Death Care. That's how the funeral trade describes the funeral service profession. What does it mean to you? An emotional experience.

For each individual it's a personal choice. And so many decisions. If you are involved in the liquidating of an estate, it’s a full time job for a while.

Start at the beginning. Yes, you are affected but really it's about honoring the wishes of the deceased. Consider personality, hobbies, favorite colors, music. Do you plan a burial or cremation? If you are considering cremation consider the following:

Sometimes family members are uncomfortable with the decision to cremate. If the departed has specified cremation, families can still arrange a viewing with a visitation, funeral memorial service or celebration. Whatever you call it, wherever you want to do it. See our information on memorial ideas.

Some families are turning back the clock and whenever possible opting to keep the loved one home for a short time to say goodbye. Opening the home and letting friends and family say their final goodbyes. It's a natural loving choice and can be arranged with your local death care provider.

After the goodbyes are said, we need to think about final disposition. If you do not make an urn selection at the funeral home, the ashes will be returned bagged within a plastic or cardboard container. You will need an urn with a 200 cubic inch capacity for an average size adult.

Where will you place the urn?
If you still are not sure at this point or the location requires travel at a later date, many families choose to keep the ashes in the home until a final decision is made. Sometimes, a married couple may request combining the ashes and a double capacity urn or companion urn can be used. Again, the final resting place may determine your choice.

Will the ashes be divided among family members?
For small portions, 6" urns that have a 60-80 pound capacity are available, as well as keepsake urns and discreet memorial urn jewelry options are designed to hold a small amount of ashes, lock of hair or sacred burial ground are available.

Planning an Urn Burial?
Some cemeteries may require a vault for the urn. What about a tree dedication memorial?

Cemetery niche or columbarium?
Did your loved one attend a church that offers this service? Ask your funeral service provider for assistance in locating a cemetery that offers an urn niche. You'll need the exact interior measurements of the niche when selecting an urn.

Spreading or Scattering Ashes. Earth, Air, Water?
Urn styles are available for every occasion and personality. Some styles are slightly over-sized for placement of notes, mementoes, etc.

The point is, families have a lot of freedom and creative ways to memorialize our loved ones. Meditate on the spirit and personality of the deceased, and incorporate these personality traits into your own personalized service.