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.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

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.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Traditional Burial Veteran’s Services and Funeral Homes

Though cremation services are becoming more and more popular all across the country when it comes to veteran’s services there are still many families that choose traditional burials over cremation. A large number of funeral homes in Clarksville, TN offer both traditional burial and cremation services. Do you know which one you want for your lost veteran?

As other’s experiences may help you choose what’s right for you and your lost loved one, there are some common reasons why people choose traditional burial and veteran’s services. First, many families have been burying lost family members in the same cemetery for generations, so it’s important for them to continue this long-standing family tradition. For many people, holding onto this burial tradition is comforting in a time of loss and is an important part of their family history.

There are also many religions that dictate burial over cremation even though other religions have come around to the idea of cremation over burial. Many branches of Christianity and Catholicism allow for cremation, but there are still many religions that hold firm in their beliefs that burial is the only way to go. For example, the Jewish faith does not condone cremation. If it’s important for you and your family to maintain religious traditions, then you should absolutely choose burial. There are also a lot of myths surrounding cremation, from having ashes given to the wrong person to a lack of dignity. These myths might deter people from choosing cremation and have them choose burial instead.

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Even though these myths are mostly not based in fact, it’s perfectly OK for people to choose burial if they prefer or if it makes them more comfortable. If it’s your personal preference to choose burial, then that’s what you should do. On average, cremations cost less than burials. This lowered cost is one of the main reasons why people are choosing cremation over burial. However, there are those that don’t mind the extra cost because burial is important to them and their family. Not everyone is concerned about cost when it comes to putting a loved one to rest. If you are ready to spend more money on a burial to honor your lost loved one or a family tradition than you should do so without any guilt.

Sometimes the deceased leaves clear instructions for his or her final disposition. If the deceased wanted to be buried, then you should follow his or her wishes. However, at the end of the day, choosing a burial or a cremation all depends on what’s important to you and your family. There is nothing wrong with choosing a burial just as there is nothing wrong with choosing a cremation.

Do you want to learn more about burial, cremation or Clarksville, TN funeral homes? Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help. 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

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.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Questions Surrounding Military Service Loss

From a traditional military service at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN to non-traditional services, everyone that faces the loss of a military servicemember will also deal with a long and difficult journey to healing. Many bereaved ask themselves questions about the loss during this time of grief and mourning.

These questions usually fall into two categories: Why and How. “Why did this happen to us?” “Why did God let something like this happen?” “How will I start to feel better?” “How do I find the positive in this loss?” Everyone can find themselves asking different questions, as everyone responds to grief differently. Have compassion and understanding with yourself as you grieve, and don’t try to overthink what you’re going through.

Most importantly, talk about your feelings and experiences either with a loved one or a professional. After all, if you’re asking yourself these or similar questions, you are definitely not alone.

  • Why Don’t I Feel Better Yet? Losing someone you love isn’t like breaking a leg or spraining your wrist. There is no set amount of time that it will take your loss to heal. Let yourself grieve as long as you need to. You will start to feel better over time as you slowly reach healing milestones. Celebrate your small victories as you heal.
  • What Should I Do if I Feel Like I’ll Never Get Over the Loss? Death and loss aren’t something one should try to overcome, especially since death and loss aren’t things that anyone can fix. Instead of trying to fix the grief, learn to live with it. It will adapt as you grow, and you will slowly begin to move forward.
  • How Can I Tell My Doctor That I Don’t Want Medication? Communication is key with your health professional, especially when it comes to mental health. It’s vital that you communicate with your doctor if you don’t want to take medication, as then he or she can come up with a different plan to help you.
  • Why Aren’t My Friends Supporting Me? Many people don’t know how to help someone that is grieving, as it’s such a personal thing to deal with. Your friends, coworkers, or even family simply might not know how to relate to what you’re going through, or they might be afraid of offending you. Tell them how you feel, and what they can do to better support you.
  • What’s Wrong with Me? If you feel like your grief is different or weird, don’t worry. Nothing is wrong with you. We all grieve in different ways. You might be grieving differently that someone that is facing the exact same loss as you, and that’s OK. Even if it feels like no one can understand you, try talking about your feelings.

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Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about dealing with grief, the loss of a military servicemember, or Clarksville, TN funeral homes. 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.

funeral home in Clarksville, TN

Popular Choices for Funeral Home Songs

Music is a powerful tool that can evoke emotion and mood. That’s why almost every funeral at a funeral home in Clarksville, TN has music. There are many different kinds of funeral home songs out there, from traditional to modern and everything in between.

There are an amazing number of options when it comes to funeral songs. So how do you choose the songs for your loved one’s funeral? You can choose the music by getting inspired with common and popular funeral song choices. There are tons of options out there, from common to more unique. Here are some that might inspire you. This list includes country, modern, classic and traditional options:

  1. See You Again by Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth
  2. Only One by Kanye West and performed by Kanye West and Paul McCartney
  3. Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran
  4. In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan
  5. When I Get Where I’m Going by Brad Paisley
  6. If You’re Reading This by Tim McGraw
  7. One More Day by Diamond Rio
  8. Lay Me Down by Sam Smith
  9. Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World
  10. How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
  11. Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
  12. Broken Halos by Chris Stapleton
  13. Drink a Beer by Luke Bryan
  14. Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (there are many other iterations by other artists)
  15. Let It Be by The Beatles
  16. Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney
  17. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
  18. Hero by Mariah Carey
  19. You Should Be Here by Cole Swindell
  20. Over You by Miranda Lambert
  21. Fix You by Coldplay

You should also take some time to think about what kind of music the deceased would have enjoyed, as the point of the funeral is to celebrate his or her life. However, you can also get inspired by music that the funeral guests will enjoy, too. You can even try playing a few different kinds of music to try and meet everyone’s tastes and preferences, though you shouldn’t stress about meeting everyone’s tastes as that’s almost impossible to accomplish.

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You also need to choose songs that go along with your plan for the funeral. Think about if you want songs that speak about death and spending eternity in heaven, or songs that remind you of certain qualities and characteristics of the deceased. You can also look for songs that allow for reflection over fond memories or ones that your lost loved one enjoyed.

All music can evoke powerful emotions and memories, so go with your heart when making the decision. Choosing the kind of music, you want to play at your lost loved one’s funeral is a very personal experience, so there is no right or wrong answer. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you would like to learn more about your options for Clarksville, TN funeral homes or funeral music. Stop by and visit us or give us a call today, as we are happy to assist 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.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

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.

Clarksville, TN funeral home

Choosing Flowers for Military Services at Funeral Homes

Flowers have always been a part of the funeral home tradition in Clarksville, TN and beyond. Bringing flowers as a gift for the bereaved is very common, especially when it comes to military funeral services.

But what kind of flowers are you supposed to bring to a funeral? To begin, it’s a good idea to learn more about the different kinds of traditional funeral flowers so you can put a bit of thought into your purchase, as each one represents or means something different. Roses, for example, have a lot of different meanings depending on their color. Pink roses are all about grace, friendly love and appreciation while red roses are for romantic love, courage and respect. Yellow roses, on the other hand, are for friendship. There are tons more to choose from.

Carnations are a common funeral flower because, like roses, they mean different things based on color. Red carnations mean affection, pink remembrance and white innocence. Orchids signify lasting, eternal love as they live for much longer than the average potted flower. Lilies, on the other hand, are the most traditional funeral flower as the signify innocence and peace. Many people believe that lilies help give peace to the soul of the deceased.

Chrysanthemums, or mums, are the exclusive funeral flower in Europe and many parts of Asia as they are believed to represent grief and truth while also the uplifting celebration of the deceased’s life. Looking for something more light and cheerful? Choose tulips or daffodils as both of these sunny spring flowers represent fresh starts and renewals. They are usually sent to bring cheer to someone in grief. Yellow tulips signify cheerfulness while white tulips signify forgiveness.

Finally, while hydrangeas don’t have a known meaning or representation, they are an incredibly beautiful and popular funeral flower. Some people like to think of them as a flower of thanks or understanding as they are easy to maintain and bloom for many years when cared for well.

These are just a few of the many different kinds of funeral flowers you can bring to military services at a funeral home. Use your heart when choosing which type you want to bring, as its really the thought that counts. No matter which you choose, the bereaved will greatly appreciate the sentiment.

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After all, they’re going through a loss and will be busy dealing with the ins and outs of the funeral. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put thought or effort into the flowers, especially since it’s the thought that really counts in these kinds of situations. Bringing flowers shows that you care, and that you are thinking about the bereaved in their difficult time.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you need more guidance on which funeral flowers you should bring to a Clarksville, TN funeral home for a military service. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss. After all, your lost military service member deserves the best.

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.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

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.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Funeral Homes and Pet Therapy

Many funeral directors are choosing to implement pet therapy programs in funeral homes in Clarksville, TN and the rest of the country. In some cases, grief-therapy dogs even attend funerals. But what is pet therapy? And how do these animals, like dogs and cats, help people cope with loss and grief? Keep reading to learn more about this new funeral trend that is helpful and almost always very adorable.

Pet therapy programs were first initiated in the 1980s and involved volunteers bringing their pets to schools, hospitals and care homes for interaction with children and patients. There are pet therapy programs all around the world now, but it’s been only recent that funeral directors have begun using pet therapy in their funeral homes to help patrons deal with grief and loss. Grief therapy dogs first started popping up in the United States in the last few years. These dogs are usually owned by the funeral director and are brought to funerals and memorial services when requested by the bereaved.

Pet therapy has been used in schools, hospitals, care homes and universities all around the world. Pet therapy, often referred to as animal assisted therapy or AAT, is when a trained animal interacts with a human with a specific mood or cognitive goal in mind. The animals, most often dogs, cats, lambs, and Shetland ponies, are thoroughly trained and are usually accompanied by a handler. These therapy animals are chosen for their positions based on friendly and calm personalities as well as comfort interacting with strangers. There are even famous therapy pets, such as Norbert, an American therapy dog.

There are also new businesses and volunteer programs in which services will bring dogs to funerals when requested. A grief therapy dog’s main job is to be a calming presence at the funeral. They are especially helpful in calming and distracting children that may not have ever been to a funeral before or may be afraid of the proceedings. Grief therapy dogs can also support the bereaved through hugs, snuggles and even calming walks when things get hard.

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Grief therapy pets, like dogs, are only allowed to attend funerals when specifically requested. There are always signs posted when a dog is in attendance at a service to warn guests that might have allergies or might be afraid of dogs. If you are considering having a grief pet at a funeral, think about the guests. If there are many attendees that would be distressed by a dog, it’s not an appropriate choice. However, if many guests would be helped by the dog, it is a worthwhile investment.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you are interested in learning more about pet therapy or about your options for Clarksville, TN funeral homes. We offer a range of funeral home services. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.