cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Are Cremation Services Environmentally Friendly?

If you are looking for a green way to celebrate the life of a loved one or prepare for your own passing in an environmentally friendly way, cremation services in Clarksville, TN might be the answer. Make an informed decision on how best to make your cremation environmentally conscious.

A posthumous, non-traditional way to help the environment is through cremation. A lot of people never even think about burials’ environmental impact, but a few small changes to funerals and services can go a long way. Cremation has a lot of positive sides over traditional burials.

One of the main ones is environmental impact. Traditional, full-service burials have considerable negative impact on the environment. One big example is loss of habitat. A recent statistic from the Centre for National Burial states that 10 acres of cemetery holds almost 20,000 tons of vault concrete, 1000 tons of casket steal, and enough wood to build over 40 full-sized homes. All that material leaves little room for animal and plant life. Not to mention loss of land that could otherwise be used to grow food or build homes.

On the whole, thanks to modern advances, cremation is a greener choice. However, there are some downsides to cremation in terms of the environment. Standard crematoriums burn a lot of natural gas, and therefore release lots of greenhouse gases and chemical vapors that can harm the atmosphere. Also, to fully dehydrate a human body to bone and ash, a crematorium has to be fully heated to at least 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain the heat for a minimum of 45 minutes. This process releases a lot of carbon dioxide and uses up a lot of fossil fuel. But, new technology and more fuel-efficient crematorium centers have greatly reduced these negative impacts.

There are ways you personally can make cremation even greener. Some of these include:

  1. Recycle medical materials. Remove and recycle medical devices and parts, like pacemakers, before cremation. Burning said parts can release harmful gases and produce non-biodegradable ash.
  2. Consider a biodegradable urn. Many people chose to bury their loved one’s ashes after cremation. While urns and ashes take up less space than a full-size grave, urns slow down the decay process and may negatively impact the surrounding earth. Choose a biodegradable urn to better protect the local ground.
  3. Choose the casket carefully. Cremation providers generally require bodies to be in a rigid, consumable, and leak-proof casket for the cremation process. Burning these caskets can give off noxious gases and fumes, if you chose a bad one. When picking out your cremation casket, look for one made of non-toxic and renewable material. Wicker and cardboard are great options.

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Be careful to remain aware of your options when it comes to Clarksville, TN cremation services so you can feel good about your choice in terms of the environment and celebrating your loved one. If you want more information, you can visit or call Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Four Important Documents

Rather than avoid the fact that you will die eventually, why not instead be as prepared for your eventual death and subsequent service at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN? One way to prepare for your passing is by gathering these four important documents while you still can:

  1. HIPAA Release – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) stipulate that all medical records are confidential between the patient and the healthcare provider. If you want a family member to have access to your records in case you pass away or become incapacitated, you need to fill out and sign a HIPPAA Release form.
  2. ICE Book of Important Documents – While an in case of emergency (ICE) book isn’t a formal document, it’s a major help for families to gain access to important documents when a loved one passes away or is incapacitated. Make one and keep it in a secure yet obvious place in the event of your death. Include documents in your ICE book like:
    • Tax returns going back 5 years
    • Bank accounts
    • Medical and dental records
    • Insurance information
    • Birth certificate
    • Social security card
    • Important passwords
  3. Will – Your will is a document that states who will receive your assets and belongings after you pass. Wills must meet some important criteria to be valid, so it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney. Make sure your will clearly identifies itself as your personal will and clearly lists your name, date of birth, and social security number. It should also name an executor to make sure your exact wishes are carried out, from cremation to dividing the assets; clearly list and identify the heirs, name all your assets, from bank accounts to estates and everything in between, designate which heir will get what percentage of each asset, and is signed by you and two or three witnesses. You can also draw up a living will in the event you become incapacitated in some way. Different than a POA or a will, a living will helps you lay out your end of life wishes in the event you become terminally ill and unable to communicate your wishes.
  4. Healthcare Power of Attorney – A healthcare power of attorney (POA) document appoints someone to make your medical decisions for you if you ever become unable. This document is good to have in the event of any medical problems from terminal illnesses and loss of brain function to temporary unconsciousness. Choose someone you trust to be your healthcare POA. Some states require a POA to be notarized with additional witnesses, but all states require the document to be signed by all involved parties.

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Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want more information on these documents, or other ways you can prepare for a Clarksville, TN funeral home. Please visit us or give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Memorial Jewelry for Lost Military Members

You cared deeply for your lost military service member, and obviously want to memorialize him or her in a respectful but special way that is just as unique as he or she was and that honors his or her service. If you choose cremation services in Clarksville, TN for the deceased, then memorial jewelry might be what you’ve been looking for.

What is memorial jewelry? Memorial jewelry can come in many forms, from necklaces and rings to lockets, pendants and bracelets, but every form is a special reminder of the deceased. Most memorial jewelry is made through a similar process. Once a body is cremated, the family sends the remains to a jeweler. The remains, consisting of minerals like calcium phosphates, are combined with molten glass gold, silver, platinum or other materials using special encasement methods to mold the remains and the metals together. The goal is this molding is to display and protect the cremated remains.

If you’re considering memorial jewelry for your lost military service member, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. The Deceased – Keep in mind how the deceased would want to be memorialized. Think about his or her styles, preferences, and even interests for inspiration. How do you think you could best memorialize your lost loved one? How can you honor his or her service?
  2. Material – Though you can have memorial jewelry in almost any material, you should think about how and how often you’re going to wear it, as some materials are more durable than others. For example, if you’re making a ring that you’re only going to wear on special occasions, resin is fine. However, if you want to wear the ring on a daily basis, you need a stronger material like silver.
  3. Style – You should choose memorial jewelry in a style that you will actually wear. If you don’t like big pendants, maybe choose a small bracelet or locket. Be sure that you choose a style that fits your comfort level or consider a piece that is simple and timeless for the coming generations.

Since every person’s chemical makeup is slightly different, every piece of memorial jewelry will have a slightly different chemical reaction, resulting in different colors, shapes, and patterns. In other words, every piece of memorial jewelry will be just as unique as the person it’s made from. Families can also choose to include items like hair or dried flowers in the jewelry piece for even more uniqueness.

Memorial jewelry is just one of the many options you have to memorialize a lost loved one after a cremation. If memorial jewelry isn’t for you, you can always choose a more traditional method like a displaying the remains in a cremation urn, scattering them, burying them, or putting up a headstone.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Do you have more questions about memorial jewelry, military funeral services, or about Clarksville, TN cremation services in general? Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. We have years of industry experience to put at your disposal and are ready to do whatever we can for you in your time of loss. Please give us a call for more information.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

How to Help a Friend After the Loss of a Veteran

Loss is never easy, but oftentimes the pain of death is compounded when the deceased was a veteran. Whether you’re at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN or long after the service is over, how can you help a friend that’s lost a veteran?

These tips for how to help a friend after the loss of a veteran can help:

  • Let Them Cry: Crying is an important part of expressing grief, so never say “don’t cry.” Its ok to just be there when someone is crying, offering a hug or tissues, or even just a calming presence.
  • Support Past the Funeral: Grief doesn’t stop after the bereaved leave the funeral home, so your support shouldn’t either. Keep checking in in the following weeks. A phone call or a text of support is great. Don’t be offended if they don’t want to talk, as grief can make concentrating or talking difficult.
  • Don’t Avoid: It may feel easier to avoid a grieving friend, but it’s the worst thing you can do. A hug, kind word, or a supportive presence can go a long way. If you can’t think of what to say, a simple “I’m sorry” is all you need.
  • Share: It can be helpful to hear similar bereavement stories; so, don’t be afraid to share. It makes people feel better to know that others have gotten through the grief.
  • Don’t Talk About A Dead Pet: Never compare their loss to your loss of a pet. It’s not comparable and can be very insulting.
  • Help with Everyday Tasks: Grief is physically and mentally debilitating, so it can be hard to accomplish seemingly easy tasks like cooking or cleaning. Help out by offering to cross things off the to-do list like grocery shopping, cooking a meal, or mowing the lawn.
  • Provide Funeral Help: It can be hard to plan and host a funeral, and help is always welcome. Even a small thing like bringing flowers or offering to go with them to sign the death certificate is meaningful.
  • Mention the Deceased: Don’t be afraid to talk about the deceased. You might make them cry, but that’s ok! It feels good to know that the deceased isn’t gone from everyone’s thoughts and memories.
  • Mark Big Dates: Note important dates like birthdays or anniversaries and be sure to reach out around those times for extra support down the line.
  • Remind Them Grief Isn’t Short: Be sure to express that you understand the grieving process is lengthy, and that you will be there throughout. Bereaved can feel lonely or even abandoned after leaving the funeral home, so make sure they know you’re still there.
  • Let Them Bring Up Religion First: Don’t make it about religion until the bereaved do. Everyone has different beliefs, and you don’t want to accidentally offend.
  • Laughing is Good: Don’t be afraid of making them laugh. Offer up silly stories of your day, or even happy memories of the deceased.

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Do you want to learn more tips on dealing with the loss of a veteran or get more information on Clarksville, TN funeral homes? Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. Call today.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

2020 Cremation Service Trends for Military Funerals

As cremation services in Clarksville, TN rise in popularity they are starting to show some trends. This is especially true for military funeral and cremation services.

If you are planning a memorial or funeral for a lost loved one that serviced in the military, here are the top cremation trends for 2020 that can help inspire you.

  1. Water Cremations – As more and more states are making water cremations legal; they are quickly becoming very popular. Unlike traditional, flame-based cremations, water cremations are much better for the environment. They also simulate standard body decay processes for a more “natural” disposition. Not to mention that the cremated remains from a water cremation are much lighter and less likely to be mixed with harmful pollutants than those from a standard cremation as the remains were not burned at extreme temperatures or exposed to chemicals and gases.
  2. Scattering Parties – Scattering parties are the answer to what to do with the deceased cremated remains. Rather than a private ceremony, the new trend is to have a scattering party or event tied to releasing the ashes. As people are starting to leave detailed cremation instructions and release requests, it’s even easier to plan an event that matches your lost loved one’s interests and spirit. Scattering events have taken a life of their own, from sails and hikes to everything in between. They are a wonderful way to celebrate the lost loved one in a unique way as you put them to rest.
  3. Painted Ash Art – You can also use cremated remains in paint for art pieces. Remains are mixed with special paint that can then be used to produce a portrait of the deceased, or another special image. Cremated ashes have also been used in sculpting materials to create unique vases and home items that can be given to family members of the deceased. It’s important to note, though, that you have to find a qualified and experienced artist that is comfortable with working with cremated ashes and knows how to treat this material with respect. These cremation art pieces are always unique and can be treasured for generations to come.
  4. Cremation Jewels – Everyone knows you can turn your loved one’s ashes into jewelry, but not everyone knows you can turn them into actual jewels. Thanks to major technological advancements, you can quickly turn your loved one into a precious stone for a pretty fair price. You can send the deceased’s ashes to have them be pressed into a diamond that can then be set into jewelry or turned into a priceless family heirloom. Every diamond made from cremated remains is just as unique and precious as the person it came from.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can make a memorable and honorable service for your lost military member.

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If you’re interested in any of these military cremation trends or want to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremation services, Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. Call or visit us today for more information.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Funeral Services for Pets

Losing a pet is never easy. But, just like how memorials and funerals can make the loss of a loved one a bit easier, funeral and cremation services for pets can help ease the pain of that loss, too. There are many funeral homes in Clarksville, TN that offer various types of funeral and cremation services for pets. Losing a pet is painful, but a funeral or memorial service and help ease the pain.

Planning pet funerals and cremations starts with deciding how you want to send your friend to his final resting place. Pet cremation is one great way to memorialize your pet. You can scatter the ashes somewhere special after the cremation or keep them in a pet cremation urn.

Pet burials are another common and more traditional option. You can bury your pet in the comfort of your own yard, or in a special cemetery dedicated to pet burial. You can also plan a pet funeral or memorial service to go along with the body disposition. You can hold the service at your home, where you plan to scatter the ashes, in a funeral home, or in the pet cemetery. Be sure to choose a location that allows you to express your grief in a healthy way and sets you up to properly begin the healing process. Also, be sure to get any necessary permissions or permits before you host a ceremony in a public space, especially if you plan to bury the pet or scatter the ashes.

Just like a traditional service for a deceased person, a pet funeral or memorial is an honorable way to memorialize your pet’s life and say goodbye in a constructive way. There are many different ways you can celebrate your pet in a memorial. For example, you can invite friends and family members who were a part of your pet’s life or understand how important he was to you.

Gather around the grave or ashes and share pet memories or stories. You may also choose to play music, read poems or share feelings. You can ask attendants to help eulogize, say prayers, or just talk about how your lost pet made them feel. Bring along special stationary, cards or paper on which people can write down their feelings or thoughts. This way you can hold onto these ideas and memories to go through later on when you miss your pet.

Just like traditional funeral services, most pet funeral and memorial services can benefit from some sort of visual representation of the deceased. You can craft a small tribute or viewing in the memory of your pet by decorating a table with memories of your lost pet like tags, collars, favorite toys or photos. If you chose to cremate the body, you may also choose to display the urn for the viewing.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about pet funeral or cremation services, or have questions about Clarksville, TN funeral homes in general.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Outdoor Urns for Veterans

You aren’t limited to displaying or housing the remains of your lost veteran in an indoor urn after cremation services in Clarksville, TN. In fact, there are hundreds of options when it comes to veteran body disposition post cremation. From scattering and water burials, to inurnment in a columbarium and more, you can get as creative as you want for your loved one’s post-cremation final resting place.

One option is burial, inurnment or display outdoors. You can easily house your lost veteran’s cremated remains in an urn above or below ground outside and still honor his or her service to our country.

If you decide to go this route, however, you do need to choose an urn that specifically made for outdoor use. These outdoor urns are designed to remain intact and even beautiful even after long years of outdoor exposure to dirt, dust, rain, snow and more. When shopping for an outdoor urn, you first need to decide if the urn will stay above ground, or be buried below ground, as there are both above and below ground urns.

  • Above Ground Outdoor Urns – Many cemeteries have a columbarium. Columbarium are spaces, rooms or buildings designed to hold and display cremation urns. They have numerous individual niches carved into the walls for this purpose. If you’re planning on inurning your loved one’s cremated remains outdoors but above ground, it will most likely be in a columbarium. When choosing an above ground outdoor urn, a metal urn is best. Bronze, brass, pewter, and stainless steel are great choices, although almost any urn designed for human remains will most likely work. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless the outer wall of the columbarium is made of glass, you probably won’t be able see the urn once it’s been placed. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about decoration too much. You can choose ceramic or glass, but these urns are not ideal for outdoor use as they are more vulnerable to cracking.
  • Below Ground Outdoor Urns – You can also choose to bury your loved one’s cremated remains. Like traditional full body burial, burying cremated remains allows you to have a defined place where family and friends can go to remember the lost loved one. In some cases, many families already own a burial plot, and want to use this land even if the deceased is cremated. Most cemeteries require an urn vault when burying cremated remains. The vault is typically sealed to keep out moisture and other elements of nature. Since the vault will bear the brunt of the natural exposure, any kind of urn will do. If you don’t have to have an urn vault, you need to choose an urn that is durable. Strong urns from metal, composites or resins are ideal. A cremation urn made from wood, ceramic, or glass would most likely to lose its integrity over time, leaving the deceased’s remains exposed.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

These are just a few of the ways you can put a veteran’s remains to rest after a cremation service. If you want to learn more about outdoor cremation urns and Clarksville, TN cremation services, just get in touch with Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

All About Water Cremations

Many funeral homes in Clarksville, TN offer cremations as well as funeral services. Cremations have been popular for a very long time but have been even more so in recent years for many reasons including price, ease, flexibility, and environmental benefits. However, there is a new kind of cremation on the market that may offer all those benefits and more: water cremation.

Water cremation, or alkaline hydrolysis, puts an interesting and unique spin on traditional cremation procedures, and might even be better for the environment as it simulates a more natural tissue and bone decay process than traditional flame-based methods. Water cremations do not involve any burning, so no harmful gases or pollutants are released into the air. Rather, during a water cremation, the body is placed in a steel chamber. The chamber is then filled with an alkaline solution made up of 95% water and 5% potassium hydroxide and raised to a very high pressure to prevent boiling. The chamber, and the body in the solution, is then heated to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, from 4 to 16 hours.

The heat, pressure and solution work together to break down the body, leaving only the bones. At the beginning of the process, the mixture is strongly basic, with a pH level of approximately 14. However, by the end of the process, the pH can drop 11. The body slowly dissolves, and the bones, once removed from the chamber, crushed into ash and returned to the family just like in a traditional cremation. However, water cremated remains are much lighter in color and in texture than classic cremated remains. Cremated remains made from flames are often darker and denser from the various combustion reactions that occur when the body is heated under extreme temperatures.

While water cremation may seem strange, it’s actually just a more sped up version of what would happen when a body decays naturally. Interestingly, the process was originally developed as a way to process animal carcasses into plant food back in 1888. In 2007, a biochemist from Scotland founded a company to make the machines necessary to use the method to process human remains. 2007 wasn’t that long ago, so water cremations are still pretty new. The method is so new, in fact, that it’s currently only legal as a means of final disposition in 16 states, including Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, California, and more. Laws on water cremation are currently pending in states like New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Would you consider a water cremation for yourself or for a lost loved one? Whether or not you would, you can still turn to Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory for your cremation and funeral service needs.

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Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is a Clarksville, TN funeral home that offers a wide range of experienced and compassionate funeral and cremation services. Please give us call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss and grief.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Your Options for After a Cremation Service

If you choose to go with cremation service in Clarksville, TN, you have even more choices coming your way as there are quite a few options when it comes to cremated remains.

The most common and traditional way to inter cremated remains is by scattering. The options for scattering are almost limitless, but there are some widespread choices such as casting. Casting ashes simply means tossing the cremated remains on the wind, usually in a special location. Be sure to check the wind direction to avoid uncomfortable moments. There is also raking. Raking ashes happens when a family member or loved one by pours the ashes over loose soil and rakes them to combine the two. Local ordinances and laws generally prevent raking at any old spot, so make sure to check with the authorities before raking in a public garden or park.

You can also scatter ashes into any body of water, again with permission from the local authorities. Another version of water scattering is to sink a water-soluble urn into the lake, river or ocean. Last but not least is ringing. Ringing involves more of a ceremony than other post-cremation choices. It involves forming a ring around an object like a house, tree or other special thing with the ashes, almost to compound the idea that the deceased is always with you and protecting you.

Just because you chose a cremation service doesn’t mean you can’t also have a burial. In fact, many people have both as you can easily bury or entomb cremated remains. This option helps you stay more on track with traditional burials and funerals while also using cremation services. There are a few options for burial or entombment after cremation including:

  • Family Plot: The most traditional burial for cremation remains is in the family plot or cemetery. Burial in the family plot is an easy way to use cremation services while still enjoying classic burial and funeral traditions.
  • Columbarium: Columbarium are spaces specifically dedicated to housing and interring cremated remains Most often found in churches, there are also a few freestanding columbarium options as well as those attached to cemeteries.
  • Crypt or Mausoleum: Go more religious or familial with a crypt or mausoleum. These options are usually preferred by Roman Catholics but can get pretty expensive.
  • Memorial Object: A non-traditional burial method for cremated remains is in a special memorial object like a bench, grave marker, rock or even in a tree. This method and special objects help loved ones memorialize and celebrate their lost in more personalized ways.

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Whether you’re planning for your eventual passing or dealing with the recent death of a loved one, body disposition is a big choice. Get in touch with Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory to learn more about your options for after cremation service. No matter what you choose, we are here to help you with all your Clarksville, TN cremation needs. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Writing A Eulogy

It may seem like an impossible task to write a eulogy for someone you know and love after they’ve passed away. Whether you’re speaking at a memorial service, or at a funeral in a funeral home in Clarksville, TN, you can use these tips to help make your eulogy writing easier.

  • Keep it Personal – Focus on the good and positive things in the deceased’s life, and don’t be afraid to add a bit of mild humor to keep things light. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to add a few personal stories or memories.
  • Be Prepared – Write your eulogy before the service. That way, everything you are going to say is planned out, so you don’t have to worry in the moment. Print it out on a paper so you’re not messing with a phone or tablet.
  • Stay Positive – Although cremations and memorials are somber, you should still remain focused on the person’s life and not their death. Avoid talking about negative moments or things that might cast a poor light on him or her, as the purpose of the eulogy is to honor the deceased.
  • Add a Bio – While you can structure the eulogy with stories and moments, it’s easier to frame it as a short biography. Include details like place of birth, marriage, children and other big milestones to keep the story linear and easy to follow. Though these details may seem trivial, they are an important part of every eulogy.
  • Details – Don’t forget to add details like your name and your relationship to the deceased. You should also be sure to thank everyone for coming and mention why everyone is gathered.
  • Keep it Brief – Although it seems tough to cram a whole life into a few minutes, the eulogy should not be longer than 5 minutes. Focus on the main parts of the deceased’s life and be sure to write your speech down so you don’t stray off topic.
  • Delivery is Key – You don’t have to be a professional actor or public speaker but be aware of your delivery. Try to use a light conversational tone and look up from the paper every few sentences to connect with the rest of the people at the service.
  • End High – End your eulogy on a good note, like a fond memory or the impact the deceased had on your life. You can also finish by saying a final goodbye or mentioning that this is exactly the way the person would want things to be. You never want to leave the funeral attendees feeling more upset than when they arrived.

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Use these tips to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to honor your lost loved one through the eulogy. Giving a eulogy doesn’t have to be stressful if you are prepared. If you want more tips on eulogies, or want to learn more about Clarksville, TN funeral homes, just get in touch with Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory. We are happy to help in your time of loss.