New Memorial Technology to Plan a Funeral
and Better Remember Loved Ones
MemorialTechnology.com is an online resource center designed to help families, Funeral Directors, and Cemetery Directors to learn more today’s new and creative ways to help cope with grief and loss and, most importantly, help celebrate the special life and memories of a loved one.
This family-friendly online resource center was specifically designed for three main purposes:
1. Raise awareness about today’s most popular, newest, and most innovative technology tools, all of which can help remember loved ones in a more meaningful way.
2. Offer valuable information and education on exactly how these new memorial technology tools work.
3. Provide access to the most qualified and credible companies offering these funeral home services.
MemorialTechnology.com features six of the most commonly sought-after and utilized memorial technology options families are choosing to add to their funeral, memorial, burial, or cremation planning. These six options include:
Unfortunately after my family lost a dear loved one, we were not aware that any these excellent memorial technology tools existed. Therefore, we did not know how they worked, nor did we know who to turn to for help.
My sincere hope and prayer is this helps families make a difficult situation a little easier.
The Powerful Combination of Custom Crafted Funeral Music, Pictures, and Professional Video
Creating a Healing Thanksgiving Family Keepsake
With the rapid growth in the Internet and new funeral technology, families today have access to many new and innovative tools that can help significantly increase their funeral and memorial planning experience. At the top of this list are DVD Video Tributes, which most families are choosing as a common addition to their loved ones memorial service.
In addition, I am happy tell everyone there is also the ability to work with a professional singer/songwriter/producer who can help families create “custom crafted” funeral music, which is a song that is personalized for either a special loved one and/or a special event.
Listen to this Beautiful Custom Crafted Song:
“Since my family never knew this powerful funeral technology existed, I strongly encourage every family to learn more about this option as a great addition to a Memorial Service. These professionally designed Video Tributes allow you to combine the personalized music, photos, and message of your choice. Watching this together with loved ones, this provides a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate, remember, and heal…and ultimately becomes a treasured family heirloom to keep forever.”
Christopher P. Hill, Founder, FuneralResources.com
Consider Using Custom Crafted Songs to Help Heal and Remember
If you are interested in selecting funeral songs with meaningful lyrics it may be easy to use the internet to search and read lyrics of popular songs. However, I believe a much better and more personal solution is to opt for a more customized music selection and have a song written and recorded to play at the funeral service or memorial service.
This DVD Video Tribute below contains a customized song that was created for me by Anna Huckabee of Custom Crafted Songs. By taking advantage of creating a custom crafted song, this helped me to express how I truly felt about my mother, but in a very special and meaningful way.
By combining these personalized lyrics that Anna helped me create with a DVD Video Tribute, this helped me in so many ways. First, it helped me to better see what a wonderful and amazing person she really was. Second, since Anna needed to ask many questions to know as much as possible about her, this helped me to express my thoughts and discuss some things that significantly helped in my healing process. But most importantly, this custom crafted song allowed me to express some feelings and emotions that I was not able to say to her before she passed. These words are things that I regret every day not telling her before she was taken above.
My mother passed on Thanksgiving Day of 2008, which clearly means that Thanksgiving will never be the same. But since everyone who knew her would tell you she was one of the most giving people on the planet, I truly thank Anna for creating this personal song and tribute for my mother, and fittingly calling this beautiful song “Thanks For Giving“.
Thanks for your giving ways too Anna!
Top 5 Reasons Video Tributes are Common Memorial Options
1. A QualityMemorial Tribute
Each custom DVD Video Tribute is hand-crafted by professional technicians who artfully tell your loved one’s story. With expert direction, the funeral music and imagery join together in perfect harmony to create a healing experience as individual as your loved one’s life. This memorial tribute will be a treasured family heirloom for generations to come.
2. Restore Your Loved One’s Photos
Your precious photos are carefully restored, enhanced and artfully arranged by talented multimedia technicians. These experts can combine faded, tattered, torn, static snapshots into moving cinematic video, bringing your treasured photos to life forever.
3. Create a Fitting Video Memorial
From majestic mountains and oceans to the simplicity and beauty of a single rose, a Funeral Video DVD utilizes custom thematic scenery, filmed in stunning High Definition by world-renown videographers, designed to personalize and illustrate your loved ones life.
4. Healing and Uplifting Funeral Music
A professionally crafted DVD Video Tribute utilizes therapeutic, customized soundtracks. This personalized funeral music is specifically composed, arranged and/or produced to heal a broken heart as well as provide the perfect accompaniment to your family photos.
5. A Memorial as Individual As Your Loved One
These Video Tributes are professionally produced tributes which celebrate your loved ones life in magnificent cinematic quality, and are available in standard or wide-screen format.
Six Memorial Technology Options Helping to Share, Celebrate, Heal, and Remember!
Today, many new and innovative memorial technology tools that are widely-recognized in the funeral industry as common services that help make a difficult situation a little easier. New memorial technology is helping families and friends who have lost a one heal, remember, and celebrate. Below are the most common new memorial technology tools that most families are choosing:
A Memorial Website is a personalized website that is created to celebrate a person’s life. Friends and family can grieve and celebrate the memories of a loved one by sharing stories, kind thoughts, condolences, photos, and videos online. These online memorial tributes can be kept online for life so that friends and family can view the wonderful memories year after year and additional content can be added at any time.
In its simplest definition, a Video Tribute is a professionally crafted video production which consists of digital images, video, and/or photos of your loved one, which are then combined and played simultaneously with the music or your choice. They can serve as an excellent presentation to complement your special funeral memorial service, and are a great way to help in the grief and healing process. A Video Tribute helps tell the story of your loved ones life, and also creates a family heirloom that can be treasured and kept for years to come.
Created from a lock of hair or small amount of cremated ashes, memorial diamonds are an unique, heirloom memorial that will forever contain the essence of your loved one. These genuine, certified diamonds are created in a laboratory using your loved ones personal carbon and a diamond seed. By mimicking the earth’s natural high pressure, high temperatures necessary to create a diamond, in 70 days or less a personal diamond will emerge in one of the five brilliant colors you have selected. These memorial diamonds can be a stunning reminder of a loved ones life and unique spirit. Set into a beautiful piece of cremation jewelry, a memorial diamond can be worn close to the heart in a pendant, or into a memorial ring, bracelet or even earrings.
Due to advances in microchip technology, your family can now include detailed text and a photo within a headstone to create a high tech, high end memorial. RFID-enabled data tags are an addition to a loved one’s tomb stone – you can enter the person’s name and choose some representative symbols, perhaps a small epitaph via the web – then you embed the tag into a larger traditional tombstone.
This new technology will allow future generations, visitors and historians to access both a story and genealogical information about the deceased from an internet enabled cell phone while at the markers physical location.
See the Many Features and Benefits of Funeral Webcasting Here:
For a wide variety of reasons, family members and friends are often unable to travel or attend the actual funeral service of a loved one. Using this innovative memorial technology, families and loved ones can now view the actual LIVE Memorial Service from the comfort of their own home, or whatever location is most convenient. Funeral Webcasting can be viewed on a private and secure website page by using password protection. This ensures that ONLY the people you wish to join in this Memorial Service can participate LIVE.
A memorial reef is an environmentally-friendly burial option that is being used to replace the more traditional green burials and cremation ideas, such as cremation urns or ash scattering. The process includes mixing a loved ones remains into an environmentally safe concrete mixture and create a personalized memorial reef. These memorial reefs are then placed into the ocean. This combination of new memorial technology, cremation, memorial reefs, and green burials can now offer families to provide their loved ones with a living legacy at sea.
New Memorial Tributes and Funeral Technology Options for Fathers
For those special Dad’s and Grandfathers who have passed and are dearly missed, creating a personalized and specialized memorial can provide an excellent opportunity to heal and remember.
Below is a list of some of the most popular memorial options that many families are choosing for a personalized and special memorial, tribute, keepsake, or family heirloom:
About New Funeral and Memorial Technology:
“Technology is changing the face of the funeral industry and baby boomers, those ages 43 to 62 are at the root of it“, says John Reed, president of the National Funeral Directors Association based in Brookfield, Wis.
Today many new and innovative technologies are widely recognized in the funeral industry as common services that help make a difficult situation a little easier. Boomers are memorializing their parents and loved ones in nontraditional ways and using new funeral technology to do it.
Technology is opening the doors to unique memorial ideas and expanding funeral planning and memorial service options. With these tech-savvy Baby Boomers wanting to take the negativity out of funerals and find ways to celebrate a person’s life, using new funeral technology such as some of these listed below are among the most popular, common, and rapidly growing.
Keep in mind that these gifts can serve as an excellent family tribute, keepsake, or family heirloom. The main benefit from these gifts is that, although in different way, each of them offers a wonderful opportunity to honor and celebrate your Dad, as well as share many of the great stories and memories you shared together.
After losing a close loved one back in 2008, I am constantly trying to find ways I can help both families and Funeral Directors find new ways to make the funeral planning process easier. After working closely and researching extensively, I have learned a lot about how to plan a funeral and end of life planning industries.
However, since I am not a licensed Funeral Director, I have also focused on learning how challenging and meaningful of a role a Funeral Directors can play in a families life, and therefore, I have gained a tremendous amount of well-deserved respect and appreciation for a Funeral Director’s selfless contribution to this valued public service.
So given the importance and sensitivity of this matter, I am not only constantly trying to learn more each day, but also searching for any possible new and innovative ways to help add value to this industry.
When I look back on my personal experience, below are some of the key things I truly believe would have helped my family as we worked through the many funeral planning challenges:
1. I believe it would be helpful if the Funeral Director could give a brief history about their Funeral Home, Cemetery, as well as their personal background and experience.
This would help families learn more about choosing a funeral home or cemetery, funeral director, and feel more comfortable about the qualifications, experience, and credibility of who they are dealing with.
2. I think it could be helpful if a Funeral Directors would ask if anyone involved has any history or experience with planning a funeral.
This would help the Funeral Director and the family, since this lets the Funeral Director know if they need to begin slowly, starting with the basics, or whether things could be a little easier and streamlined based on any past experience.
3. Before the Funeral Director begins to review the basic outline of the funeral planning process, it would be helpful if they ask the family if they have any important questions on their mind that they feel like they need to find answers.
This allows the family members to ask about things that might be of concern, time-sensitive, or important to know regardless of the planning process.
4. The Funeral Director could explain the general outline of what the funeral planning process involves and what they will review and work on together. Ideally, this overall outline would be great to have in writing, so they can see it, read it, plan ahead, and follow along step-by-step.
This helps the families to get an idea of what to expect, and also begin thinking about the many funeral planning challenges.
5. The Funeral Director could tell the family members to feel free to interrupt him/her at any time, and ask any questions that come to mind, no matter how basic or uncomfortable they might feel.
This helps families feel like it is OK to ask questions, since from my personal experience, I was very reluctant to ask things that I now wish I had.
6. After the funeral planning process, the Funeral Director could find a way to help families learn about some of the new and popular memorial technology tools, resources, services, and funeral home services. In fact, I would even recommend offering families a printed list of these options so you can talk about them with the families, or simply let them research these things on their own to find out more.
Why not let every family know about all of these options? If families don’t choose to add these to their funeral or memorial planning, they are still better off from knowing these options were available. And if families do find these options to helpful tools that can allow them to better heal, remember, and pay a special tribute to a loved one, everyone wins!
7. Last, I would suggest Funeral Directors consider providing every family with helpful details, such as these below, at the end of their funeral planning discussion:
– Key things to consider when planning a memorial service
– Several phone numbers to contact for any questions or concerns, 24/7
– Grief support information, grief books, and local grief support
– Information on how to give a eulogy, funeral etiquette, how to write an obituary, and other common families needs
– Contact information on Charitable Organizations, and ways to help families donate funds “in lieu of funeral flowers”
– Key reasons and benefits to consider an End of Life Plan, and where they can go to learn more
– Names and contact information for people who you recommend that would be willing to help offer free advice for any financial planning matters, such as funeral estate planning, tax planning, wealth management, etc.
Again, these are just some thoughts I had after looking back on my personal experience, as well as some of the details I have found that most families are searching for – and today this is being done largely on the Internet.
I truly hope this helps both families and Funeral Directors, as I continue my quest to make this difficult process easier!
How to expand your horizons after a loss but still integrate the memory of our loved one is a common theme. A normal process through our grief and loss journey is how to integrate the loss into our lives. One of the symbols of your past is yours and your spouse’s wedding rings. Changing how you display them is one way to help you transition to the future. The key is to pick something that feels “right” to you. There are many options and we suggest you be creative. We have outlined some suggestions below that might “fit” you.
Change where you wear the rings. A simple solution would be to move the rings from the hand that symbolizes marriage to the other hand. Some people have also chosen to place the rings on a necklace and wear them around his/her neck.
Transform your wedding rings. If you chose to transform your wedding rings this is where you can be especially creative. Many people have taken the stones out of the rings and placed them in new settings or made them into a new pair of earrings for example. Another option is to consider adding memorial diamonds to your current settings.
For example one woman said: “My husband died this year, and I had a nice gold chain, took the diamond that was in his Masonic ring, and suspended it in the center of his wedding ring, all held together in the suspension with small diamonds encrusted in a slide. It is lovely, and I wear it all the time. Sometimes I find myself even bringing it to my mouth, and unconsciously kissing it. But, my left hand ring finger is empty.”
Position the rings in a place of respect. If you choose not to wear the rings, you could make a place of honor for them. An idea might be to make a shadow box that you hang on the wall that will hold the rings. The shadow box then can be placed in the house somewhere that will bring comfort to you as you view your creation. This is also a nice way to pass a keepsake onto children.
Some people choose to wear their wedding ring for the rest of their lives on their left hand, especially those that are older, and have made up their mind that they will not ever want to marry again. Feel comfortable to do that, if this is your choice. There are no rules about what you “must” do.
We have been told by those that want to take off their wedding rings as a symbol of “moving on” that they have chosen to give them to their children now, rather than wait for their own passing. If you have no children, perhaps a niece or nephew might be the perfect recipient.
If you want, you can put your wedding rings in your jewelry box, and keep them there until you decide what you do want to do with them. There is no need to rush to a decision.
Give yourself permission to take your rings off, if that is what you feel like doing. Sometimes, it is a simple as listening to your intuition to know what is the thing to do that “feels” like the perfect solution for moving to a new emotional plateau.
If you have come to a place in your stages of grief where you are truly ready to move forward, keep in mind to choose something that is right for you and that also symbolizes you are moving on from your loss. Symbols, such as wedding rings, are powerful. Potential mates will respect that you are honoring the past while being ready to accept new people and new love into your life.
But above all else, be creative, and do what pleases you!
Psychologists and counselors have been researching the effects of grief and loss with more frequency over the past century. They are finding tangible positive effects of bereavement on the family members. The positive healing effect can be explained when it is recognized that art expresses that which cannot be expressed through just words. Grief often lies beyond words, beyond simple explanations of our conscience minds. It is in the unconscious that expression of deep wounds and tragedy of loss is found. Grief cannot be reduced to the rationale. Art can speak to us and facilitate the connection with what is going on inside of our minds as we grieve to help us through the process.
Julie A. Burn, Director of Cremation Services for the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, says today’s families have more choices than ever before. “It’s important for families to take the time to grieve their loss and to find a way to remember the life that was lived, regardless of whether they are choosing cremation or traditional funeral and burial,” Burn said. “Today’s cremation services offer many ways to honor the deceased, and so I would encourage families to be sure to ask the funeral home and the cemetery what their options are for creating tributes and memorials that are personalized and have meaning to them.”
It is expected that the Funeral Directors become an active part of the presentation of the Cremation Memorial in order to facilitate these benefits.
The Funeral Directors are expected to:
Become educated on the processes involved with creating the memorials
Gain a personal confidence in the company creating the memorials
Getting the sample of the cremated remains to the artist
Receive back the remainder of the cremated remains when the work is complete
Adding the additional service as an option to the families adds an additional source of income to add to the bottom line of the business. The artisans producing the memorials typically recognize that the contributions of the Funeral Director are essential in making the transaction. When the Funeral Directors have invested time into learning about the product and are able to represent the benefits to the family and confidence in the company handling the cremated remains that is when the families really consider the option. Additional value is added to the families when the handling of the cremated remains is taken care of too. The samples of remains are sent to the artist and the remaining cremated remains are received back when the work is complete.
Types of Cremation Memorials
Several new memorial technology options have been used as a medium to incorporate cremated remains, for example:
Man made diamonds are molecularly identical to naturally occurring diamonds. By recreating the forces of nature to the primary element of all diamonds, carbon, a diamond can be made. General Electric first pioneered this technology in the mid 1950’s.
By using the carbon from the cremated remains or a lock of hair, memorial diamonds can be created to forever encase the cremated ashes in a unique and beautiful memorial.
To create the memorial diamond, the carbon is heated to extremely high temperatures. This step removes the existing ash and converts the carbon to graphite with the unique characteristics and elements that will create the diamond. The graphite is then placed in a press capable of replicating the forces in the earth, heat and pressure. The pressure needed is nearly 1,000,000 psi and the temperatures are up to 3000 degrees centigrade. In approximately 70 days, depending on the size of the memorial diamond you wish to create, the resulting rough diamond crystal grows. When the rough diamond is ready, skilled diamond cutters facet the memorial diamond according to the families’ selection. The diamonds can be inspected and graded by trained gemologists, the same process used by the world’s finest jewelers.
These memorial diamonds are typically available in sizes from .25 ct. to 1.5 ct. The colors that these memorial diamonds can be created range from blue to red to yellow to green.
Keepsake jewelry is a small urn that can be worn as jewelry or hung in a display. It has a small area inside to hold a memorial to the loved one, like cremated remains for example. Keepsakes were first introduced by Madelyn Pendants in 1992. Joni Cullen and Lisa Saxer-Buros created keepsakes when they lost their friend and mother Madelyn Saxer. From Madelyn Saxer’s zest for living and her ability to embrace death, the concept of the Keepsake Pendant was born: A symbol of continuing love, a reassuring remembrance to keep close to one’s heart. In creating the pendant line, they had a simple purpose: to enable others to cope more easily, to hold a source of comfort in their hands and to find peace in their hearts. The keepsakes were initially intended for cremains but Joni and Lisa soon realized that was limiting the benefits of the keepsakes which also hold locks of hair, funeral flowers and other personal items.
The death care industry has used the term Keepsakes for so long now that it has come to be synonymous with all Cremation Memorials. When Madelyn Pendants started marketing the keepsakes there were no other cremation memorial options available to the families. They had to coin the term because there was not a name for the niche yet. The acceptance to the keepsakes has been steadily growing since they were introduced. If initiation is flattery then Joni and Lisa have been flattered. Today there are a number of companies producing and marketing keepsake jewelry.
Once keepsake jewelry started to catch on there was a recognition that the families could benefit from Cremation Memorials. The urn companies began introducing lines of small urns. The small urns, keepsake urns were designed to hold a portion of the cremated remains. The funeral directors and urn resellers were able to fill the need of the families to provide a way to create multiple memorials to the loved ones. Family members do not all live around the same cemetery or crematorium, in fact they often live in different cities and states. The families still have the natural need to for a memorial. Cremation urns fill this need perfectly. Families often request several keepsake urns for all the family members.
Cremation urns come in as many forms and shapes and made of as many materials as urns have come to be found in. And the variety is increasing.
Cremated remains are combined with the paint used to create a memorial painting. The artists can paint a portrait of the loved one, a landscape or still life that invokes memories of the loved one. Because the art is individually commissioned the size, form and subject can be personalized to the families needs. This is one of the newest Cremation Memorial mediums that have come available to families. It is testament to the even larger variety of memorialization options that families will be presented in the future.
Pottery work that incorporates cremated remains into the clay or into the glaze that become the memorial. As with the Cremation Paintings, the pottery form of memorialization takes on a very personal nature. The individually commissioned pieces are designed to reflect the essence of the loved one as well as contain the cremated remains.