Is Wood A Good Choice for A Cremation Urn?

cardinal urn

 

Regardless of your home décor or personal tastes, one thing for sure, wood urns will add a warms and style to your home. There are so many more wooden urns for ashes now than even several years ago. First, it would be helpful to have an idea of what you want from a wooden urn. There are three basic questions to consider when shopping for a wooden urn.

  • What kind of wood do you think you want the urn to be made from? Do you want a darker wood or lighter wood?
  • What shape or style would you like? Do you prefer a traditional wood cremation box or are you looking for something unique..
  • Who is the urn for? An adult, child, pet or for two people.

Where will the urn go?

This is an important question to ask yourself. Where the urn will be placed will help you answer many of the other questions as to what type of wood and what type and how much decoration or ornamentation you want on it.

  • Burial urns can be placed in a cemetery graveside plot or placed anywhere outdoors where it is buried.
  • If keeping cremated ashes at home is your preference, memorial urns can be tastefully displayed with consideration given to style.
  • An urn for two people is when two people wish to have their ashes co-mingled wither in one chamber or divided into two chambers.
  • Niche Urns are made to specific dimensions to fit a cremation columbarium niche.
  • Biodegradable wood urns are usually made from Bamboo or catalpa wood that biodegrades quickly.
  • Mini keepsake urns, hold a very small portion of ashes and are made in many shapes and designs. Hearts, boxes, stars and many more options.

Types of wood:

Almost all wood urns are made from hardwoods. There are a variety types that urns are made from. Below we listed the woods that are used most often. They all have their own distinct beauty and the type of wood you choose is very important when it comes to décor or personal taste. Some are more expensive than others. Some urns are made from a combination of woods that are absolutely beautiful.

  • Cherry
  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Rosewood
  • Walnut
  • Mahogany
  • Bamboo
  • Cedar

wooden urns

Style:

Not all wooden urns are shaped like boxes. The wood can be turned on a lathe to make them vase shaped or cylindrical. You can also find modern style urns that have odd shapes and add the look of a work of art to your home.

  • Religious themes such as crosses and praying hands are popular to name just a few. Most are made from hardwoods and have either appliques, inlays or are laser engraved.
  • Military wood urns are very popular having a distinguished look to them featuring Military branch emblems. The triangle flag holder urns serve two purposes; one to display the flag and the other to hold your loved one’s ashes.
  • Clock urns are just as described, they are urns that feature a clock in them to be displayed on a mantle or desk. They can be found in all hardwoods. Oak, cherry, walnut mahogany.
  • Cremation Boxes are rectangle or square wood urns that either are without any embellishment or can have images on the front or carvings on the top or front. Just because you choose a simple cremation box does not mean that it will be dull. There is a company, Red Tree Creations that embellishes cremation boxes with vivid beautiful images from traditional to very unique and special interest or hobbies.

Some of these urns can be engraved right onto the wood and others usually offer a metal engraving plate that may be attached onto the urn.

Prices range from approximately $50.00 – $500.00. If you purchase urns made in America, they are almost entirely made from wood indigenous to America. They are hand crafted in the USA and usually made to order.

You may also purchase woods imported mostly from India where they mostly use Rosewood, a reddish brown wood that is a little softer than North American hardwoods and many urns are carved with floral or scroll designs. They are much less expensive than American made, but some say the quality of craftsmanship is not on the par of American Made, but if budget is important to you, these urns are most definitely the way to go.

Whatever you decide, with wood there is no wrong choice because of its natural beautiful and durability.

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Decorating Cremation Urns Yourself

decorate urn yourself

Choosing a cremation urn is a very personal experience, and it can be stressful when selecting one while dealing with grief. Some people order them in advance, which are also referred to as a pre-need. Others may merely discuss what they might like, while many people still leave this task to their loved ones. It has long been possible to purchase urns with photographs or symbols on them which are meaningful or unique, and may remind us of our loved one. They can provide comfort or prompt fond memories of those who have passed away, especially when it is needed the most.

When someone is cremated, most times there is no headstone for memorializing the deceased. This can leave the loved ones of someone cremated with a sense of things unexpressed or a part of the ritual unfinished. Creating a personalized cremation yourself can replace those feelings with a joy of expressing your love in a happy way that helps with closure.

In order to maximize these positive associations and effects, you can further honor your loved one on an even deeper or more personal level by adding your own embellishments to those already on a cremation urn. If you choose to add anything to an urn, there are a few things to keep in mind before embarking on this process.

A few things you must understand is what art techniques you can use for the urn you choose; what the urn is made of and where the it will be placed once it is completed. You may have the most flexibility for decorating options when you purchase a metal or wooden urn that will be placed in a home or a mausoleum that houses them above ground. In these cases, you can virtually use any materials for the home and the type of urn that the Cemetery will approve.

Cremation Decorating Kits are also sold. If you would like to purchase one

When decorating a metal urn, it is suggested that you choose a plain unfinished metal urns. Aluminum is a good choice for the metal because it is inexpensive and is a blank canvas for you to create you personalized design. You may use paints to paint a design or flowers directly onto the urn. Once you’ve finished decorating, spray a clear coat of polyurethane on it to protect your artwork and add a nice shine to the urn.

You can also use decals of sports teams or a favorite car, for example. If you are using decals, you can choose any metal urn even urns that you purchase already painted. There is no need to clear coat the urn if you use decals.

If you are choosing a wooden urn to decorate, there are many options for decorating techniques. You may décopage, use decals and painting the urn is always nice. One interesting technique people use for decorating wooden urns is wood burning directly into the urn. You can add a message, names and dates, hand drawn scrolls and other designs.

If the urn is going to be placed in the ground or used for a burial at sea, the urn should be biodegradable. All items should be non-toxic and must be made from materials that will safely degrade, not impacting the environment.

       Checklist to prepare for the project:

  • Check to see if an urn has been purchased as part of a pre-need package
  • Determine what the urn is made of
  • Consider where the urn will be placed
  • Use non-toxic materials that are not harmful to others or the environment
  • Choose among paints, appliques, photos, flowers, and other decorations
  • Decorate using items that reflect the things that are meaningful to you or your loved one
  • Allow this to provide comfort and fond memories that honor your loved one

Decorating the urn can be a family affair, from the oldest in the family to the youngest of children. Everyone can add something to the urn to honor your loved one. It doesn’t have to look like it was created by a professional artist. This is a project of love. You are only limited by your own creativity and imagination to create something truly special and unique to pay a final respects to your loved one.

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Difference between a Will, A Living Will and Durable POA

lovelight urns

There is often great difficulty when discussing what you medical intervention you want if you become unable to make your own decisions, as well as what your wishes are for your remains after your death. If you have not filled out and filed these important documents, it can put additional stress on your loved ones, especially if you leave them guessing. Even if you have discussed your wishes with loved ones or trusted individuals, it is best practice to put things in writing. If you become unable to make medical decisions or after you die, even informed loved ones may not correctly recollect what you have discussed when under duress.

No matter how simple or complex your wishes are, most people still tend to be reluctant to discuss final wishes with those entrusted to follow through with them. The process of completing a durable power of attorney and living will document are very simple. Most doctor’s offices and hospitals have these documents on hand, where they can be kept on file, as well as copies left with your loved ones or your attorney, if you have a will kept with one. Often times, doctors or hospitals have social workers who can assist you and your loved ones with this process. There are a few key ways in which a durable power of attorney differ from living wills, but ultimately, bother are equally important.

A durable power of attorney document is one in which you designate one or more people to act on your behalf if you should become incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions. This document is also referred to as an advanced care directive, health care proxy, or a medical or health care power of attorney. It is important that you make sure that your instructions are clear and concise, including whether or not you want to be placed on life support, for how long, and under what circumstances.

A living will is a document to provide in writing, what you specifically want done in regards to your own healthcare.  Some examples would be when and if you want to receive antibiotics, or an other life saving measures, at what point you want life saving measures to cease, and if you would like to add a do not resuscitate order. These are the some of the key elements included in a durable power of attorney document, which vary from those in a living will.

lovelight urns blogA will is how you want your last wishes carried out after your death. Unless it is deemed necessary to carry out an autopsy, you might want to decide on whether the added expense is warranted. Aside from the obvious distribution of assets and debts, you may go into as much detail about what you wish for your wake, funeral, if you want a traditional burial or cremation, and a repast luncheon or dinner, or a party to celebrate your life. This document can be additionally supported with the newer five wishes document. Aside from arrangements, you can either pre-order or describe what you want on a headstone, what type of cremation urn you might like and what symbol or image you want on it, and even things you want to say to people after you die. These documents can be added to an existing will, particularly if you have an estate or valuables you wish to go to certain individuals, or favorite charities. You can also express your wishes for people to make donations to and your loved ones with a little peace of mind.

Having all of these documents in place prior to severe illness and following your death will greatly be appreciated by your loved ones. To go over these fine points, remember:

  • A durable power of attorney gives others the right to make medical decisions on your behalf
  • Also known as and advanced care directive, health care proxy, medical or health care power of attorney
  • A living will allows you to be in control of your healthcare decisions even if you are incapacitated.
  • Living wills can be augmented with a five wishes document for special instructions and last words
  • All of these documents can be as simple or elaborate as you want
  • The Durable POA and Living Will may be added to an existing will, if you have one
  • Forms for Durable POA and Living Wills can be obtained at a doctor’s office or hospital

A frequent question is: Can a Durable Power of  Attorney supercede and Living Will? The answer is no. The living will will have specific directions for what you want and therefore will override the duties and decisions of the Durable Power of Attorney in the instances mentioned in the Living Will. You may have both, but what is in the living will, will always be what is carried out.

Dealing with a loved one who is incapacitated, or following a loss is always difficult in some way. Completing a durable or medical power of attorney, as well as a living will and five wishes document is a way to alleviate some of the stress of guessing what your wishes are by putting them in writing. No one should just leave everything up to doctors as to what you want done medically, should you be unable to make those decisions for yourself.

Loved ones may have difficulty remembering what you want to happen after you die, or simply guess if you have not made your wishes known. If you do not have these documents filed, it is advisable to do so as soon as possible because life can be unpredictable, so protect your rights and wishes, and be sure that you file them with the appropriate people and entities.

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Using Colors to Help Cope with Illness, Death and other Life Events

Color Therapy and Grieving

 

When dealing with difficult life events there are many things people do to cope with the circumstances they are facing. Often, we turn to those we trust, religious and spiritual people appeal to God and others use a number of alternatives. A variety of things can be useful as a means of coping, which may be used separately or in combination with support and prayers, depending upon personal preferences and beliefs.

It has long been believed and proven that focusing on particular colors can help you achieve whatever you need at any particular time in your life. Color therapy may affect and aid you when dealing with difficult issues, such as severe or terminal illness, or the death of a loved one. Scientific studies have shown that colors are beneficial in changing the way that we feel and think, how we act or behave, express ourselves and as a coping mechanism. This reaction occurs when our intent and focus on colors convey messages to the brain for the desired effect.

White is often thought to be the most versatile color, often used when we light candles for a loved one who is experiencing a severe illness or disease or succumbs to it, despite medical intervention. For example, you may place a white candle in a special place, such as next to a cremation urn. A white cremation urn adorned with a symbol or photo can help with loss while honoring your loved one. Though white is generally thought to be the most versatile for any purpose, consider other colors to provide different benefits, especially to overcome grief and loss.

  • Orange may ease depression and can change a sense of doom and gloom to one of inner peace and joy.

  • Yellow can lift your mood and put you in a more positive frame of mind.

  • Green can help you relax, and may bring about healing, whether it is for someone experiencing severe illness, to mend a broken heart, or following a death, leaving you with a sense of hope.

  • Blue can evoke a feeling of peacefulness and is helpful in communicating with the living or spirits, the latter which is something people used to commonly do at a grave site.

  • Purple is believed to be a spiritual color. It can aid in overcoming fear, to ask for help from higher powers, and can provide a greater sense of awareness of things seen and unseen.

  • Pink is often associated with pure love for someone, regardless of the type of relationship.

    This gives you a few of the basics of what various colors symbolize, as well as what you might be able to use them to promote health and well-being, you can add these next techniques to you baseline of knowledge in a number of ways. Keeping a journal of your progress after focusing on a particular color can give you greater insight regarding colors that produce positive or unexpected effects. If results are desirable, you should highlight it so that you can recall it at a later date. If the result provokes a different result that what you needed or wanted, you can try to determine why this has occurred, and see if you can turn it into a beneficial one.

If you are choosing candles in colors for a specific purpose, you can search online for symbols to carve on them, along with the name of your loved one, together with birth and death dates. Purchasing a cremation urn in a specific or favorite color a loved one, and adding a symbol or photograph will honor that individual inspire happier remembrances. For example, a blue urn might along with a symbol or photo put directly on it be a good choice for someone who loved being on the water or may have had owned a house near a lake or the ocean. The sky is the limit, with regards to the myriad of ways in which colors can have a positive impact on us, the specific ways in which you can use them to increase our well being and to honor and memorialize our loved ones.

 

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Cremation Jewelry for Men

A recent search of the most popular jewelry for men yielded some surprising and interesting trends. Items ranged from classic watches, rings, and cuff links to one-of-a-kind works of art and pendant urns. According to Jacob B. Morris, in an article written for bellatroy.com, 32 companies are at the top of the men’s jewelry and accessory trending list, while others not latex are up and coming.  The types of items offered in today’s market are as varied as the cost, whether they provide a function, make a statement, or provide comfort.  This article is a short review of what men have available, from functional classics to the completely unique.
It’s no surprise that men can still purchase classic watches, rings, and cuff links, especially if they want to wear them in professional settings, or for their functionality. However, today’s modern man has much more at his disposal, with jewelry and accessories that have a theme related to his interests, to reflect something about his personality or individuality, or even to make a statement. There is an intriguing exponential interest in unique pieces created by artisans in the United States, as well as abroad. Men can find items related to almost any interest, inspired by rock and roll, nautical themes, things found in nature, or reflective of mythology, and mysticism, among others. Mens Jewelry items now range from the classical pieces already mentioned, to bracelets, pendants, and rings. Many of these are made using natural materials or precious metals and stones, with something out there for any taste.

The cost of these items seems to vary as much as the items themselves, but even a man with a very limited budget can find quite a number of items at the ready.  Women no longer have to struggle so much to find a gift for a man of any age, with the boundless choices available in today’s market.  Men can find unique items as low as $10, up to pieces costing well over $1,000, depending on the company, the popularity of the artisan, or the materials used. An even newer trend not included in Morris’ article is men’s cremation jewelry. According to the owners of lovelighturns.com, they have seen an increase in men, inquiring about or purchasing mens cremation jewelry than in previous years. Due to this influx, they are continually adding more items, such as urn pendants for men to their current inventory in order to accommodate this new interest.

Regardless of whether men are purchasing jewelry for themselves, or if people are searching for unique gifts, men’s jewelry is more diverse than ever before. Long gone, are the days when men had limited choices, or items such as watches and cuff links that were used as much for their functionality as their style. Today, men can wear pieces hat are reflective of their interests, aspects of their personality, pieces that have themes, or to keep a part of heir loved ones close.
From the class is to the obscure, finding something interesting, intriguing, or that makes a statement is easier than ever. There are thousands of companies devoted to providing quality men’s jewelry sold in the United States, as well as abroad. Let your personality shine, keep a small part of your loved ones close to your heart, and be bold! Your choices are endless!

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Gold vs. Gold Vermeil Jewelry

sunflower cremation jewelryFor many people, the difference between gold jewelry and gold substitutes makes life extremely challenging for them when picking up various pieces of jewelry.

Many people will rather go for 10, 14, 18 or even 24kt solid gold. However, the price of gold is very high these days, so If you don’t want to or cannot afford the real karat gold, then you should consider either vermeil or gold filled options instead. They are beautiful and give you the option not to have to purchase silver.

Any jewelry can be made from gold, gold vermeil or gold filled. Rings, bracelets, pendants and even memorial cremation necklaces.

You will want to make sure you are educated about the differences between the different gold jewelry on the market.when making a purchase. whether to buy Gold Filled or Gold Vermeil; both options out there are nice.

Gold Vermeil
Gold Vermeil is a gold-plated form of silver which is typically anything from 97-100% silver. Typically, the gold used here tends to be 18k-24k so you can know what you are dealing with. It typically has more gold on it than many gold “plated” pieces so they can be a great choice for those who want something with plenty of gold on there.
Typically, a Vermeil design will be regulated to ensure it has a minimum of 2.5 microns of vermeil layering on the jewellery. Typically, this can last for up to 40 years and keep that shine and style to it without going to over the top,. However, it can score with relative ease – even though it can be cleaned just as easily – and this keeps it looking smart and attractive for as long as it can.
The best thing about using Vermeil is that it tends to keep that class and quality about it in the years to come, making it a perfectly passable product to hand down to your loved ones as a gift.

Gold Filled
Filling is quite different to your normal form of Vermeil as described above, even if there is no actual gold filling. This is actually a tiny layer of gold which is then bonded to a metal of some form – brass most commonly – to add that layer to it. Typically, it’s known as “rolled” gold. This thin layer of gold is added on with high heat and pressure to ensure that they fuse together. Depending on the karat of the gold, the weighting of the gold will have to change – for anything over 12k, for example, the gold has to be less than 1/20 of the weight of the item.

This means that roughly the product is just 5% gold, meaning that it has far less “value” than the Vermeil editions above. They also have a very strong lifespan, though, and can typically last for several decades before they run out of quality and start to show through.
Whatever your choice is, though, you will now know that gold filled, gold vermeil and true full on karat gold all have similar properties in terms of how long they will last etc.
So, what will you go with?

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