Planning a cremation in Bellingham will be one of the first things you will do after your loved one dies. Typically, you will meet with the funeral director within a day of your loved one’s death and you will be able to plan the cremation according to your loved one’s wishes and your wishes.
Be sure to take your loved one’s birth certificate, social security card, marriage license (if applicable), and, if they served in any branch of the military and you want military honors included in their service, a copy of their military separation orders (Form DD-214).
The first step of planning a cremation in Bellingham is deciding whether you want to do a direct cremation or an indirect cremation. When you choose to do a direct cremation, your loved one will be cremated before a service of any kind is held. Direct cremations are usually done within 24-48 hours after death.
If you choose to do an indirect cremation, then your loved one will be cremated after a service is held. You can choose whether you want to also do a viewing (your loved one will be present, but embalming and a casket must be purchased) or a visitation (your loved one won’t be present) followed by a funeral or memorial service.
In the cremation planning meeting, the funeral home director will have you sign an authorization for the cremation.
The next thing the funeral director will do is discuss how you want your loved one’s cremation remains stored. The funeral home has a very large selection of urns and keepsakes in which your loved one’s cremation remains can be stored.
Be sure to let the funeral director know if you are planning to have your loved one inurned in a columbarium or buried in a cemetery plot or urn garden. You will need an outdoor urn for these final resting place options, and the funeral director can make sure everything is coordinated for the inurnment or burial.
Planning a service for your loved one will be the centerpiece of planning a cremation in Bellingham. Whether you choose to have a service before your loved one is cremated or after they are cremation, you have a lot of flexibility in planning the content of the service and what happens surrounding the service.
For example, if your loved one is a military veteran, one of the options you have is to have Patriot Guard Riders at the service. The Patriot Guard Riders were formed in 2005 to ensure that the funerals of military veterans – especially those coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan – were not disrupted and to ensure that the respect and honor for the deceased veterans was maintained.
Now, the Patriot Guard Riders extend this protection to all services held for military veterans. Though the large-scale disruptions during those two unpopular wars have abated, the Patriot Guard Riders work hard to make sure the military veterans get the honor and respect they deserve. The funeral director can arrange for the Patriot Guard Riders to be at your loved one’s service. They will line the entry path with American flags, and they will greet and escort each attendee to the entryway of the service.
Military honors will also be arranged by the funeral home director with the Department of Veterans Affairs or local veterans’ organizations. They will include the presentation of the American flag, a 21-gun salute, and a performance of “Taps.”
If you’d like to learn more about planning a cremation in Bellingham, our empathetic and knowledgeable staff at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Bayview Chapel can help.