All posts by CSA

  • Direct Cremation has overtaken burials as the preferred end-of-life choice of families across the United States. Direct Cremation is far more affordable and offers families the flexibility to arrange for services at time and place of the family’s choosing, especially when honoring the wishes of the deceased. One example of such flexibility is the Scattering of Ashes at Sea.

    Scattering Ashes at Sea has become more and more popular among families of the deceased.  Families are increasingly turning to this type of ceremony to bring peace and closure to the family in a serene and soothing environment.

    Following the cremation and once you’ve received the ashes of your loved one, you are ready to provide your loved one with the ceremony and serenity that he or she deserves – and most likely requested as part of his or her final wishes.

    U.S. federal law allows for the scattering of ashes at sea but certain conditions must be met, including:

    • the use of decomposable flowers and wreaths
    • certain notification requirements
    • ensuring that ashes are scattered at least three (3) nautical miles from shore

    To scatter your loved one’s cremated remains (“cremains”) by boat, family and friends board the vessel and travel to the desired location on the ocean. This typically involves chartering a boat with a licensed captain and the trip may last for several hours.

    Upon arrival at the desired location, your captain will position the vessel boat into the wind and with enough forward speed to prevent the cremains from being blown back into the vessel. Thus, the ceremony and tribute can begin. The ceremony can range from clergy reciting prayers to family members reciting poetry to a few poignant comments and everything in between.

    Family members have the option to scatter the cremains if they so choose. The cremains are placed in the water and allowed to descend into the ocean. Cremation Society of America can help you choose a reputable charter service to ensure that the cremains make it into the ocean properly.

    Shortly thereafter, the family and friends are usually handed flowers or even a bouquet that they can toss in along with the cremains to create an area of the ceremony on the water. Your captain can then circle the area while the family and friends take photos and say their final goodbyes.

    Our Cremation Society of America advisors can help you arrange the scattering of your loved one’s ashes at sea. CSA has relationships with reputable charter services that have vast experience to provide a dignified and touching at-sea tribute to your loved one. Contact us NOW to order a Direct Cremation and to explore our Scattering of Ashes at Sea services.

All posts by CSA

  • We at Cremation Society of America are reminded during this holiday season of how thankful we should be for all of YOU!

    Throughout this week, family and friends will gather together on Thanksgiving to take stock of their blessings and to be thankful for so many things. We at Cremation Society of America would like to take a moment to express our thanks to YOU for the privilege to serve YOU. Without YOU, we would not be able to do what we love: provide respectful and dignified cremation services during a time of stress and sadness.

    It may sound a bit cliché but we Americans are blessed by living in the greatest, most generous nation in the world. We should be thankful for all of the sacrifices of those who came before us so that we may be free. In case you were wondering how the Thanksgiving Holiday came to be, here is a brief history:

    Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States, and Thanksgiving 2019 occurs on Thursday, November 28. In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.

    The original feast in 1621 occurred sometime between September 21 and November 11. Unlike our modern holiday, it was three days long. The event was based on English harvest festivals, which traditionally occurred around the 29th of September. After that first harvest was completed by the Plymouth colonists, Gov. William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving and prayer, shared by all the colonists and neighboring Indians. In 1623 a day of fasting and prayer during a period of drought was changed to one of thanksgiving because the rain came during the prayers. Gradually the custom prevailed in New England of annually celebrating thanksgiving after the harvest.

    During the American Revolution a yearly day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom, and by the middle of the 19th century many other states had done the same.

    In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a day of thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November, which he may have correlated it with the November 21, 1621, anchoring of the Mayflower at Cape Cod. Since then, each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941.)

    We at Cremation Society of America would like to wish you and your family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you cherish these moments surrounded by family and friends in the spirit of joy and Thanksgiving.

All posts by CSA

  • At Cremation Society of America, we see all-too-often clients who had failed to properly plan for the day that is inevitable for all of us: the day that we pass away. It’s never a pleasant subject and one that most of us would prefer to address at a later date. What happens if that “later date” never arrives?

    Sound Estate Planning and gathering of your important documents might very well be the most appreciated final act that you could do for your family. Let’s explore some Estate Planning steps that you can take.

    The Need for Estate Planning

    Much like a Will, Estate Planning organizes the financial, legal and medical aspects of your life for those who will survive and succeed you. As a matter of fact, a Will is a component of a well-rounded Estate Plan.

    As with anything pertaining to legal documents, we at Cremation Society of America strongly suggest that you consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and probate issues. This attorney has a fiduciary duty to give you the guidance and representation that you will need to put your estate in order.

    Where to Begin?

    The best place to start your estate-planning project is to take an inventory of everything of value that you may own,  possess or of which you have a stake or interest. Here are some items that you should include in your list:

    • Your Home/Deed
    • The Deeds to any properties/real estate that you Own
    • Retirement Plans, including 401(K), Pensions, Individual Retirement Accounts (“IRAs”), Social Security benefits, Stock Holdings, etc. – be sure to include any online login credentials needed to access these accounts online
    • Life Insurance Policies or any other vehicles that may pay out benefits upon your death – be sure to include any online login credentials needed to access these accounts online
    • Health Benefits including private insurance, pension benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration Benefits – your spouse or family may be entitled to these benefits in the event of your death
    • Bank Accounts, Investment Accounts, Stocks, Bonds, etc. – be sure to include any online login credentials needed to access these accounts online
    • List all valuables – jewelry, art, etc.  Be sure to take pictures and keep the pictures in a safe deposit box or in a cloud storage solution that a family member can access.
    • All liabilities such as mortgages, loans, credit cards, anything for which you owe money and may lead to a creditor seeking repayment from your estate

    Create or Update Legal Documents

    Meet with your attorney to create or update legal documents that will further protect your estate upon your passing. Your attorney’s recommendations may include the following:

    • A Will – include an updated list of beneficiaries
    • Healthcare directives/documents such as Power-Of-Attorney and/or a Living Will
    • Creation of a Trust(s)

    Arrange for Long-Term Care

    Most people forget that you can also plan for your long-term medical care as part of your estate planning. YOU can set aside assets to pay for your medical, housing, nurse care and related costs up to point of your passing. Be sure to contact a health care planning professional to review your options.

    Arrange for End Of Life

    Pre-plan your end-of-life arrangements, whether burial or cremation, services, location, cemetery plot – everything that you want in place upon your death because these are questions that only YOU can answer.

    Click the link below to download the Cremation Society of America Cremation Planning Guide

    Make Sure Your Family can Access Everything that you Collected

    All of the work you’ve done above will be for naught if you did not make arrangements for your loved ones to access all of the information that you’ve gathered in your inventory. Here are a few steps to keep in mind:

    • Maintain a list of all current usernames and passwords. Then, make sure that you place that list somewhere where your family or attorney can access it
    • Keep important and legal documents in a secure location such as a safe, vault or safe deposit box. You may also keep these documents with an attorney. Regardless of where you store the documents, be sure to give your family a way to access them
    • Periodically review your documents to keep them up-to-date

    As you can see, Estate Planning is another way for you to enjoy peace of mind that your wishes will be honored after you’ve passed away. This is much the same way as how Pre-planning your Direct Cremation delivers peace of mind during a troubling time for your family and friends.

    Please contact CSA for more information regarding our Cremations services as well as family resources. We look forward to being of service to you and your family.

All posts by CSA

  • At Cremation Society of America, we’re often asked by the families we serve, how long will it be for their loved one’s ashes or “cremains” are returned to them after the Direct Cremation process is complete. It takes CSA 7-10 business days to perform the cremation from the time we receive all necessary approvals.  Then in 1-2 days, the urn containing cremated remains is delivered via United States Postal Service Express Priority Mail.  Within 8-12 business days your loved one’s Urn will be returned home to you.

    However, some families prefer a more dignified and personal form of delivery: Hand Delivery. We at Cremation Society of America offer a Hand Delivery* service for an additional fee of $100 when you arrange your Direct Cremation with us.

    *Please note that our Hand Delivery Service is currently available ONLY in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in Florida. More delivery areas are planned.

    When you choose to have your loved one’s cremains delivered by hand, an adult will need to be present at the delivery address with photo-identification in order to accept and sign for the ashes.

    Visit us at cremationsocietyofamerica.com/pre-planning/ to begin the simple process of pre-planning today.  Cremation Simplified.

     

All posts by CSA

  • A loved one has passed away and you are the parent, guardian or family friend of a child who is grieving the loss of the same loved one, be it a sibling, parent, grandparent, or other person close to the child. You are faced with the daunting task of not only coming to terms with your grief but also with helping the bereaved child come to terms with such a life-changing event.

    In cases where your loved one is to be cremated (which is happening more and more in today’s society), you should take steps to explain what cremation is to the child in your care. Here are some helpful steps when seeking to comfort a child and to help with the healing process:

    Understand Cremation

    Believe it or not, many adults have never been taught what happens during cremation. The process of Cremation includes:

    • Cremation takes place at a building called a crematory or crematorium.  Sometimes crematories are adjacent to funeral homes, but often they are stand-alone operations not affiliated with a specific funeral home. There are more than 1,000 crematories in the United States and Canada today
    • Within the Crematorium is a special stainless-steel vault called a cremation chamber, or retort.  The body is placed in a sturdy cardboard container and the container is moved into the cremation chamber. The body may also be cremated in a casket. After the container or casket is placed in the chamber, the chamber door is tightly sealed and the licensed operator turns on the heat
    • This process can take 2-4 hours, until such time as only calcium bone fragments remain
    • Upon completion of the cremation, the remains are collected in a metal tray.  At this point, the remains are small pieces of bone. To further reduce them, the remains are placed in a processor and refined down to the consistency of coarse sand
    • The white or grayish remains (called ashes, cremated remains or cremains) are then sealed in a transparent plastic bag along with an identification tag.  The bag weighs about 5 lbs. and is similar in size to a 5-lb. bag of sugar. Often the family requests that the cremated remains be placed in an urn, which can then be buried, placed in a columbarium (which is a special above-ground structure at a cemetery), taken home or transported for scattering.
     Encourage Questions from the Child

    Children are naturally curious about everything, including death but death is an uncomfortable subject for most adults because we all have suffered loss at some point in our lives. Such a discussion can unearth painful memories – and this is natural. However, you can be a resource for the child at a critical moment by being someone the child can turn to with death and cremation questions. Remember: Most young children assume that “grown-ups” have all of life’s answers. Encourage the child to ask you anything about the death and the funeral. Give the child honest answers – but in words and concepts that the child will understand.

    Use Simple Explanations

    Armed with your understanding of the cremation process, you need to plan which information to share with the child and how to share it. Take care to use words and concepts that the child can grasp and understand.  This depends not only on the age of the child but on the child’s personality, developmental level and vocabulary. If your words and your tone convey command of the information and familiarity with the cremation process, the child will likely feel the same way.

    Try to provide as much information as possible. Children have an amazing ability to cope with life-changing events. Don’t withhold facts in an attempt to spare a child what you consider to be disturbing details. Often, a child’s imagination can conjure up explanations much scarier than reality if the child is denied the facts. Be the compassionate adult who furthers the child’s understanding.

    Her are some child-friendly answers to questions often asked about cremation:

    • Cremation has been used for thousands of years.  The ancient Greeks and Romans built funeral pyres – stacks of wood with the loved one place atop. The wood was set afire and the body burned, too.  Funeral pyres are still used in some countries today as a tribute to the deceased
    • Cremation doesn’t hurt.  The person is dead, which means the body doesn’t work anymore.  The body’s heart doesn’t beat, the body doesn’t breathe, the brain has stopped working and it doesn’t feel anything anymore.
    • There is no smell and no smoke when a body is cremated.  The process is very, very hot—many times hotter than your oven at home or a campfire.  The heat burns away all the parts of the body except for some pieces of bone.
    • After cremation, what’s left of the body looks like kitty litter or beach sand, although it’s white in color because it’s bone.  It’s put in a clear plastic bag so you can see it if you want to.
    • When a body is buried in the ground in a grave, it breaks down after months and years and just a skeleton is left. Cremation is the same process except cremation makes this happen much faster.
    • The people involved in the cremation process handle the body with dignity and respect.

    Some final thoughts: Where possible, include the child in the cremation and services planning. Let the child feel part of the process of honoring your loved one. Much like many of us want to feel useful and needed during times of stress, so do children. Also, simply being available to the child in the days, weeks and months after the cremation will make for a path to healing. Whether sharing funny stories or expressing how much you both miss your loved one, simply being “someone to talk to” goes a long way to providing a healthy grieving process.

    Please contact CSA for more information regarding our Cremations services as well as family grieving resources. We look forward to being of service to you and your family.

Call Now