Category Archives: Cremation Services

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Dividing Possessions After Cremation Services

Beyond planning cremation services in Clarksville, TN the bereaved are also responsible for coming up with a plan for the deceased’s possessions. Organizing, going through, and dividing possessions is very difficult. It can be made easier when there is a clear will or an executor, but a lot of times there isn’t, and the family is left to do it all on their own. This can lead to a lot of tension.

These tips can help you divide your loved one’s possessions with as little pain and tension as possible.

  • Compromise – Despite what many people may think, it isn’t the most valuable items that cause the most problems. It’s usually the smaller, more sentimental items that can lead to arguments and pain. Remember, this is your family, and everyone is hurting after the loss. Try to act with empathy and come to compromises whenever possible.
  • Get Appraisals – Some items might have significant monetary value, such as coins, jewelry, antiques and other valuable things. Take the guesswork out and get a professional appraiser to determine the exact value of every item. Once the values are established, divide everything as evenly as possible making sure each person ends up with about the same monetary value amount. If there are items that no one wants, sell them and divide the proceeds.
  • Don’t Leave Anyone Out – Try to think of anyone that would appreciate a piece of the deceased’s life and memory. From aunts and uncles to long lost cousins, caregivers, friends and neighbors, you’d be surprised at who would greatly appreciate a token to remember the deceased by.
  • Think Before You Donate – While donating unwanted items is generous and helpful, be careful not to donate too quickly. Really take your time and think about each item. While it might not be wanted now, it might end up being very important down the line.
  • Take Turns – Take turns picking items and draw straws or use another method tocremation services in Clarksville, TN determine the order. Think of it like a sports draft. It’s a fair way to make sure everyone gets a chance to choose something meaningful to them. It’s also an interesting and sort of special way to see which items mean the most to which people. You might have never known how much your sister valued Grandma’s cookie jar otherwise.
  • Use Stickers – Give each family member stickers of a certain color and have them place stickers on items they want. Items with only one sticker can go to that person, but items with more than one sticker will have to be divided another way, like taking turns.
  • Make Copies – There are some items that can be shared thanks to modern technology. Make digital copies of old family photos, movies, and tapes and then distribute the files so everyone has their own copy. Digitizing these old memories is a good idea beyond dividing them evenly as it protects them for future generations to enjoy.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want more help or information about Clarksville, TN cremation services or other death related tips.

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Look Out for These Death Scams

Unfortunately, beyond planning a lost loved one’s cremation service in Clarksville, TN the bereaved also have to be on the lookout for scams as there are plenty of unscrupulous people ready to take advantage of the bereaved in their vulnerable state of grieving.

It is important to remember that, in general, if anyone ever contacts you over the phone claiming that you or the deceased owes money always ask for the person’s name, firm, contact number, and address. If they are legitimate, they will be willing and able to provide this information. If not, they will usually hang up.

When you’re facing a loss, you need to be extra careful and alert for scams. There are many death-related scams, but there are some that are more common than others. For example, there are IRS scams. Some scammers will call the bereaved claiming to be the IRS and stating that the deceased owed money on taxes. Sometimes the scammer will threaten the bereaved with legal action if they don’t pay. This scam can be avoided because the IRS will never demand payment or threaten legal action over the phone. The IRS only communicates via written statements through the mail. You can follow up with the IRS to determine a call’s legitimacy.

Sometimes the bereaved will receive a phone call or email saying that the deceased had a life insurance policy but he or she was behind on payments. The scammer will say that in order for the bereaved to get the insurance payout they will have to pay the overdue premium payments, and then the scammer will provide a wire transfer account or prepaid debit card for the bereaved to pay the “premium payments”. You can avoid this scam as a real insurance company will never ask you to give payments or personal information over the phone.

Some scammers will email or call the bereaved to say that the deceased’s Medicare insurance card needs to be updated and will ask the bereaved to provide the deceased’s birth date and social security number with the hope of stealing the deceased’s identity. But it’s important to keep in mind that the federal government will never attempt to get personal information over the phone, so any phone call asking about this info is a scam.cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Sadly, scammers take advantage of the bereaved by claiming to be collection agencies after a debt that the deceased owed for a credit card or other kind of outstanding balance. The scammers will contact the bereaved by phone and will sometimes even take the time to send fake invoices addressed to the deceased indicating an overdue balance. Always seek legal advice before paying an outstanding debt or balance as the bereaved might not be responsible for paying it after the death of a loved one.

You have to be ready for scammers after the death of a loved one. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help with more information on avoiding these scams and Clarksville, TN cremation services. Call or visit us today.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Planning a Child’s Cremation Service

The death of a child is traumatic and life-changing. How are you supposed to get through your daily activities, much less plan a cremation service in Clarksville, TN after losing a child? These tips are practical suggestions that can help you through your time of loss after the passing of your child.

  • Gather Keepsakes for Memories – Physical keepsakes are some of the best ways to remember a child after he or she passes. Gather keepsakes like blankets, toys, clothing, footprint or handprint sets, and hospital bracelets. You don’t have to hold them or display them if it’s too painful right away but do put them away in a box so you can have them later on when the pain of loss isn’t as fresh.
  • Plan Rituals – Rituals like cremations, memorials and funerals go a long way toward helping you say goodbye in a healthy way. They also help you express your grief in a healthy way. Don’t shy away from planning and hosting service for your lost child, but also don’t feel rushed into planning one right away. You can always hold a memorial after some time has passed and you’re more settled.
  • Take Your Time with Big Decisions – Take your time making any big decisions or choices as your grief might lead to you make choices you normally wouldn’t or might cause additional confusion and stress. If you have to make some big choices, like planning a cremation or dealing with something at work, try and talk over your options and decision with a trusted friend, family member, or your spouse.
  • Allow Mourning – No matter what the circumstances of your child’s death, you will need to share in your grief with someone else. Whether you share with a spouse, family member or friend, you need to take time to mourn and grieve in your own way with the help of a loved one.
  • Expect the Unexpected – Any loss can have a large effect on your mind and body alike, so be prepared for a wide range of physical and emotional responses after the loss of a child. You might feel confused, afraid, guilty, disorganized, and angry, even all at the same time. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly experience surges of grief, even at the most unexpected times. This is all normal and healthy after a loss.cremation service in Clarksville, TN
  • Seeing and Holding Your Child – Many parents that lose a child via miscarriage or stillbirth are given the option to see and hold their baby before he or she is prepared for burial or cremation. This is completely up to you. Many people find it a good way to say goodbye and have a bit of closure, while others find it simply too painful. If you decide to see and hold your baby, spend as much time as you need with your baby. If you decide not to see your child, that’s perfectly OK.

Hopefully these six tips can provide some relief in the face of your tremendous loss. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here for you if you want to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremation services.

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After Losing a Spouse

When you get married, you’re signing on for a partner for life. But sadly, death often gets in the way of this plan making the death of a spouse traumatic and stressful. That’s From dealing with the emotional fallout to planning a cremation service in Clarksville, TN, the stress of losing your spouse can have a severe impact on your emotional and physical health.

That’s where these tips come in. They can help you deal with the loss of a spouse in a healthy and healing-driving manner:

  1. Avoid Major Decisions – Grief can cloud judgement or lead you to rash decisions. Try to avoid making major decisions after losing a spouse as you might not be thinking clearly after the loss. Put off decisions regarding moving or quitting a job till later, as any decision you make will be clouded by the loss of your spouse and might not be the best choice in the long run.
  2. Take Care of Yourself – Grief can have both physical and psychological symptoms. You may feel exhausted or in pain after losing a spouse or may find it difficult to think clearly or process your emotions. Many people try to numb themselves to deal with the pain of loss by turning to drugs or alcohol. This is unhealthy in the long run. Instead, take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, sleeping, and talking to a therapist if you so choose.
  3. Acknowledge the Loss – It’s easy to allow yourself to get lost in the planning and details of a death, like planning a cremation service, and not allow yourself to feel your emotions. However, it’s important to take time to acknowledge the loss and let yourself begin to process it. Letting yourself mourn and deal with the fact that your life has changed is the healthiest way to proceed.
  4. Make a Plan for Personal Belongings – Take as much time as you need before taking this step but do make a plan for your spouse’s personal belongings at some point in your grieving process. It’s important to move on in the way that’s right for you, so do whatever feels right to you, whether it’s putting the items into storage, donating them to a charity, selling them, or leaving them where they are.cremation services in Clarksville, TN
  5. Memorialize – Remembering and memorializing a lost loved one, and especially a spouse, can go a long way towards healing as it allows you to reflect on the good memories, love and happiness in a healthy way. You can make a memorial with a cremation urn, photographs, or custom art.

Dealing with the death of a spouse will never be easy, but these tips may help ease your process in small ways. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory offers a range of services and is here to help if you would like to learn more about dealing with a loss or your options for Clarksville, TN cremation services. We are here to help you however we can in your time of loss.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Tips for Talking to Children About Death

Its particularly difficult to know how a child will handle a death and a cremation service in Clarksville, TN. Many parents and guardians struggle with what to say and how to speak to children about death – especially since losing a loved one is never easy, and everyone handles these losses in different ways including children.

You have to keep in mind that every child is different and will deal with grief in a different way. Be prepared that just because one kid was more open to communicate another kid may not be the same, and keep these tips in mind:

  1. Talk About the Future – The child will most likely have questions about how this loss will affect the future. Be reassuring but honest about changes, like how holidays will be a bit different but still fun.
  2. Be Honest – Kids are smarter than they seem, especially when it comes to emotions. Be honest with the child about how you’re feeling and let him know that he can express his feelings honesty, too.
  3. Be Prepared for a Variety of Reactions – Every kid reacts differently to loss and death, so be prepared for a variety of reactions. This is especially true if this is the first time the child will have lost someone close to him. Let the child deal with the loss in his own way and be prepared to support him however he needs.
  4. Focus on Understanding – Focus the conversation on what death and loss means to make sure the child understands what has happened. Let him know what death is so that he is not left confused or with questions.
  5. Prepare for the Funeral or Service – Be sure to spend time discussing what the funeral or service will be like. Your child might have questions about the burial or cremation, so be prepared to answer them. You should also discuss funeral etiquette and the exact plan for the day of the service.
  6. Grieve Together – Don’t be afraid to express your emotions in front of the child. Crying together is a good way to move forward and heal.

You can also help your child manage and understand his grief through various activities. There are lots of activities to try, from one to get him talking about his feelings or one to have him create something to keep memories of the deceased. For example, you can try creating a memory box.

cremation service in Clarksville, TNHelp the child make a special box in which he can keep keepsakes that remind him of the deceased. For younger children you can build the box and help them decorate it, while older children might be able to build the box themselves. You can also try a feeling matching game in which the child connects his feelings with positive actions in order to help him work through what he’s feeling.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about dealing with loss or Clarksville, TN cremation services. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

What Are Cremation Service Chambers?

Many bereaved have questions about the cremation services in Clarksville, TN which is understandable as its not common knowledge how it works and its done. It’s important to ask these questions sooner rather than later in order to make sure that you have all the necessary information to make an informed choice for after the loss of a loved one. One of the most common areas that people have questions about is the mechanics of cremation, specifically how the cremation or chamber works.

The cremation chamber, sometimes called an oven or a retort, operates between 1,400- and 1,800-degrees Fahrenheit. This high heat is necessary to break down the body into small fragments of bone and ash and is generally produced by propane or natural gas. Most cremation ovens are made out of fire-resistant bricks and special masonry. The fire-resistant bricks line the interior of the chamber on the ceiling and walls. Specially made masonry materials cover the bottom of the chamber as that is the area that is exposed to the highest temperatures.

Cremation oven walls are usually about 6 inches think to keep the extreme heat contained. They can have manually or mechanically operated doors depending on the model and design. Organic body materials like skin, tissue, organs and muscle are oxidized and then vaporized during the cremation process, as the human body is mostly made of water, bone and carbon. These vapors are filtered and released through the oven’s exhaust system. All that remains after a cremation is bone fragments and non-organic materials like artificial bones or joints, implants, or dental work.

All jewelry and removable medical devices are taken off the body before the cremation. The bone fragments are separated from non-organic materials and then left to cool. After cooling, they are processed and broken down into what we call ashes, with a texture like coarse sand. These ashes are placed in sealed bag and returned to the bereaved so they can inurn, bury, scatter or spread them as they so choose. In order to stay in compliance with health and safety codes and to maintain the dignity of the deceased before, during and after the cremation. All bodies are placed in a cremation container before the cremation takes places and for the duration of the process.

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There are certain container specifications that also must be met for health and safety laws, but the remainder of the container details can be chose by the bereaved. Many choose standard corrugated boxes, and others choose wooden containers or caskets. No matter what kind of container is chosen, its purpose is to hold the body before the cremation and break down entirely during the cremation, so no residue is left.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you have more questions about the cremation process or would like to learn more about your options for Clarksville, TN cremation services. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Cremation Container Laws

As required by law, during all cremation services in Clarksville, TN, the body is placed inside a cremation container before being put inside the cremation chamber. Cremation containers can vary from simple cardboard boxes to more traditional caskets.

These fully combustible containers are large and sturdy enough to hold the body during transportation to the chamber and during the cremation itself. There are a few different kinds of cremation containers, each with different intentions and needs. The main thing that they all have in common is that they are fully combustible, meaning they don’t have any parts that won’t melt or break down under extreme heat like decorations or metal handles.

The kind of container that is chose depends on a few key factors including the family’s wishes, the size of the person, whether or not there will be a viewing with the body present, local laws, the crematory’s standards and, of course, budget. The most common kind of cremation container is a rigid cardboard box that is large enough to hold an average body.

The purpose of the container is to provide a dignified means of storing the body prior to cremation and to literally contain the body while it is being prepared for cremation and when entering the retort. These common containers are simple and unadorned, making them budget friendly for those looking for an inexpensive option. Families can also choose to rent caskets for the funeral service and then use a common cremation container for the cremation itself.

This is a good way to save money while also honoring the deceased with a more decorated casket. Rental caskets are kept sanitary with removable linings, shells and overlays that are used to hold the body in the rental as well as the cremation container. There are a few other kinds of cremation containers and caskets such as green caskets that are made from natural materials or Jewish caskets, called arons, that are specially made for Jewish funerals.

Also, in some instances, the family wishes to spend a bit more money on a decorated cremation casket. This usually happens when there is going to be a viewing or service with the body present before the cremation. These cremation caskets are decorated with combustible or removable hardware and are often made from wood and natural materials like bamboo or wicker. Or, in some cases, the common cremation container isn’t an option, such as when the body is larger than average and requires a sturdier box.

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With so many choices, how do you choose the right container for your lost loved one? The first step is being informed and knowing your options, and then you should take the deceased’s wishes into account, as well as what kind of cremation and service you are going to have. Remember, though, at the end of the day there is no wrong choice as it only matters that you choose what’s right for you and the deceased.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory help you with any and all of your Clarksville, TN cremation service needs or questions. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

How Bodies are Identified During Cremation Services

Many people hear false horror stories of families being returned the wrong cremains, or just being given bags of wood ash or even of sand. These rumors lead to a lot of concern over the cremation identification process. That’s why one of the main concerns the bereaved have with cremation services in Clarksville, TN is how their loved one’s remains will be identified throughout the cremation process.

These concerns are understandable, as it is a very sensitive subject with a lot of tension. However, there is no reason for these concerns as all licensed cremation providers have thorough and effective identification procedures in place to ensure accuracy and dignity. Most licensed cremation providers are more than happy to walk clients through their individual identification process.

The majority of crematories are obligated by law to carry out two different identification processes to ensure the deceased are correctly identified based on the name provided by the authorized agent or the bereaved. First, the deceased’s name, as provided by the bereaved or authorized agent, will be clearly listed on the cremation container. Second, a metal bracelet, disk or other token will be placed in the container with the deceased. This metal tag will not be broken down during the cremation process and will remain with the cremated ashes to further ensure identification.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for additional details, as most cremation businesses understand these concerns and are happy to help alleviate them. It’s important for you to be 100% comfortable with your provider and their practices. It can be difficult to ask questions surrounding such delicate and potentially painful topics. If you’re unsure of what to ask surrounding identification during the cremation process, try these questions such as

  • “How are the deceased identified?”
  • “How does this process change if I am not there when he or she passes?”
  • “How can I be sure my loved one is the one you are cremating?”
  • “How can I be sure of this if I choose a cremation without a viewing?”
  • “In what ways do you certify that the ashes I am returned are those of my loved one?”

If the cremation provider is unable or unwilling to answer questions such as these, consider taking your business elsewhere. It’s vital that you feel comfortable with the cremation process.

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You can always ask for additional identification steps. For example, you can ask for a detailed explanation of the cremation process in writing, have the cremation provider do a comparison of the deceased to a current photo of your loved one before the cremation begins, ask the cremation provider to do a final identification check based on a listed unique detail like a tattoo or birth mark.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you would like to learn more about the body identification process during cremation or Clarksville, TN cremation services. Stop and visit us or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Spreading Ashes After Veteran’s Cremation Services

Many people choose to spread their loved one’s cremated remains, or ashes, after a cremation service in Clarksville, TN. While burying the ashes or inurning them are popular, scattering or spreading ashes is even more so. This is especially true when it comes to spreading veteran’s ashes.

Did you know there are many different ways to spread ashes after veteran’s services? Take these as examples:

  • Fireworks – Spreading ashes is usually a somber experience, but why not make it more fun and celebratory with fireworks? Firework companies make fireworks using the cremated remains to have the deceased be a part of a spectacular light show in the sky.
  • Plant a Tree – Tree urns turn cremated remains into fertilizer for new trees, giving your lost loved one new life through loss. You can plant the tree anywhere you want from a backyard to a special park. The tree will always be there as a place you can visit when you miss the deceased or want to reflect on their life.
  • Aerial Scattering – People also scatter ashes into the air by climbing up a mountain or hill, going to the edge of a cliff, or using the wind in an open plain or meadow. You can also hire a specialized plane to scatter the ashes from way up in the air.
  • Skydiving Scattering – If the deceased was adventurous or free-spirited what better way to scatter his or her ashes than while skydiving? This unconventional ash spreading method helps you literally and figuratively let go of your lost loved one.
  • Space Launch – Whether your loved one always wanted to be an astronaut, loved stars and space, or you just want to give him or her a very special send off, you can launch the ashes into space. There are a few specialized businesses that launch ashes into space for a significant fee. The ashes will orbit the earth for a few months and then vaporize when the re-enter the atmosphere.
  • Raking – Raking is similar to trenching, but instead of digging a small hole in which the ashes are covered the ashes are raking into the soil with a tool like a rake or shovel. Many people choose to rake ashes into a significant place like the yard of a home or a special park.
  • Water Scattering – Water has almost always had a connection with spirituality and religion, making it a very popular choice for scattering ashes. Scatter ashes directly into the water or release them in a water-safe biodegradable urn.
  • Trenching – Trenching is when the bereaved dig a shallow pit in which to deposit and lightly bury the ashes. This way, the ashes aren’t technically buried but they are contained to a specific spot so they can be visited or honored.

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Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremation services or veteran’s services. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call at for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Columbarium and Mausoleums

How do columbarium and mausoleums come into play when it comes to cremation services in Clarksville, TN? Many people choose to inter the cremated remains in the ground or in a permanent above ground resting place, but which building do they use?

If you’ve ever been walking in, through or past a cemetery, you’ve most likely noticed the ornate but small buildings scattered around the grounds amidst the tombstones. These buildings are mausoleums, columbarium, or even a combination of the two. Both columbarium and mausoleums are defined as permanent, above ground resting places for human remains, but they have a few key differences between them. Unlike mausoleums that generally hold bodies, columbarium are designed to house cremated remains.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, a mausoleum is defined as, “a building designed for above-ground placement of a casket. The casket is placed into a crypt that may be designed for one or two persons.” Mausoleums can have one crypt, or a chamber designed to hold one body, or a larger space made to hold a few people like a family or a couple. Some mausoleums have more than one room for different parts of a family. These buildings are often decorated with exterior markers to denote who is resting inside. Some even have glass windows that allow those on the outside to view the coffins.

Mausoleums can be found in different variations and designs all around the world. One of the original Seven Wonders of the World was a mausoleum! Built in 353 BC near what is now known as Turkey, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was the final resting place of a famous Persian king named Mausolus. This king was so rich that he commissioned one of the finest mausoleums ever built and is actually how the term mausoleum was coined.

The term columbarium comes from the Latin word “Columba” which means dove. In the past, doves and pigeons were housed in buildings with niches on the walls for their nests. This design is very similar to how columbarium are made, as they have compartments built into the walls to house and display cremation urns.

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There are lots of different columbarium designs. Some are indoor and some are outside, while others are simple and more still are decorated and elaborate. There are some with clear class niches to display the urns, while others are made of thick stone to hide the cremains inside. You can choose whatever kind of columbarium you like for your lost loved one, or you can look to the deceased’s list of post-humous wishes to learn about what he or she wanted done with the cremains.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about your options for after a Clarksville, TN cremation service. You can visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss, or for more information about your cremation options.