Author Archives: Michael Bernardo

cremation services in Bellevue, WA

Reasons To Have A Memorial After Cremation Services

After you have cremation services in Bellevue, WA for a loved one, their needs are taken care of. You don’t have to do anything more, if you don’t want to. However, it is often nice to have some kind of memorial for the person who passed away. You might want closure over their death or a chance to say goodbye. Even if you already have that, it is often nice to gather with family and friends to honor the person who passed on. Here are a few reasons why you might want to plan that memorial service at some point.

Reason 1: It Just Feels Right

If you are having a traditional burial, you almost always have a funeral service to go along with it. Just because you choose cremation for your loved one, or they asked for it themselves previously, doesn’t mean you can’t have a service for them as well. It feels like the right thing to do to give your loved one a proper sendoff of some kind, whether that’s a memorial service that feels like a funeral or more a celebration of life.

Reason 2: It Ties Up Loose Ends

You don’t necessarily have control over how you feel and, even more so, how your family feels about your loved one’s death. Having a memorial can help you get the closure you need and give you and others a chance to say a final goodbye. While it’s not going to make moving on easy, it will feel like you have that loose end tied up so at least you are capable of making strides in that direction.

Reason 3: Your Loved One Deserves It

Your loved one was a special individual and they deserve all the honor and respect you can give them. While that doesn’t have to happen through a service, it certain can. You can create tribute videos, share pictures, talk over memories, and just remember their life for all it was worth—which is a lot.

Reason 4: To Gather With Family

Some families don’t have the opportunity to get together very often, but weddings and funerals are generally good excuses to gather everyone in one location. You are able to meet with your family, mourn together, support one another, and simply catch up when you plan a memorial service.

cremation services in Bellevue, WA

One of the benefits of choosing cremation services in Bellevue, WA for a loved one is that it takes the timeline away from any other service you might want to have. You can certainly have a service soon after the cremation takes place, if you want. But you can also wait and take your time with the planning to get things right, give family time to travel, or for any other reason. The professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory are here to help you make those plans, either right away or sometime in the future. We want you to honor your loved one in the way you see fit.

funeral homes in Bellevue, WA

Talking To Family About Pre-Planning

You may already feel like it’s important to look into your future and make plans for your final services with funeral homes in Bellevue, WA. But knowing that and being able to talk to your family about it are two different things. It’s not always easy to take on hard topics with family members and when you are talking about your own death, there’s nothing easy about that.

Even if it’s a hard topic, if you are planning on making your arrangements in advance, you really should discuss it with your family. You might want to talk to them before you set up the plans, so you are able to get their input. Or, if you know what you want on every level, you can tell them what you’d like to have happen.

Even if you don’t know all of the details yet, it’s good to tell your family what you do know that you want first. Let them know that you want to be cremated or that you want a traditional burial. If you have ideas for a service, let them in on that as well. IF you have a budget in mind, that’s good to tell them, too. If you are paying ahead, though, that part doesn’t really matter too much for them. It’s good for them to hear what you want directly from you rather than finding out from the funeral home after you pass on and the plans need to take action. That will help them to believe that is really what you want.

You will also want to listen to your family. Your final services are all about you, but they also need to consider what your family might need to have the closure they need and the chance to say a final goodbye. They might have a concern or input as to things they might want to see happen.

Prepare yourself for possible emotions. When you talk about a time when you are no longer with your family, it might bring up emotions in you, them, or even both sides. It takes time to get used to that idea and your family might be emotional when faced with that thought.

You will want to stay as strong as you can in what you want and don’t let your family dissuade you. Once you come up with the plans you want and possibly get their input, you can visit with the professionals and get things set up in writing.

funeral homes in Bellevue, WA

Whether you have already spoken with your family, or you just want to get information so you can be more prepared for that conversation, funeral homes in Bellevue, WA are here to help. Give Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory a call to ask questions or to set up a time you can come in and get some options laid out for you so you can look them over and start seriously thinking about what you want for your future plans, including your family needs.

cremation services in Tukwila, WA

What Cremation Items To Consider For Cremation Services

When you buy a package for cremation services in Tukwila, WA, either for a loved one who has passed on or for yourself in advance, there are lots of options on the table that can go along with the package. Keep in mind that the package is all you need. It comes with every service and even every product that you have to have for a cremation service. The deceased’s needs will be met, and they will be well cared for. However, some people like to add certain things to the package, and these are some of the items that most funeral homes will have on hand to show you in case you want some of those items.


This is the most popular item that people pair with a cremation service. While the funeral home will provide a simple container for the person’s ashes after cremation occurs, many people like to have something different—something more personal and special. The funeral home will have a variety of urns available and they can also tell you what size you need for the person in question. You don’t have to buy an urn from the funeral home, and they can direct you to good vendors who might have what you are looking for. But you can get good examples from the funeral home and you might even find what you want there.

Cremation Jewelry

It’s become very popular for people to have a small piece of their loved one with them well into the future. That can be done through cremation jewelry. These pieces come as necklaces, bracelets, rings, and other such items. The jewelry acts as a tiny urn and can hold a bit of cremated remains. They are often hearts, pendants, crosses, or other such shapes. It’s a nice way for someone to be held close by many different family members, if they so choose. The funeral home can show various options of these pieces as well and advise you as to where else you can get them.


If you decide to scatter your loved one’s ashes, you won’t have a cemetery headstone and grave to go visit in the future. You might want something special that will remind you of your loved one that you can sit in a certain location. That might mean a stone bench that you can engrave with their name, a rock with a phrase and their name on it, or other such items. Funeral homes often have memorial ideas and products available for you to peruse.

cremation services in Tukwila, WA

If you are working on cremation services in Tukwila, WA, either for a loved one or yourself in advance, getting the package you want is a good place to start. Once that is in place, you have everything you need. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop there if there are other things you want. You can also get certain products that go along with cremation and the professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory are here to help.

funeral homes in Tukwila, WA

Options To Traditional Funeral Home Services

When someone passes on in a family, many people opt to have a traditional service at funeral homes in Tukwila, WA and that’s a wonderful option. However, some people want something different based on their loved one’s personality, the family needs, or other reasons. There are plenty of options you can have instead of a traditional funeral service. Here are a few to consider:

A Simple Burial Service

If you know your loved one wouldn’t want a big fuss made over them, but you want to honor their memory in some way or another, you could skip the funeral and just have a simple burial service at their grave. You can gather close family and friends, say a few words about your loved one, put some flowers on their casket, and say goodbye. This is a nice way to give everyone closure, but not make a big deal out of the services.

Have A Memorial Service

While it’s standard practice that when you bury a loved one, you have a funeral first, but that doesn’t have to be the way you do things. Instead, you can have a small burial service and then later, have a memorial for them when you have more time to plan something special. It’s nice to know that your loved one has been taken care of and after that, you can plan something that will honor their memory.

Go With Cremation

When you have cremation services for your loved one in a direct manner, there aren’t any services beforehand. There are no options for a traditional funeral with direct cremation, though you could have one with a full cremation. Instead, you can have whatever kind of service you want for them later. That might mean a small memorial service or something open to the public. It could even be something like a celebration of life, which can be a nice way to remember a life well-lived rather than gathering in sadness over a death.

If you want to honor your loved one, but you aren’t sure how, consider all of the options. These are just a few. You might not feel right about traditional funeral home services and that’s okay. They are wonderful options for certain people, but they aren’t right for everyone. The professionals want to offer you choices so that they can find things that work well for every family.

funeral homes in Tukwila, WA

When you are ready to start planning, or you want some options to help you with direction, contact funeral homes in Tukwila, WA and get information on the services that interest you. The professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory want you to be able to honor your loved one in whatever way you see fit, whatever that might end up being. We can go over the various options with you and even brainstorm some ideas that are new so you can find something that truly suits your loved one and your family in all the right ways. We’re here for you the whole way through.

funeral homes in Bellevue, WA

Helping The Bereaved After A Celebration Of Life

Celebration of life events at funeral homes in Bellevue, WA can be joyous occasions that help loved ones to gather, talk about their loved one, remember the good times, and honor a life well-lived. Just because the people at that event smiled and laughed doesn’t mean they aren’t dealing with grief and mourning outside of that service. If you are trying to support a person who is going through bereavement, there are lots of things you can do after the celebration of life service is behind you. Here are a few ideas.

Make Sure They Eat Well

It can be hard for a person who is grieving to think about themselves long enough to eat well. They might just grab something unhealthy because it’s convenient and close by without really thinking about what it does to their body. They might also not feel hungry, so they don’t eat at all. As a friend, you can drop off healthy meals, give them gift cards to local restaurants you know they like, or deliver things like fruit trays that are healthy and easy to snack on. You want them to feed their body well so they are able to have as much energy as they can get for the mourning process.

Encourage Discussions About Feelings

If you and your friend are used to sharing deep thoughts, it might not be hard for them to let you in on what they are feeling. If you don’t usually go there, it might feel awkward for them to open up. Encourage them by letting them know you are there and that you will listen to whatever they need to say. It can be good for them to share what they are going through, talk about their loved one, and emote in whatever way they need to. Just letting things out can help them move their grief forward.

Find Support For Them

While you want to be there for your friend, you may not be the help they need. They might feel less alone in talking to others who are going through similar experiences at the same time, like in a grief support group. As someone wanting to be there for them, you could find those groups for them and offer to drive them to and from the meetings.

funeral homes Bellevue, WA

There are lots of things you can do alongside funeral homes in Bellevue, WA to support a friend as they plan a celebration of life. But lots of people step out of the woodwork to help with final services. To be a true friend, you need to be there before, during, and after those services. Continue to check in on their grief, even after a year passes and the anniversary approaches. The professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory can help you with more ideas and options as well as grief resources to help you be the friend you would want if you were in the situation of mourning that someone else is experiencing at this moment.

funeral homes in West Seattle, WA

Moving On From The Celebration Of Life At The Funeral Home

There’s no such thing as an easy path through grief when you are making final service plans for a loved one with funeral homes in West Seattle, WA. Right after the death occurs, you might feel a sense of numbness and shock as you put together their services. If you decide to go with a celebration of life, that is a nice way to honor a life well-lived and allow your family to bring up and share favorite memories of good times. However, once that service is over, you have to find a way to move forward with your life and find a new sense of normal. Here are a few things you might do to come to terms with the loss.

Spend Time With Friends

While you will always miss your loved one, spending time with other people you appreciate and enjoy can help you remember that there are a lot of good things in your life, like good people. You can have lunch dates, invite friends over for movies, or do other low-key things. Your friends want to be there for you and by letting them hang around, you are doing something good for you as well.

Volunteer Somewhere Special

If you have some extra time off from work and you aren’t sure what to do with yourself, consider volunteering somewhere to get rid of some of that time and give yourself something to feel good about. Whether you help at a community food pantry, make scarves for homeless, or help re-shelve books at the library, you are doing something for the community that can be helpful and aid you in your own recovery at the same time.

Get Away From It All

Most companies will give you several days (or more) of bereavement time off and you might want to use some of that time to get away for a while. A change of scenery to a bed and breakfast in the next time can help you mourn as you need to and take time away for yourself. You can spend time with family members that are out of town or go to another city with pretty views to help yourself remove the most obvious reminders of pain and your loved one’s passing.

funeral homes West Seattle, WA

There are lots of other things you might do to help yourself heal and find a new sense of normal after celebration of life services that you hold with funeral homes in West Seattle, WA. If you need further help or advice as to what you might do to help yourself heal, the professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory are here to help. We have plenty of grief resources that we can pass along to you in order to help you move forward. It’s never going to be easy, but it’s something you can do with time and the right resources. Go back and look at the activities around the celebration of life, too, to remind yourself of the honor your loved one enjoyed at that event.

cremation services in Bellevue, WA

Planning The Celebration Of Life For After Cremation Services

When a loved one passes on and you choose cremation services in Bellevue, WA for them, there are lots of other avenues you can take to honor them after the cremation is complete. Some people have an ash scattering ceremony while others want something more, like a full memorial service. Traditional memorials are generally on the somber side. But you can also go another route and enjoy a celebration of life. That type of service is much more jovial and brings up happy memories and good times. You are able to honor a loved one’s life well-lived. Here are a few steps to take in planning the service.

Choose A Theme

Not all celebration of life services have to have a theme, but they can, and it can bring the service alive in a new way. If your loved one adored bowling, that can be the theme, and everyone can wear their favorite bowling shirts or perhaps a group will even go bowling in their honor. You could use a Hawaiian theme for the last trip they took (and loved) and everyone can wear Hawaiian shirts. Sports is another theme that might fit your loved one. It can help to give the celebration an angle, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Consider The Activities

What will your guests do at the celebration of life? Will you have a picnic? Play games at the park? Perhaps you will just gather and take turns sharing happy memories. Think about the activities that will go along with your theme or what you want the celebration to feel like. You can put together a program, if you want, but depending on what you are doing, you don’t have to.

Choose A Date, Time, And Place

The service might have an obvious location, like if you’re going bowling or want to watch a baseball game. If not, you have options of parks, churches, funeral homes, and other locations. Choose a date and time that works well for you and spread the word to family and friends. You will want to tell them not only when to show up and where, but also what type of celebration you are having so they are able to fit into your vision for the service.

Captureacremation services in Bellevue, WA

If you are ready to plan a celebration of life service after a loved one has cremation services in Bellevue, WA done, the professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory are here to help. While we plan services of all different types, we specialize in life celebrations and we can help you put whatever spin you want on the services you wish to have for your loved one. This is a wonderful way to honor a life and remember the good times. We will take your ideas and plans and implement them for you, so you have as few burdens as possible. This celebration of life should be whatever you want it to be to honor that special person.

cremation saervices in West Seattle, WA

Available Grief Resources After Cremation Services

There are lots of things you can do after a family member goes through cremation services in West Seattle, WA to help yourself with the grieving process. There are also plenty of grief resources available to help you meet your goals in finding a new sense of normal. Here are a few things that might help you move forward.

Celebration Of Life

Whether you have already had another type of service or not, a celebration of life is a great way to honor someone’s life and remember the good times. These services are much more light-hearted than a regular service. Even if you have a traditional memorial service, it can be nice to also have a celebration of life in order to celebrate a life well-lived and honor your loved one in another way. It can make you feel good to look back on the memories.

Join A Grief Support Group

There are lots of different support groups that exist to help with grief. You can surely find a group that meets your needs. Talk to the funeral director that helped you with your loved one’s cremation and they should have a list of those in the area that might help you find a good fit. There are groups that deal with grief in general. There might be a group that deals with losing a loved one specifically to cancer. There are groups that deal with losing specific loved ones, like a child, a spouse, a parent, or something else of that nature.

In Person Counseling

Meeting with a counselor who specializes in grief can really help you move yourself along in the right direction towards healing and a new normal. They know the stages of grief and they will help to reassure you that you are moving along at your own pace, whatever that is. They will make you feel less alone and more ‘normal’ in a sense. Your grief is your own and everyone is different. They can reassure someone who is grieving and let them know that whatever they are experiencing by way of emotions is okay and normal.

Online Therapy

There are also people you can meet with online to get the therapy and talking in that you want. You can plan your sessions around your life, your work, your kids, and so on. There are chat rooms and even online counselors that can help you with your grieving.

cremation services West Seattle, WA

When you are ready to get through the grieving process, there are lots of things you can do. The professionals will help with cremation services in West Seattle, WA, as well as the things you need after, like grief resources. The experts at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory are here to help with anything you need, before, during, and after whatever services you want to have for your loved one. First, you will want to honor your loved one’s life and second, you need to take care of yourself during the grieving process to a new normal.

funeral homes in West Seattle, WA

Questions To Answer About Headstones

When you have to look into getting a headstone for a loved one who is going through final services with funeral homes in West Seattle, WA, there are lots of things you will want to consider. In order to get the right choice, ask yourself some of the following questions and that can help point you in the right direction.

How Much Do I Have To Spend?

One important aspect of what headstone you will get for your loved one is how much you have to spend on the project. There are a lot of different price points based on size, materials, and more and you need to know how much you have to spend. There are also a lot of different expenses involved in funerals as a whole. You don’t want to spend too much on the headstone and not have enough for something else important to your loved one’s services.

What Does The Cemetery Allow?

Once you have chosen a cemetery for your loved one and you purchase a plot, you will need to get a headstone that goes along with whatever guidelines they have in place. Some cemeteries have size and/or material restrictions so they can have a more streamlined look. You will want to check into these rules before you get a plot, so you don’t get a plot that restricts things you really want for your headstone.

What Do I Want It To Say?

Headstones can usually be customized to include whatever engraving you’d like. A lot of people just put a person’s name, their birth date and death date. However, you could also put a short phrase to describe them. Some also like to have a figure carved into the stone like a flower or an angel. There are many different options.

Would My Loved One Like It?

Whatever you do with the headstone, you will want to ask whether or not you think your loved one would like it. You want it to be something they would appreciate. If they were there to choose a headstone, would they make similar choices? You want to honor their preferences and personality with whatever you get. But also keep in mind that you are making the decisions and you are just doing the best you can with what you have to work with. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

funeral homes in West Seattle, WA

When you work with funeral homes in West Seattle, WA on final services, it’s important to think about what you want for your loved one’s headstone. The professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory can go over options and questions with you until you feel like you have the right fit for your loved one. Make sure you proof read anything you want to have engraved with great care so there aren’t any mistakes there that you would have to pay to correct later. Check the options over with loved ones as well and see what they think before you move forward with certain choices. It might give you more confidence in your decision.

cremation services in West Seattle, WA

Using Kids At Cremation Services

There are lots of ways to incorporate family members of many different kinds at cremation services in West Seattle, WA. There might be some kids in the family, for example, who would like a part in the process and would do well in certain roles. Here are some ways you might consider using a kid at a cremation service, depending on the type of service you are planning.


Whether you are having a traditional memorial service, something in a park, or even a celebration of life, it’s nice to designate someone to greet those who are joining you for the service. That might mean pairing an adult up with a child and having them greet people together. Having a younger person at the door, doing those greetings can give people a smile. If they are a close relative of the deceased, like a grandchild, it can also be nice as people will see the generations that are carrying on the legacy of the person who passed on.


There might be something to pass out at the service, like programs, pictures, balloons, or other such things, depending on what you are doing at the service. Children might be good to serve at distributors of those things. Again, they could be placed alongside an adult if they are too young to do that alone. It can give them something to do and can help them feel a part of the day.

Help With Seating

If there are seats at the event, the kids can keep an eye on where there are empty seats and help people find a place to sit when they arrive. They can act as ushers and show them to those seats so everyone in their group has a place. IF there aren’t seats, they can show guests where the refreshments are, tell them where the restrooms are, or something else like that.

Do A Reading

Kids of the right age who don’t mind speaking in front of a group might like to read a poem, Bible verse, or something else for the memorial service. It can be a touching moment for everyone at the service and it can make them feel good to honor the person who passed on in that manner.

cremation services in West Seattle, WA

IF you have a child in your family and you want them to be involved in the cremation services in West Seattle, WA in some way or another, the professionals at Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory can help you figure out what might work the best. Give us a call, tell us about the child in question, and we can offer expert advice and ideas that might work well for your situation. We want you to be able to honor your love done and we want any child you’d like to have involved to participate in the right ways as well. Having children present and included can mean a lot to everyone and they might need to honor the loved one that passed on as well.