Monthly Archives: April 2020

cremation services in Mercer Island, WA

Common Misconceptions About Mercer Island, WA Cremation Services

Cremation is gaining in popularity among people who are looking for a lower-cost alternative to burial that gives them more freedom to develop their own memorial plans. But when we talk to clients, we often find that they don’t know how cremation services in Mercer Island, WA have evolved. That’s why at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory, we’ve put together this blog post to clear up some of the most common misconceptions.

Misconception #1 – Cremation Is a Small Industry Compared to Burial

It surprises many people to learn that cremation is more popular in the United States than burial, and is the most common option for handling remains. This is for a number of reasons, including the difficulty of finding burial space and the higher costs of burial. Cremation also gives people the chance to schedule memorials at their pace with no rush to bury, and offers more creative options for celebrating the deceased.

Misconception #2 – Cremation Is a No-Frills Option

As more funeral homes are adding their own cremation programs, cremation is evolving far beyond a simple program that cremates remains. While we do offer a basic cremation program that returns the remains to you quickly and lets you take over from there, we also offer a full memorial program paired with cremation. You’ll get full use of our facilities with options for visitation and viewing, along with a memorial service before or after the cremation.

Misconception #3 – Cremation Is Bad for the Environment

While cremators are powerful ovens that burn up to 1800 degrees fahrenheit, a new option is available for those who want a more environmentally friendly option. Aquamation takes a natural alkaline solution and heats it up gently to around three hundred degrees fahrenheit, which speeds up the body’s natural decay process. The body is reduced to mineral ash in eight hours, compared to three hours for standard cremation.

Misconception #4 – An Urn Is the Only Place to Keep Cremation Ashes

The classic cremation urn is still the most common place to keep remains, and new urns are designed to be more stable and durable to prevent those unfortunate spills. But more options are available for families that want a creative option. This includes splitting the ashes between smaller urns or into vials that can be carried on a person, or converting them into creative options like diamonds, fireworks, or ink.

Misconception #5 – Scattering Ashes Is Regulated

This depends on where you want to scatter the ashes, but as cremation ashes are sterile, you should have the right to distribute them at a meaningful location for your loved one. Any private park or lake should be an ideal location, unless it’s under special protection. Check with your local authorities if you have concerns, but spreading ashes in public places is legal. If you have a private location in mind, check with the property owner.

The market for cremation services in Mercer Island, WA is growing every day, and we’re ready to address your wishes and work with you to develop a perfect tribute to your loved one. Contact Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory for more information or to set up a consultation today.

Mercer Island, WA funeral homes

A Joyous Celebration of Life at Mercer Island, WA Funeral Homes

When saying goodbye to a loved one, it’s natural to be filled with sadness. But a memorial at Mercer Island, WA funeral homes can also be a celebration of the life lived by the deceased, and at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory our doors are open to unconventional memorials and tributes. Here are some unique and memorable ways that people pay tribute to a life well-lived at our facilities.

Food for the Soul

There are few things that create more memories than food, and catered dinners at the memorial service or at an associated restaurant are a common tribute. There are multiple ways to arrange the food – common choices include homemade food made from the favorite recipes of the departed, a potluck catered by the friends and family, or a dinner brought in from a beloved restaurant enjoyed in life. Our extensive facilities can host anything ranging from a table of snacks at the reception to a full dinner.

A Meaningful Donation

Was there a cause that your loved one was passionate about in life, whether they worked for it or just supported it? It’s common to ask for donations in lieu of gifts or flowers at a memorial service or through the online portal. While financial donations are the most common method for supporting a cause, it’s also possible to arrange a collective hands-on effort to benefit a charity as part of the memorial.

A Scattering Ceremony.

If you’ve chosen cremation as an alternative to burial, that gives you the opportunity to create a personalized final goodbye. If your loved one had a spot that they loved, like a favorite lake or a beloved park, a public spot makes an ideal place to scatter the ashes. This is possible for private locations as well, if it can be arranged with the property owners. Cremation ashes are sterile and legal to scatter in most locations.

A Musical Farewell

It’s common to have speakers and testimonials at a memorial service, but there are more colorful alternatives to the traditional speakers. If your loved one had a passion for music, it’s easy to arrange a tribute performance either through guests putting on a show or through guest musical artists. Multimedia tributes like videos set to music can also be arranged through our digital services team.

Lasting Tributes

Ideal for those who had a passion for the environment, there are many options for creating all-natural tributes that serve as living memorials. For those who chose cremation, a biodegradable urn can release tree seeds once planted, creating a towering tree that will last decades and create a memorial space for the family to visit. Coral balls are a sea-based alternative that creates a hospitable space for sea life to create an ecosystem on a unique-shaped receptacle for the ashes.

Our experienced staff can help you facilitate these unique options at Mercer Island, WA funeral homes. Contact Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory for more information on our services or to set up a consultation today.

cremation services in Renton, WA

Everything You Need to Know About Aquamation With Renton, WA Cremation Services

Cremation has grown fast as the most popular option for memorializing the deceased, outstripping earth burial. But as concern over the environment grows, many people are wondering if there’s a way to so it without the emissions of a cremator. When you choose cremation services in Renton, WA, consider Aquamation as an all-natural alternative. Here’s everything you need to know about this new cremation treatment.

What Is Aquamation?

Aquamation, or Aqua-cremation, is a cremation alternative that eliminates fire and uses an alkaline solution to break down the body. The treatment simulates the body’s natural decay process, accelerating it and breaking a body down to bone ash in only hours. Because it’s all-natural and doesn’t involve a furnace, there are no greenhouse emissions and the treatment is environmentally friendly.

How Long Does Aquamation Take?

Aquamation uses a heated alkaline solution, and it can take place at either 200 or 300 degrees fahrenheit. The hotter treatment will be complete in under eight hours, while the 200-degree one takes eighteen to twenty hours and is an overnight process. This can be compared to a flame cremation taking up to three hours.

Can Aquamation Be Combined With a Memorial?

Yes, all the amenities that are available with our cremation process are available with Aquamation. We offer a direct cremation service that will return the ashes to you quickly, but we also offer a mix of affordable packages and a la carte services. If you want visitation, a viewing, or a full memorial, it can be arranged before or after the aqua-cremation process. We can even embalm the body, because all fluids are broken down by the solution.

What Are the Ashes Like?

The bone ash that is left after Aquamation is similar to the substance left after traditional cremation, although you’ll receive up to thirty percent more because less is broken down by high heat. While the process is gentler to the remains than traditional cremation, the ashes are still safe and sterile, with all organic material removed to leave only the mineral core of the bones. That makes them ideal for scattering if desired.

What If My Loved One Has Metal Implants?

This is a common concern we hear if someone has a pacemaker installed, or metal knee or hip replacements. Aquamation is a gentle process, and as such the implants do not need to be removed before the process. Instead, the alkaline solution won’t affect the natural metals and will instead wash them clean. After the process is complete, they can be removed and recycled, or returned to the family.

What Are the Environmental Benefits?

Cremation burns at an extremely high heat, emitting carbon from the furnace and releasing mercury from the burning of the bones. Because Aquamation uses a gentler heat and a natural chemical reaction, it has no major environmental impact. The slower pace and alkaline solution breaks down the body without powerful energies.

Is Aquamation right for you as an option for Renton, WA cremation services? Contact Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory to learn more or set up a consultation today.

Renton, WA funeral homes

A Greener Way of Working With Renton, WA Funeral Homes

The environment is on everyone’s mind, as we all strive to minimize our impact on the environment and find a more conscious way of everyday life. That extends to working with Renton, WA funeral homes, as more of our clients ask for green-conscious memorials and funerals for their loved ones. At Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory, we strive to meet our clients’ needs, so here’s how we’re incorporating environmentally-friendly traditions into our offerings.

New Takes on the Funeral Procession

The traditional funeral procession is a dramatic statement about how many people knew and cared about the deceased – often involving a mile of cars a mile long. But while this is an impressive opening to the funeral, it also means a lot of car fumes. That’s why people are looking into alternative vehicles for the funeral procession, ranging from electric cars with low emissions to horse-drawn carriages for an old-fashioned twist. You get all the dramatic flair of the traditional procession while making a statement for the earth.

Green Takes on Cremation

If you and your family opts for cremation over burial, it doesn’t need to include the powerful cremator oven if you want to avoid the emissions. The new process known as Aquamation uses an alkaline-based solution to accelerate the natural process of decay and reduce the remains to bone ash in under a day.

Post-cremation, environmentally-friendly methods for memorialization include biodegradable urns that will release seeds when planted and transform the remains into an impressive tree.

Fundraising for a Good Cause

Many clients choose to use their online memorial page to raise money, either for funeral costs or a charity near and dear to the deceased. Many environmental charities are seeing fundraising partnerships, and a link on your page can raise money for the environment or endangered animals, among other causes. If you’re not seeking gifts or flowers from mourners, asking them to donate in the name of the deceased is an appealing alternative.

Natural Arrangements

While the flower arrangement is a classic part of any funeral or memorial service, an eco-friendly alternative gives all the benefits with the added plus of a living tribute. Alternative arrangements like flowering shrubs can be placed at the grave or memorial still alive in their pots, adding beauty and grace to the ceremony. They can then be planted either at the graveside or another location.

Natural Burials

If you choose a traditional earth burial for your loved one, you can minimize the impact on the environment by choosing coffins made from recycled wood. These coffins are designed from pre-used wood but then varnished or painted to make them indistinguishable from traditional coffins. If your loved one was a tree-lover, they would appreciate the fact that their final resting place made good second use of one.

Do these options appeal to you for a green funeral service and memorial at Renton, WA funeral homes? If so, contact Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory for more information or to set up a consultation today.