«Return to Blog List Top 5 Reasons to Combine a Cremation with a Memorial Service


Many families make the assumption that foregoing a memorial service is the standard when opting for cremation services for a loved one. It’s important to consider the value a memorial service provides to the family and friends of a loved one who dies.

A Service Celebrates a Life Lived

Every service I’ve ever attended celebrates a life in a different way. Often, a service features music, photographs, videos and stories about an individual who impacted the lives of the attendees of the service. Sometimes, services are somber. Other services feature laughter and an upbeat tone. Each service, whether small or large, low key or boisterous, shares a common theme of celebrating the life of a person who made a mark on the lives of the people who gather together.

People Come Together to Grieve

Every individual grieves the loss of a loved one in their own way. Some people start the grieving process at the time of death, while others undergo dealing with these emotions long after a service. No matter how a loved one grieves, a memorial service often plays a key role in helping people decide when and how to grieve.

Loved Ones Share an Experience

There’s an old adage that says that a memorial service is for the living, not the dead. Having been a part of a multitude of memorial services as part of both my personal and professional life, I find that there’s a great deal of truth to this statement. A memorial service marks a time and place where people can gather to honor, remember and reconnect over a person who has died. Creating a specific time and a place for folks to gather together forms another opportunity for a shared experience for family and friends, which is yet another memory people can attach to a person they cared about.

People are Allowed to Express Emotions

In the aftermath of the death of a loved one, it’s common for a person to get swept up in the details that go along with a death. Paperwork, legal issues, travel and other pressing tasks can delay the expression of natural emotions following a loss. Often, a formal memorial service marks an appropriate time for these emotions to come out. Whether the emotion is sadness, anger or bittersweet joy over a life lived well, a formal service is often a trigger for us to accept and deal with these natural feelings.

Closure is Key

Individuals deal with loss in many different ways. No matter your process, a memorial service commonly provides a sense of closure for people going through the loss of a loved one. As I’ve mentioned, a death is generally met with hustle, bustle and an endless list of tasks that need to be addressed. A memorial service can serve as a tangible, marked finale of the end-of-life process. Attendees of a memorial service see a casket or urn, hear memorial music and touch items such as flowers or printed material that help their minds come to terms with the reality of loss. By hosting a memorial service for a loved one, people are allowed to gather together, publicly acknowledge the end of a life and leave a memorial service with a stronger sense of closure.

Joel Chavez

Joel Chavez

Funeral Director, CSNM

Whether you are thinking about what you want for your own memorial service or are in charge of helping memorialize a loved one, I hope this article sparks some ideas for you and your family and friends. Want to learn more about how the Cremation Society of New Mexico can help you plan and hold a memorial service? I’d love to speak with you. Feel free to call me at 505-323-9000 Or, send me an e-mail at joelc@cremationsocietyofnm.com.

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