The Commemoration Of A Lifetime

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William_King_spicer_mullikin_sqBy William E. King

People choose cremation for a variety of reasons – philosophical and religious.

Whatever the reason, if you are thinking about cremation, it’s important to know and understand all of the choices available to you.

As cremation continues to grow in popularity, so does the desire to add meaning to services that may include a gathering or memorial service either preceding or following the cremation.  You have many options when choosing cremation and your plan can be as personalized as you choose.  The following is a simple four step process when considering cremation.


Step 1: Select a Plan

• Traditional Plan – Includes a viewing and a service prior to cremation.

• Memorial Plan – Includes a private viewing prior to cremation, plus a memorial tribute following cremation.

• Simple Plan – Includes a private viewing prior to cremation.

Step 2: Select a Container

Cremation casket – suitable for all types of visitations, viewings and services prior to cremation.

• Basic cremation casket – suitable for a private viewing prior to cremation.

• Alternative container – suitable when there is no viewing or visitation.


Step 3: Select an Urn

The kind of urn depends on the disposition of your loved one’s cremated remains. Urns are designed for specific uses that include:

Placing the urn in a niche.

Having the urn buried in a cemetery.

Keeping the urn at home.

Biodegradable urn for water or ground burial.

Urn for scattering.

Step 4: Selecting Keepsakes and Personalization

There are many options available to help honor the life of a loved one while creating meaningful memories. As you complete your planning, you may also wish to consider keepsakes that provide a lasting remembrance of your loved one. Some items to consider include:

Keepsake Urns and/or jewelry to hold a small amount of the cremated remains or a lock of hair.

Engraving of the urn with a specific scene or design.Appliques and Medallions to personalize the urn.

Cremation offers many new options in celebrating and remembering a life, allowing you many ways to personalize the service and lasting memorial. Your funeral director will be glad to answer any specific questions and help you develop a plan so the wishes of your loved one can be honored.


William E. King is a funeral director at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes. Bill is the Advanced Planning Manager and has 20 years of experience in the funeral industry. He received a BA from Loyola College Baltimore and later a Mortuary Science degree from the Community College of Baltimore County, Catonsville.


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