Monday, September 10, 2018

Plan Your Own Funeral

Planning your own funeral is truly one of the most thoughtful and generous things you can do for your family. Think of it -- when your time comes, your loved ones will be distraught and emotionally less than fully capable for making the many decisions that now present themselves. Their funeral director will guide and help them through this difficult time, but there's someone else who can help them immensely: that's you.

All you need to do is make a record of your preferences and all the myriad info they will need to gather, and put it in one place.  We have created a Funeral Planning 101 sheet, and have made it as easy as possible to fill it in.  We've deliberately made it an information sheet that you can print out -- because with a print-out you can add data over time such as over a weekend, and you also won't need to worry that anyone is gathering your sensitive private information.  

Here are some of the ways you'll be lifting the load from their shoulders at the time of your passing:
- Do your loved ones know your parents' middle names?  Their places of birth?  These are things that will be needed, and not necessarily very easy to gather.  Write them down in the Funeral Planning sheet.
- How about Life Insurance? Or your Pension Plan number? The location of your will? Your loved ones will need to find these, and you can make it easy for them -- save them from hunting through paperwork to find such things.
- What about your preferences for burial versus cremation? Most spouses know this one, but some couples just never get around to talking about it, or even if they have discussed it, there may never have been a final choice made. They will be so happy to be sure they are doing what you wanted.
- What about the style of cremation urn or casket you would like? Knowing you chose it will mean the world to them. We've had increasing numbers of people who buy their cremation urn as part of their funeral planning.  The urn can be tucked away in a place you show to your loved one, and can even contain your Funeral Planning sheet.  Or -- you can put it out in full view, as a reminder to live fully and well every day. I know of one lady who uses her urn as a flower vase, until such time as it will be needed -- she loves it!
- If you really feel like being 'present' at your own funeral, you can make a collection of the music of your life -- a CD of your favorite songs will not only represent you during the service, it will become a treasured keepsake afterward.

There is so much to organize when we lose a loved one. You can eliminate the better part of the stress of gathering information, simply by providing it in one easy document, on a Funeral Planning sheet like this one.  If you print it out to fill it in, congratulations for doing such a marvelous thing for your family!  

And, if you should decide to buy your cremation urn as part of your funeral planning, it's our pleasure to reward you with a Coupon Code for a 20% discount on any of our cremation urns and keepsake memorials.  Simply enter this code during checkout:  LOVE20 --- and free shipping is still included to anywhere in continental USA or Canada!

All best wishes,

Barbara Bergen, designer
Cremation Urns by Legacy

Thursday, May 10, 2018

What Size Are Cremation Urns?

We often hear the question posed:  "What size are cremation urns?" 
Various Sizes of Urns and Keepsakes
Those who are searching for a cremation urn or keepsake are sometimes unsure about the size they should be looking for.  

When we experience the death of a loved one, there are so many immediate details to consider and decide upon, it can be overwhelming. And these myriad decisions are required at exactly the same time when we are distressed and least capable, emotionally, of researching and making informed choices.

The main rule of thumb about urn sizes is this: one pound of healthy body weight is approximately equal to one cubic inch of ashes.  In other words, if your loved one weighed 180 lbs., then you would need an urn with at least 180 cubic inches of interior volume. 

The standard size of most cremation urns is 200 cubic inches, to hold the ashes of one who weighed up to 200 lbs.  However, there are urns that are larger and some that are smaller than this standard size, so it's important when searching for a funeral urn online to check its cubic inch volume in the details of the description, before buying it.
Iridescent Green Mini Urn

We have 10 different sizes of urns and keepsakes in our web store Cremation Urns by Legacy that range from 200 cubic inches for adult urns, to 175 cubic inches for more petite adult urns, to keepsake spheres in 5 sizes, plus mini urns to hold 1 cubic inch, and cremation jewelry that contains only a pinch of ashes.  If the family has decided to divide the ashes, then there are many different sizes of keepsakes to consider.
Celtic Cross Sterling Urn Pendant

We also have a search function within our web store, to help narrow down what urns are available, based on your loved one's weight, or based on the number of family members who intend to share the ashes.  Here is the link to the search page by weight.  Look on the left of the page, where various weight/volume categories are offered.

Also, here is a brief video that outlines the 4 factors that affect the size of the cremation urn and/or keepsake you will choose:  What Size Are Cremation Urns?  

When the time comes to select an urn or keepsake, we hope this has been helpful.  Please use our Friends and Family coupon code, FAF10 -- simply enter it during checkout for 10% off your entire purchase, and free shipping to Canada or the United States.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sizes of Cremation Urns

Cremation Urn and Keepsake Memorial Sizes
Urn and Matching Keepsake

As a designer of cremation urns and keepsakes, I try to offer a variety sizes to answer all the options a family may be considering for creating a beautiful and meaningful memorial to their loved one. To me, the purpose of an urn memorial is to honor the loved one by aptly capturing their essence in an urn or keepsake, that will inspire loving memories for years to come. The size of the memorial can be big or small, depending on whether the family wishes to keep all the ashes in one urn, or to divide the ashes among several keepsakes, or to scatter some or all of the ashes.

Medium Cremation Urn holds up to 175 cubic inches
The standard full-size adult urn is 200 cubic inches, as prescribed by CANA, the Cremation Association of North America.  200 cubic inches is the volume needed to contain the ashes of someone whose healthy weight was up to 200 pounds.  I also have designed a line of more petite Medium size urns, from our Reflections Series, that are 175 cubic inches -- one of these urns will contain the ashes of one who weighed up to 175 lbs. 

This Small Keepsake holds up to 12 cubic inches
If the family wishes to share the ashes among family members, then each of the vessels will be a keepsake size. My keepsake urns vary in size from 75 cubic inches, to 35, 30, 18, 12 and 1 cubic inches.  When families live at great distances from one another, they will sometimes choose to divide the ashes into several keepsakes, or sometimes in one urn plus one or more keepsakes.  In this case, use 'The Formula' to add up the volume capacities of the urn plus all the keepsakes:  one pound of healthy weight = one cubic inch of ashes.

Some families choose to conduct a scattering ceremony, which can be a beautiful and intimate ritual, usually attended by immediate family members and possibly a very close friend. I know of one family who chose to scatter the ashes -- they used the urn as the scattering vessel, and they now use the empty urn vessel as a vase to hold flowers, which goes on the table during every family gathering.  

Depending upon the size of the person and the family’s choice to divide or scatter the ashes, the size of the urn or keepsake can vary. Whether big or small, a memorial stands for the unique style and personality of our loved one.  A full size cremation urn or a small keepsake will evoke loving memories of their beautiful spirit.
See all of Cremation Urns by Legacy's urns and keepsakes at their web store  



Sunday, April 20, 2014

About Time, About Life and Death

Honey and I watched a little sleeper of a film last night, About Time.  We were both completely charmed, and as devoted movie buffs, can't imagine why it wasn't nominated for Best Original Screenplay.  It's both written and directed by Richard Curtis, who also wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral, and who wrote/directed Love Actually and Notting Hill.  It's witty, sophisticated, and above all it's an inspiring celebration of life.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who is interested in the interplay among life, death and love.  It's an uplifting life lesson for anyone who is in life and in love, from the joy of creating a family, to mid-life, to end of life.  I don't know of another film that so completely nails the aspiration to live in the moment. That's all I'll say, because I don't want to give the story away.  Enjoy!

Barbara Bergen collaborates with high caliber artists to create beautiful cremation urns, memorial keepsakes, cremation jewelry and pet urns.  These artworks are available in her web store, Cremation Urns by Legacy.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What Does a Cremation Urn Have to Do With Life?

What Does a Cremation Urn Have to Do With Life?

It's a curious question.  A funeral urn's purpose is to contain the ashes of a person who has passed through death, right?  And to act as a focus during their funeral service, much like a casket will do at the front of the chapel, when burial is chosen.  So what does an urn have to do with life? 
Art Glass Cremation Urn

Because so many families choose to keep the urn in their home, the selection of the vessel has much to do with the quality of their life as they go forward after losing someone they love. It will continue to act as a focus for their loving memories, and also somewhat as a presence of their loved one's spirit as they progress through grief.  Most families will try to find an urn that reflects their loved one's style and personality, one that lets them assure themselves with the conviction that "She/he would have liked this one".

Keepsake Urn Memorials
A full sized urn may be too imposing for some to live with on a day to day basis. A smaller keepsake urn can also act as an avatar for the deceased. In cases where the family wishes to divide the ashes among family members, a small memorial keepsake can provide this focus. A small urn memorial can enable a tactile way of holding the loved one in your hands at times of deep grief or simply for experiencing loving memories. Often, families will choose to scatter the ashes in a scattering ceremony, which can be a very intimate act that is meaningful because it involves only the immediate family and perhaps the very closest of friends, each of whom might wish to say a few very personal words. When scattering, they may wish to keep just a small portion of the ashes in a keepsake urn memorial, or in a cremation jewelry pendant.  

But more on life. There is an increasing number of people who are pre-planning their own funerals.  We like to make a statement, and recording our final wishes often will include our desire that friends and family celebrate life, rather than mourn death.  Some of us even provide a playlist of the music that has been meaningful to our life. Boomers have always liked a good party, and many are making statements with their final fete - even with a simple request such as holding their life celebration at a location like their ski lodge, golf course, bowling alley, or some in their most sacred place, such as their garden.

Pre-planning can have a wonderful effect on one's life, enhancing mindfulness about how precious every day is, and that our time on earth is limited, each of us with a mystery expiry date. None of us knows how long we'll be here, and appreciating the time we have, in the present moment, is a life-affirming act.  I know one very astute lovely elderly lady who has bought her cremation urn well in advance, so she can enjoy it as a flower vase until it is needed as an urn for her ashes.

I have put a free, printable work-sheet on my web site, called Funeral Planning 101, so that anyone who wants to express their final wishes can easily do so.  Simply print out the work-sheet, fill in the blanks, and put it with your Will or any other documents you may want to provide for easing the burden of your loved ones' decision making at the time of your passing.

As my Grampa often said, "No one gets out alive."  He used to say this with a twinkle in his eye, a scotch in his hand, and a wry smile that bespoke his knowledge of the subject - he was a doctor, and a person who lived a good, long and very full life with a great sense of humor.  And a finely tuned appreciation for life.

Barbara Bergen is a designer who collaborates with top artists to create beautiful cremation urns and keepsakes.  This collection of artworks may be seen in her web store, Cremation Urns by Legacy.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Discount Code for Cremation Urns

We would like to help you find a truly beautiful funeral urn or keepsake with which to create a memorial to your loved one. So we are offering a 10% Discount Code, FPC10.
Poppies Keepsake Memento

It's so important to find an urn or keepsake memento that captures the essence of your loved one's spirit.  And creating a beautiful memorial is an affirming step in the process of grieving and healing.

We have set up this 10% discount for all items in our web store, including cremation urns, keepsakes and pet urns.  This Coupon Code, FPC10, is easy to use.  Simply find an item or a number of items you would like, add to cart, proceed to checkout, and enter the coupon code FPC10 in the coupon code window, then click 'apply'.  Your entire purchase will be immediately discounted by 10%, and Free Ground Shipping is still included.  The only items that are excluded from the 10% discount are Air Express Shipping and Gift Cards.

Meadow Cremation Urn
These artistic cremation urns and keepsakes are crafted by hand and signed by the artist, and are designed to uplift and inspire loving memories for years to come. We offer a no questions asked refund policy, although in 10 years, we have never had an item returned.  In fact, most people find our products are even more beautiful in person than they appear in photographs on our web site.  Many of the pieces in our collection have an iridescent sheen that is not easy to see in photography.  This iridescent glaze gives these funeral pieces an ethereal, shimmering quality that is much more apparent to the eye in person.
Medium Spheres are Appropriate as Partial-containment Urns (for sharing the ashes among family members) or as Pet Urns

Mini Urn Keepsake


We hope you'll use this 10% discount coupon code, FPC10, to find an urn or keepsake that resonates with you, and that beautifully reflects the unique style and spirit of your loved one.

Barbara Bergen works with top glass artists, who sign the extraordinary funeral urns and keepsakes that are represented at Cremation Urns by Legacy

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cremation Urns by Size

How do we know what size of cremation urn to buy? There is a simple rule of thumb for choosing the right size urn to contain the ashes from your loved one - it is this: 1 pound of body weight = 1 cubic inch of ashes.  This rule over-compensates for differences in body composition, because 1 pound of body weight actually renders a little less than 1 cubic inch of ash, also known as cremains.

For ease of finding and choosing the right size funeral urn for your loved one, we have created a search function in our web site that enables you to search by urn size, on this page called Cremation Urns by Size.

Full Size Adult Urn and Matching Keepsakes
Urns for ashes come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common standard size for an adult urn is 200 cubic inches, such as the Meadow urn pictured here.  This sphere-topped urn contains the cremains from a person up to 200 pounds within the urn vessel, and the additional 12 cubic inch sphere top may hold mementos such as wedding rings, photos, a poem or a lock of hair, separately from the ashes.  However, there are many full size urns available that are smaller, and also many that are larger than the standard 200 cubic inches.  The span of sizes resembles sizes in clothing, ranging from small to extra large.

There are also various sizes in keepsake urns.  Sometimes a family will wish to choose a full size urn for their loved one, as well as one or more keepsakes, such as the matching Meadow sphere or keepsake glass heart shown here.  Keepsakes may function as vessels for a portion of the ashes, or they may serve as a memorial only.  For example, our spherical keepsake urn holds up to 12 cubic inches of ashes, and may be engraved on its brass closure and/or on its brass ring stand with name, dates and a few loving words.  Our keepsake heart contains no ashes at all, but is intended instead as a consoling heirloom memorial which may be laser engraved on the back, and is sized to fit perfectly in the palm of one's hand.

The most difficult loss of all is that of a child, and creating a memorial can be one of the most healing acts in the process of moving through such deep grief.  Some of our Keepsake Urns may be used as Infant Cremation Urns, and most of these may be engraved to create a beautiful in-home memorial.

We are hopeful that your search for the perfect urn for your loved one is made easier with the help of the size search function in our site.  Searching Cremation Urns by Size will distill the choices to the closest size to your loved one's weight.  You will want to be sure that the ashes will all be contained within the urn of your choice, and of course, you can always choose an urn that is bigger than necessary.

Barbara Bergen is Designer and CEO for Cremation Urns by Legacy, whose collection of extraordinary funeral urns is meant to uplift and inspire loving memories for years to come.