Category Archives: Cremation Services

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.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

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.

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.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

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.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

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.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Veteran Memorial Tips for After Cremation Services

Choosing a cremation service in Clarksville, TN might seem impersonal or clinical at first. But, in reality, cremations give you a lot of leeways to plan a unique, meaningful, and respectful memorial or service for your lost loved one and veteran.

In fact, cremations make it simple to make sure your deceased loved one’s memorial service is unique to him or her, especially if your lost loved one was a veteran. Memorial services are for both the living and the dead, as they help honor the deceased while providing a healthy and constructive place for the living to grieve. An ideal service helps you and your loved ones mourn the loss while bringing together those that cared for the deceased so that everyone can pay tribute in a positive way.

As it can be overwhelming to plan a memorial service for after a cremation, especially when you’re grieving the loss of a brave veteran, you can use these tips to help you plan a memorial service for your lost loved one after a cremation service:

  • Date and Time – One nice thing about cremation services, as opposed to burials and funerals, is that you don’t have a deadline or a specific timeline. With a burial, you need to have the funeral service within a few days of death because of decomposition. With a cremation service, however, you have as much time as you want since the body is already broken down. You can easily plan memorial services at later dates to allow people to come from out of town or to have it be on an important or meaningful day.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

  • Honor the Veteran – Once you’ve chosen a day, you can start planning the specifics. There are practically zero restrictions on what services should or need to be, so feel free to get creative. Think about the deceased and what he liked, stood for, or is most remembered for and expand on that. Have a theme party, make video tributes, scatter ashes in a ceremony, or even do things the deceased liked to do. This is especially true if the deceased was a veteran. Decorate the service with the veteran’s ribbons, metals, or photos from his time in the service. Have a military service with a bugle or flag folding ceremony. The sky is really the limit!
  • Ask for Help – While planning memorial services can be bittersweet or even exciting, they also happen during a time of loss and can bring up stressful feelings. You might need help with the planning, and that’s alright. Ask for help from other family members or loved ones or hire professionals. Find a funeral home nearby that has experience with memorial services to help you plan your event with compassion and attention.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to planning memorials for veterans for after cremation services. If you want more inspiration or guidance for a memorial service or want to learn more about your options for Clarksville, TN cremation services, just get in touch with Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Celebrants and Military Services

Celebrants are becoming more and more popular for memorials after cremation services in Clarksville, TN. But what is a celebrant? And what can one do for you or your loved one’s service, especially if your loved one was in the military?

A celebrant is a qualified Master of Ceremonies that helps to officiate funeral and memorial services by planning, overseeing, and carrying out the proceedings. They can host both religious and non-religious funerals. They are called celebrants because most people aim for the funeral service to be a celebration of the deceased’s life. This celebratory approach puts more emphasis on a life well-lived, unique traits, and special memories rather than grief and loss. A celebrant can help you craft unique services with substance, personalization, and meaning.

Celebrants can be very helpful when planning a service for a military member. Serving in the military is a life-changing and selfless commitment, and a celebrant can help honor that commitment through a memorial or funeral service. Celebrants usually work with a representative from the deceased’s branch of the armed forces to make sure that the ceremony or service is an accurate representation of the brand and the appropriate military honors are used. A celebrant can also officiate the military service ceremony at the memorial or funeral as the bereaved wish.

You should hire a celebrant if you want someone to take charge of hosting and speaking during the funeral. Celebrants are more flexible and open to new things that traditional funeral hosts like ministers or priests, so you can add more customization to the service. A celebrant can also help you come up with ideas for this customization. This help can be very meaningful during a difficult time of loss.

While most funeral homes and cremation providers can recommend a celebrant, it’s a good idea to also do some research on your own. Make a list of possibilities, do some Googling, then call each one to get your questions answered. If you need more information, feel free to meet with your options in person to get a better feel for what they can bring to the table. During your first meeting with a potential celebrant, explain what kind of funeral you want, and how much you’d like him to be involved in the proceedings. Remember, your funeral celebrant is there to help you, and should, therefore, be willing to work with you to develop the funeral services you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as the right celebrant will be more than willing to help out in any way he can.

Clarksville, TN cremation services

Hiring a celebrant is an out-of-the-box way to make sure your loved one’s funeral or service is unique, celebratory, and respectful, especially when it comes to military honors. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory offers a range of Clarksville, TN cremation services and can best advise you on how to proceed with a military service with or without a celebrant. Call or visit us today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Laws About Cremation Services

Interestingly enough, there are lots of laws in place regarding cremation. It’s completely normal to have lots of questions if you’re considering choosing cremation service in Clarksville, TN for your eventual body disposition, or for a recently deceased loved one. Some of the most common questions are about cremation law.

There are, of course, some cremation laws that vary from state to state, so you should always ask your cremation provider for more details regarding your local laws. But, some average cremation laws include:

Cremation Provider Licenses – All cremation providers are licensed and certified, as there are specific rules and regulations in place to protect consumers and ensure the safe handling of the deceased.

Cremation Consumer Protections – There are lots of laws protecting cremation consumers, from laws prohibiting crematories and funeral homes making false statements about body guarantees or cremation merchandise purchasing. If you want more information, check with your local or state government.

Authorization – In most states the next-of-kin, or “authorizing agent,” can authorize cremation. The authorizing agent must complete, sign, and submit an authorization form before the cremation can take place.

Permits – You are required by law to have a cremation permit. Once the death certificate is completed and the cremation authorization is filed, the county will issue a cremation permit. Cremation permits cost anywhere from $10 to $40 depending on the county.

Casket Requirements – Caskets are not required by law for cremations, but most states have laws stating that a rigid container must be provided for the cremation. These containers only have to be combustible and strong enough to support a body when being placed into the cremation chamber.

Remain Handling – Laws about what you can and cannot do with cremated remain can vary greatly from state to state. However, most have similar general ideas like you cannot commingle cremated remains unless by deceased’s request, and you can only scatter cremated remains with appropriate authorization from the local authorities.

Cremation Costs – Crematories are obligated to provide clear and concise descriptions of all services included each cremation price, as people who gave recently suffered a loss might be more susceptible to bad business practices. Cremations range in cost depending on the service and merchandise.

Body Transportation from State to State – If the body is transported over a period of 24 hours or more after the death, embalming may be required. There are airline funeral shipping businesses that also have specific regulations and rules such as the purchase and use of a designated aircraft mortuary-shipping container.

Cremation Viewing – Families viewing the cremation is not regulated by law, and therefore varies from crematory to crematory. Confirm with your chosen provider as it’s not guaranteed.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

If you want to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremation services, and local cremation laws, just reach out to Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory. We are experts in our field and can offer guidance and advice on our services as well as general cremation information. Call today to learn more.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Green Cremation Services

From recycling and reducing plastic use to sustainable energy sources, people are trying everything they can to be green. Climate change and environmental consciousness are hot topics these days. But what about body disposition? Are cremation services in Clarksville, TN better for the environment than other disposition methods? If not, are there any options for a greener burial or cremation?

This basic cremation method does have a slight environmental impact as is requires the burning of fossil fuels to achieve the intense heat necessary to break down a body. However, it is better than traditional burial as it doesn’t involve embalming or other harsh pollutants being put into the ground. There are other greener cremation services available thanks to modern advancements and awareness. Green cremation services take a few more steps to make the entire process cleaner and eco-friendlier.

Green cremations, or natural cremations and eco-cremations, use no harmful or toxic chemicals to treat or embalm the body. This reduces the number of harmful gases released during the cremation. Another type of green cremation service is bio-cremation. Bio-cremation uses alkaline hydrolysis, or water resolution, to break down the body. The body is put inside a special chamber filled with potassium hydroxide, water, heat, and pressure for a few hours. Over time, the elemental combination breaks down the body into bone fragments just like traditional cremation services. The remains from bio-cremation can be scattered or buried just like traditional remains. Bio-cremation uses much less fossil fuel and energy and does not let off as much gas or emissions. As it’s still a fairly new method, bio-cremation is not readily available and may be more expensive.

There are also ways you personally can take steps to make cremation services greener. A few ways you can help out are:

  1. Choose to scatter the remains post-cremation. Buried remains use up ground space with caskets, and any chemicals leftover from the process could seep into the ground. Scattering takes up less space!
  2. Remove any dental fillings before the cremation. When dental amalgams are burned, they release a lot of harmful mercury gas into the air. By removing the amalgams before the cremation, you are helping prevent these emissions.
  3. If you do choose to bury the remains, do so in a natural urn or container that breaks down naturally. Choose a receptacle made out of handmade paper or Himalayan rock salt.
  4. Use eco-friendly cremation caskets. These are specially built to not release any harmful gases or chemicals when burned, over traditional caskets that are made with chemicals and products that do not burn well.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TNIf you want more information on how you can be greener even in death or want to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremation services, contact Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory. We have years of experience in the cremation industry and would be happy to help you in any way we can, especially during a time of loss and grief. Feel free to call us or stop by anytime.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

To Your Family About Preplanning

You know how important it is to preplan your Clarksville, TN cremation service, but do you also know that you should talk to your family and loved ones about your plans? While discussing your death with your loved ones will never be easy, it’s always worth it because preplanning will give everyone peace of mind.

As necessary as this conversation is, it can also be very difficult. Loved ones don’t want to think about losing you, much less talk about the details of your cremation. As hard as it is to talk about preplanning, your family will appreciate it in the long run. If you’re ready to start preplanning for your cremation but aren’t quite sure how to breach the subject with your loved ones, use the following tips to help:

Get Ready for High Emotions: While you’ve taken time to plan and get used to the idea of your own passing, your family and loved ones most likely have not. The people you love will need some time to process all the emotions associated with your probable, eventual, or impending death and loss. They might get angry with you, experience denial about the conversation’s necessity, or be just plain sad at the idea of losing you. If things get too emotional, take a break, and continue the conversation once everyone has calmed down a bit.

Listen and Answer: Even though your final wishes are ultimately your decision and all about what you want, your loved ones will still want to have some input. Be ready to listen to their concerns and to answer any questions they might have. If you don’t have the answer right away, take the time you need to come up with one.

Know What You Want – Don’t try and talk to your family about your post-death wishes until you know what they are. Take time before you bring up the subject to research, think about, and decide precisely what you want. What kind of service do you want? Do you want a burial or cremation? Viewing or visitation? What’s the budget? Once you know the answer to those questions, you’ll be better able to express your concrete wishes to your family.

Stay Strong: While it’s important to listen to what your family has to say about your final wishes, it’s still mostly your decision at the end of the day. Don’t be afraid to be firm about what you want and stand up for decisions that are important to you. Once you’ve come to a decision everyone can be happy with, it’s a great idea to have a legal document drawn up with all the details so there are no questions after you’re gone.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

If you would like more assistance with preplanning a cremation service in Clarksville, TN, Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here for you. Please stop by or give us a call to learn more about how we can help you make important plans.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Save Money on Cremation Services

Losing a family member or loved one is never easy. Combine this stress with the financial aspect of paying for cremation services in Clarksville, TN and you’ve got one big cocktail of stress and pain. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways you can cut cremation costs while still giving an honorable and respectful goodbye to your lost loved one.

Even simple cremations cost money, not including the costs of services and other products. There is no shame in looking for help with paying for or lowering the cost of cremations. Here are three ways to do just that:

  1. Preplanning – Check the deceased’s papers and information to see if they made any plans to help pay for their cremation. They might have put in place things such as prepaying programs, funeral insurance, life insurance, and payable-on-death bank accounts.
  2. Fund Raising – Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your community, neighborhood, friends or other family. You’d be surprised how quickly people will chip in. Get creative with fund raising like car washes or bake sales, church groups or donations, memorial funds at the deceased’s workplace or bank, and crowd funding websites like GoFundMe.com or GiveForward.com. Social media is also a great tool to make your need known and get more people involved. Don’t be afraid to share any fund raising or write posts about your need.
  3. Government Assistance – Local, state and even federal government programs can help pay for funerals and cremations. Check with your local social service, county treasurer, or public fiduciary to see if any systems are in place. These programs have varying requirements, especially since local government budgets are tight, and they are making such programs more difficult to qualify for. Be sure to double check that you are eligible. The Social Security Administration can also provide assistance. Call to report a death and you may be eligible for a lump sum of $225 or other survivor benefits. Other federal programs that can help are Medicare, Medicaid and the Veteran’s Administration, The Bureau of Indian Affairs and The Railroad Retirement Board.

If you still can’t get enough funding, there are tons of low-cost cremation options you can choose from, including:

  • Host the memorial service at home, the community center, church or other religious establishment
  • Bring pot-luck food for the service
  • Choose body donation to a medical school or other organization (Science Care is the world’s largest body donor program)
  • Look into direct cremations
  • Bury the cremains on family land or a family plot

If you need more information on any of these ways to save money on cremation services or would like to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremations, Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. We offer a wide range of services with an even wider range of price points. We are here to help you in your time of loss, no matter what your budget. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.