhaps you’ve looked at your wardrobe before going to a memorial and wondered what in the heck you’re supposed to wear. Or, maybe you’ve been to a memorial after a cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA and wondered who that person in the dark suit was. Luckily, this list of common cremation service-related questions and their answers can hopefully help shed some light on your queries:

  • Should Kids Come to the Service? – The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults. Childcare experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral. Ask your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice.
  • What Do You Wear to a Funeral or Memorial? – This question has a tricky answer, as it really depends on the service. Some funerals and memorials are more traditional with guests wearing black clothing to honor the somber feel of the event. But other services are more modern and celebratory, making it OK for guests to wear color or more casual clothing. Use the location of the service as a clue to the type of clothing you should wear. A funeral at a church? Black, more formal attire is best. A memorial at a beach? Casual is most likely just fine.
  • What Does “In Lieu of Flowers” Mean? – “In lieu of flowers” is often the phrase used in a service program, death announcement or obituary when the bereaved request that mourners memorialize the deceased in other ways besides sending flowers. This could mean a donation to a charity or even a gift of food for after the event.
  • What’s the Difference Between a Memorial and a Funeral? – The main difference is the presence of the body. A memorial is when the body is not present at the gathering to celebrate the life of the deceased, and a funeral is when the body is present at the service. Generally, memorials happen after cremation service or other instances that would prevent the body from being present, like when the body is donated to science.
  • What do Funeral Directors Do? – Funeral directors are, first and foremost, in charge of preparing a body for burial or cremation, but they also help with a ton of other things from arranging memorials and funerals to providing transportation to and from the place of disposition.
  • Should I Send a Sympathy Card? – Sending a card is just one of the many ways you can show support for the bereaved. If you do send a card, send it within two weeks of the death. If you don’t want to send a card, you can reach out in another way like a phone call, email or visit.

cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA

Do you want to learn more about these topics or Washington Crossing, PA cremation services? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here for you.

cremation services in Newtown, PA

Planning Cremation Services

Traditions surrounding death, grieving, and cremation services in Newtown, PA are changing.

These days, there are almost no rules when it comes to planning a memorial or funeral service. This change is good as it allows for ultimate personalization for celebrating the life of the deceased. This lack of guidelines, while good for personalization, can make planning tough.

Where do you start? The best place to begin is choosing the location. The traditional funeral home or church isn’t necessary the only choice for a memorial anymore. You can also choose to have a service in a park, on a beach, at a home, in a museum, or almost any other place that holds significance to you, the deceased, and the rest of the bereaved.

Next, think about final disposition and the master of ceremonies. Burials used to be the default, but not anymore. There are tons of options these days from cremation services and body donation to entombment and more. Sometimes families don’t want a religious service led by a pastor or clergy member. In these cases, they may want to hire a celebrant. Celebrants are licensed masters of ceremony that work with the bereaved to customize memorial services in fresh and unique ways. Most funeral homes and cremation providers can offer lists of recommended local celebrants.

Another new trend is asking for people to send donations “in lieu of flowers”. You can ask guests to make contributions to a cause the deceased believed in as a good way to carry on his or her memory. But flowers are a traditional part of memorials and funerals, and probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They can transform any room into a comforting and welcoming space perfect for grieving a loss and celebrating a life. Consider getting personalized floral displays or arrangements for even more flair. There is also a new tradition of giving small gifts, like party favors, to memorial guests. These gifts are a nice way to help them keep the deceased in their minds and hearts long after the service is over. Feel free to get creative, like making recipe cards with the deceased’s favorite dishes.

You can also personalize parts, if not all, of a lost loved one’s memorial. You can really have fun with this part of the planning. Readings, poems, prayers and even music can be easily combined with a service, as can any other aspect of the deceased’s life and personality. For example, if the deceased loved jazz music, you can hire a jazz band to play at the reception or play jazz music during the service. Don’t forget to also include personal memorabilia like photos, videos, and beloved objects.

Planning a funeral or memorial service is very personal, so these ideas are just to get you started. If you want more ideas or help planning a Newtown, PA cremation service, J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation service planning in Langhorne, PA

Funeral Agents

Someone will have to make decisions about your funeral or cremation service planning in Langhorne, PA, from where you will be buried or cremated, how your will estate be carried out, and many other important jobs. This person is usually one of your next of kin. Your next-of-kin is an immediate family member, like a husband, wife, or common-law spouse, a child, your parents, a domestic partner, or your siblings.

But what happens if you don’t have any next of kin? Or if you don’t want your next of kin to be in charge of your will and cremation service arrangements?

There are plenty of situations in which this happens. For example, people often get divorced and therefore are estranged from their ex-spouse and children. People outlive their family members. Or, in other instances, someone may not want their children to be in charge as they might argue about how to execute the cremation and estate funeral after the death of their parents. These aren’t necessarily bad situations, and there are definitely ways you can make sure your wishes are followed even if they apply to you.

If these or similar situations apply to you, you can always designate a funeral agent. A funeral agent is a person designated to have legal responsibility over all the matters concerning someone else’s disposition. In the funeral world, this is called the “right to control.” You can hire a funeral agent and give them the right to control your cremation service planning and the legal power to override the decisions of anyone else, including your children, siblings, spouse, domestic and civil partner, and parents.

Funeral agents can be anyone you choose, from a friend or clergy member to a neighbor, coworkers, social worker, or extended family member. However, its best to choose someone that will outlive you and will understand and be able to handle the ins and outs of planning a cremation. Choose and appoint your funeral agent carefully. While the laws vary from state to state, the most common process is by either adding a codicil to your will or by filling out a form. If you want to designate a funeral agent in your will or in a codicil to your will, you need to talk to a lawyer and explain your wishes.

cremation service planning in Langhorne, PASince the executor of a will is not necessarily the funeral agent, it is important to make the wording clear and specific in your will. Have your lawyer draw up a will or amendment that makes it clear who your funeral agent will be. If you want to fill out the form, you should get the form from your local government and make sure its notarized and signed by the intended funeral recipient and two witnesses.

Get in touch with J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel if you want to learn more about funeral agents and other aspects of preplanning for a Langhorne, PA cremation service. Whether or not you appoint a funeral agent is completely up to you, as it is a very personal choice.

cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA

Pre-Need and At-Need Planning

You might have heard the phrases, “at-need services” and “pre-need services” when discussing cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA. However, like many others, there is a good chance that you don’t know what they mean. And that’s ok! This article is here to help clear things up for you.

To begin, both “at-need” and “pre-need” describe when services are offered. At-need funeral or cremation services are offered to families “at the time of need.” In other words, at-need services are for after a death has already occurred. Pre-need funeral or cremation services are offered to individuals who are planning ahead or are making funeral or cremation planning decisions prior to their passing.

At-need funeral services are used in two situations: in the event of a sudden, unexpected death or when a family or individual has decided to wait until the time of death to make funeral plans. In both situations the deceased and the bereaved have not made plans in advance of the death. At-need services are also not selected by the deceased, but instead by the surviving next of kin or family members of the deceased. Pre-need services are selected by an individual before their time of death. Sometimes people choose to preplan far in advance when they are making plans for their will or estate, but in other cases people can preplan closer to their time of death.

While both at-needs and pre-needs cremation services can have benefits and negatives, and sometimes at-needs services are unavoidable if the death was unexpected, many argue that pre-needs services are much better. There are many reasons why pre-need planning is good, such as:

  • Maintaining Self Reliance – Taking charge of your funeral or memorial service allows you to maintain control and independence when you might otherwise lose them. This is good for your mental health at the end of your life and gives you more self-reliance. Funeral and memorial services are an important part of the grieving process, but your loved ones might miss out on the important benefits if they are too busy planning the event. Preplan so they don’t have to.
  • Have the Service You Want – Make sure you get the exact funeral or cremation you want by taking care of the details and clearly laying them out for your friends and family. This way they won’t be able to argue or disagree. You can also plan for how to cover the funeral or cremation costs in advance to make it easier for your family’s bank accounts and stress levels. Look into cremation insurance or funeral trusts to help ensure financial ease
  • Lessen Your Family’s Load – Let your family know exactly what you want for your cremation so they don’t have to guess what to do after you’re gone, or spend time making painful decisions when they should be grieving with loved ones.

cremation services in Washington Crossing, PA

If you want to learn more about Washington Crossing, PA cremation services or at-need and pre-need planning, just get in touch with J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel.

Newtown, PA cremation

Be Prepared for Cremation Services

Even though no one will ever be fully prepared a loved one’s death and cremation service in Newtown, PA, it’s still important to take steps now to make your passing smoother for your family.

As scary as it is to plan for your death, you need to do whatever you can to make it easier for your loved ones after you’re gone. So, what can you do to prepare for your death right now?

The first step is to leave your last wishes. Make it known how you want your funeral or memorial to be done. Do you want a cremation service? A memorial? Traditional burial? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered when it comes to planning a service, so don’t leave your loved ones to answer all of them when their grieving your loss.

Your family might rely on you for financial support, meaning that when you die, they will not only lose you but will also love the income you provided. Take care of your loved ones by purchasing life insurance. Life insurance can help offset the costs of funeral and cremation services and can also provide additional income for living expenses, remaining debts and other costs.

You also need to make a will. Everyone should have a will, as wills make it easy for the bereaved to know exactly what the deceased wanted. Plus, if you don’t leave a will, the state might end up choosing who gets your asses and who will care for your dependents. Double check that your 401k, life insurance, and IRAs have the correct beneficiaries listed. In other words, make sure that the people or person you want to get the money after your gone are listed on the documents. This is especially important as someone’s beneficiary documents can supersede wills and even divorces.

Newtown, PA cremationWhat about all your documents? You might know where your important documents are, but will your family be able to find them? They might not know to check the top dresser drawer for your will, the bottom drawer for your life insurance policy, and your desk for the bank account information. Make it easier on your loved ones and keep all your important documents in one safe place that is easily found and accessed by a surviving family member. Include your social security card; legal forms for retirement accounts, deeds, and rental agreements; tax returns; and lists of all online and computer passwords. Don’t forget to sort your possessions. Catalog important items of monetary or sentimental value to ensure they are kept and passed to the proper person after you’re gone. Don’t forget to notate why each item is important so no information gets lost.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more about what you can do for your eventual passing. We can assist with any preplanning or Newtown, PA cremation service questions you may have. Call or visit us today!

Levittown, PA cremation services

Why Obituaries Are Important

Whether you’re having a funeral or a memorial service after a cremation service in Levittown, PA, there are many reasons why you should publish an obituary for your lost loved one, including but not limited to:

  1. Notating History – An obituary is also a good way to make sure the deceased’s story is written down for future generations. Children, grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles will all be able to access a part of their personal history.
  2. Sharing the Loss – Sharing in your grief and loss with the general community can be a big help after the death of a loved one. You’d be surprised how many people will reach out with helpful offers like condolences, prayers and general help. As a bonus, obituaries that are posted online almost always have comment sections in which people can post and share their own experiences with the deceased and words of comfort.
  3. Paying Tribute – Each person on this planet has a unique life story as special as they are. While we can easily assume that the deceased lived and died, an obituary gives a window into how they lived and why they were important and special. Beyond the basic facts of life like date of birth, age date of death, survivors, and predecessors, an obituary can include other fun and unique information about a person including their hobbies, favorite foods, work history and amazing accomplishments.
  4. Part of the Grieving Process – Remembrance is a big part of grieving. In other words, when you spend time thinking about a lost loved one by narrating that person’s history and remembering why that the deceased was important to you, you are showing and experiencing your grief in a healthy way and will ultimately help you move forward in your particular grief journey.

These reasons, and many more, are why obituaries are not just a random tradition with no reasoning or meaning. But how do you go about publishing an obituary?

obituaries

Up until about twenty years ago, most local newspapers published obituaries for free as they were considered to be news stories. These older obituaries mostly listed facts and kept the emotional editorializing to a minimum. Many newspapers also printed death notices which, unlike obituaries, were paid advertisements that gave the name of the deceased, the date, and the time and location of funeral services. These days, the majority of newspapers charge fees for printing obituaries. While these fees can be expensive, they do mean that the purchaser has the power to write whatever he wished about his deceased loved one, be it emotional or fact-based. There is also some funeral home that post obituaries on their websites for free or for a small fee. Ask your funeral home or funeral director about their policy regarding this new tradition. You can also post an obituary on a memorial website like Legacy.com or post an obituary on Facebook or another social media site for free.

If you want to learn more about obituaries or Levittown, PA cremation services, please reach out to J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel.