Cremation and Closure: Combining Cremation With a Memorial

Father and son walking out on a dock at sunset

When someone you love dies, it can be difficult to know what to do to honor and remember them.You are tasked not only with finding a way to grieve but also with making sure that other people have a chance to say goodbye. You often need to work within a budget, but you also want to make sure that you are respectful. Cremation is generally less expensive than a traditional burial, but many worry that it will not provide the same kind of closure. If you are among those with this type of concern– worry not. Cremation can give friends and loved ones a tremendous sense of closure.

Cremation and Comfort

One of the things that may seem appealing about choosing a traditional funeral is that it can be very comforting. This is, in large part, because it gives friends and family members a chance to gather together to remember the lives of loved ones lost. Sharing grief often makes it a little easier to bear, and funerals make this possible. Therefore, you may be worried that if you choose cremation over a traditional burial, you and your loved ones will miss out on a unifying moment. You may also be worried that choosing cremation will deprive you or others you know of having a proper chance to say goodbye. This can make grief a lot more difficult for many people to cope with. But choosing cremation does not bar you from gathering with others. Pairing cremation with a memorial service can be a good way to ensure that those who love the person who has passed away have a chance to meet, grieve together, and find comfort together while saying their last farewells.

Cremation memorial services also allow friends and family members a chance to speak about their memories of the person who has passed. You can include musical selections that have meaning to the person you are honoring in the service, display photographs that highlight special memories and give people the chance to do special readings in honor of the deceased — just as they might during a traditional funeral service.

Cremation and Spirituality

You can also meet spiritual needs by combining cremation with a memorial service. If the deceased was a loyal member of a certain church or spiritual group, you can invite his or her spiritual leader to speak at the service and to provide comfort during the time of loss. Just as prayer is often said during a traditional burial, a spiritual leader can pray for the deceased and those he or she loves in order to provide closure and comfort to those who most need it.

You can also help others find closure by inviting them to read poems or deliver eulogies. Inviting different people to speak can help individuals share the burden of grief and can make it easier for them to feel as if they have had an adequate chance to honor those they care for. Inviting friends with musical talents to memorialize their loved one through music can help them cope with their emotions and provide others with comfort.

Advantages Over Traditional Burial

Cremation offers many advantages over traditional burial. If someone who cares for the person who has passed is unable to travel, he or she may miss out on the chance to say goodbye. Cremation allows friends and family members to wait for a longer period of time than they could for a burial so that those who are far away can be present during a memorial service. It also allows for more flexibility when it comes to geography, because you can hold services almost anywhere.

Furthermore, while traditional burial generally requires you to invest in a plot, cremation allows you other options. You have more options for a final resting spot for your loved one — from a natural memorial, such as a living tree or a hollowed-out tree stump, to an urn, a niche in a Columbarium or spot on a memorial walk. You can choose a private place or allow members of the public to visit, leave flowers or pay respects to the person who has passed. You can also ensure that your loved one is remembered by investing in a memorial bench, pillar or plaque. In cases where friends and family members have a hard time traveling, loved ones can invest in memorial jewelry, which can help ensure that even those who are far away can keep the memories of those who have passed close to their hearts at any time. Because memorial jewelry is very portable, you can also bring it along to multiple memorial services so that different relatives or loved ones in different states all have a chance to say goodbye.

Cremation memorials can also be designed around a theme. If the person who has passed is a great friend to animals, choosing memorial jewelry in the shape of a butterfly and a memorial service with the theme of life’s transitions might be a good way to honor him or her. If your friend was a beloved father, you can celebrate his compassion and love though a father-themed memorial service and pair it with a plaque, praising him for his leadership and love.

If you are considering cremation, contact us today to learn more.


The Neptune Society is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan cremation services in advance, we are always available to assist you and your family.

Call 1-800-NEPTUNE (800-637-8863) today or contact us online to learn more.