As in life, so in death, It’s not about YOU!
In today’s world culture it seems we have lost this principle, and respect for life. More importantly we have lost the fear of God and His love. We have become more self-centered, easily offended, angred, self absorbed, and busy. We can see this in many ways today, especially through abortion, euthanasia and the way we treat our elderly and our young. We can also see this in the way society treats those who have died; it is in the lack of respect for the body that was the made in the very image of God, and that will be raised by HIM, in the last days.
You say “What does this have to do with cemeteries and funeral arrangements?” EVERYTHING! You see, the funeral rituals offer comfort, support, healing, and much more to the LIVING, not you, the deceased. I frequently hear it said “I don’t want people to see me lying there” or ” I don’t care what they do with me”. Let me say this again. Its not about you as a deceased person. It is about the life you lived and the lives you have touched. Its about the Living, your family, friends, neighbors, friends of friends, and other people you may or may not even remember or know.
We need to be reminded of how important it is to allow people to participate in the visitation, service, funeral, and burial. I have often heard many people say that they do not want people to remember them in that way. Let me assure you, being 30 years in the death care industry, they will not! What it does is to help them to remember your life, celebrate, and bring about finality and healing.
In the same way, the cemetery is a memorial to your life, not your death. It is a place of remembrance, a place to bring about memories and healing, and a place for future generations to know something about your life and your heritage. Cemeteries are keepers of History. If we would follow some of the ways people think today, we would not have the Lincoln memorial, veterans Memorials, Arlington Cemetery, or any of the great memorials and cemeteries. What does it matter? It does matter to the living. you may not be a President or major historical figure, but your life is important to your family, friends, and future generations. Just a few months ago a young girl came to the cemetery to find her grandmother. She then recalled that she had been cremated and possibly scattered. Needless to say, she left disappointed. No record, no grave, no memorial. Lets remember it’s about them!!
This does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money for a traditional burial. Pre-planning is one way to avoid emotional overspending. Be informed, ask questions, be frugal, and stay within your means.
If you have chosen cremation, the cremated remains should be treated with respect since they are the remains of the human body. This treatment includes allowing visitation, the use of a worthy vessel to contain the remains, the manner in which they are carried, the care and attention to their appropriate placement and transport, and their final placement.
Cremated remains should be buried or entombed to provide a recognized place for memorializing of the deceased. The practice of scattering cremated remains or keeping cremated remains in the home or car or with relatives and friends are not keeping with the reverent, respectable disposition, nor does it allow for proper healing of emotions, grief, and finality.
This life that God has so graciously given us is precious and wonderful. We celebrate one’s birth, so we need to celebrate one’s death. Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 says, “Better to spend your time at a funeral than a party.” After all, everyone dies, so the living should take heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.