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.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gift Cards for Cremation Urns

At the anniversary of the birth of death of a loved one, or at occasions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, we can feel the loss most strongly, as we mark another year without them.

For some families, the focus of these dates will be on gathering together and supporting one another through grief and loss.  Sometimes the loss is so recent that a funeral urn or memorial keepsake has not yet been chosen. Often times, the family is too overwhelmed with the funeral and its aftermath, and they simply defer the idea of shopping for an urn until later, when they will be more emotionally capable of addressing it. 

This is why we have created a Gift Card plan that easily enables a family member to send a gift amount to another person, or to several persons at once, which will then allow them to choose the urn or keepsake they would like from our web store.

For example, when a husband loses his wife, he and his family have put off shopping for an urn. When he is ready to look for an urn or keepsake with which to memorialize her, he may go to our web store to buy his wife's urn for himself, and Gift Cards for any amount he likes for each of his children, so they may each order a keepsake memorial or memento.  The Gift Cards will be automatically emailed to each of the children's email addresses, with a Gift Code.  When each one decides to use the Gift Code, they simply shop from our web site, and during checkout they will be prompted to enter the Gift Card code.

Or, if the children wish to go together on a funeral urn as a gift to their father, each of them may go to our Gift Card page, and buy a Gift Card in any amount each of them wishes.  A Gift Card code will then be emailed to their father from each of them, for use on our web site at any time he wishes to buy an urn or keepsake.  He may then combine all the Gift Card codes together to make one purchase of a special funeral urn or memorial keepsake.

Families who have lost a pet may also find closure by creating a beautiful memorial with one of our artistic spherical pet urns.

Our urns for ashes and memorial keepsakes are designed to offer beautiful choices, so that your family may find an inspiring piece that reflects the beautiful spirit of your loved one.  We believe in healing through beauty, and that closure may be found by honoring your loved one with a beautiful resting place. 

Barbara Bergen is Designer and CEO of Cremation Urns by Legacy, a web store with Free Ground Shipping to all points in the continental USA and Canada.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cremation Urns 10% Discount

Cremation Urns and Keepsakes - 10% Discount Code GP10

Full Size Adult Urn with Sphere Top for Mementos
Many bereaved families have recognized at the time of a funeral that they were in too fragile an emotional state to begin shopping for a cremation urn or keepsake memorial that would truly befit their loved one's style and personality. Rather, they elected to accept the box containing the ashes from the crematory temporarily, to give themselves time to earnestly research and find 'the right urn'. If you've found this post, then in all likelihood you have found the right moment to find the urn that will represent your loved one's spirit.
Various Engravable 'Tiffany Style Iridescent' Memorial Keepsake Urns

We therefore thought it might be helpful to extend a discount, giving families 10% off any and all of our cremation urn products and keepsakes.  Simply go to our web store, Cremation Urns by Legacy,  peruse our exceptionally artistic products, and when you have found the perfect urn or keepsake, click the 'Buy Now' button and enter this Discount Code during checkout: GP10.  (There is a small window on the one-page checkout that prompts you to enter your Coupon Code.)

Celtic Cross Sterling Silver Cremation Pendant
Free shipping by ground applies to all destinations within continental North America (including Alaska) and anywhere in Canada. All of our products are also tax free and duty free to our US customers, and all pricing is in US dollars.

This discount code, GP10, is applicable at checkout to any and all of our adult cremation urns, keepsake urns, infant cremation urns, cremation jewelry and pet urns.  (The only exceptions to the 10% discount are our Gift Cards and Express Air Shipping, if free ground shipping is not fast enough.)

We hope this coupon code, GP10, will help to bring comfort and closure to you and your family, by bringing you to our fine urn collection, where you may find the perfect cremation urn or memorial keepsake that beautifully represents the unique and enduring spirit of your loved one.

Barbara Bergen is Designer and CEO for Cremation Urns by Legacy.  She works with highly acclaimed artists and artisans to create what one customer has declared are "... some of the most beautiful cremation urns and keepsakes ... anywhere." - PB, San Diego, CA.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Poppies Keepsakes for Veterans Day

Poppies Keepsake Memorial

Poppies Keepsakes for Veterans Day 

November 11th is Veterans Day in the USA, also known as Remembrance Day in Canada, and it marks the end of World War I, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.  With ceremony, parades, and a moment of silence at 11:00am, we reflect on the immense debt of gratitude every one of us owes to our military men and women.  This day not only commemorates those who have given their lives, it honors all who have served their country. Their courage and commitment to protecting our homeland, and indeed the world at large, warrant the deepest respect.

By wearing a brilliant red poppy at this time of year, we are able to display our thanks on our lapels, at the same time as making as small tangible donation to elderly veterans, many of whom need financial help in their senior years, or to returning veterans who have encountered difficulty re-entering life at home. The purchase of a poppy pin is a small token of appreciation we can confer to them.

There are approximately 21 million veterans in the US.  At roughly 6.7% of the population, chances are that nearly everyone knows a family with a military member.  Many families' war veterans have passed on, and it is important to cultivate gratitude and remembrance among our younger generation.  Whether it's a young person's grandfather who was a hero in World War II, or a family who has lost its son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother, there are many ways to keep their memory alive.  A corner of the fireplace mantel is reserved for a gathering of framed photos.  A section of the china cabinet houses military medals of honor.  The flag is flown at half mast in towns and cities for fallen soldiers.

Some families have found comfort in adding a small keepsake to their shrine of remembrance.  At this time of year, keepsake mementos with the pervasive poppies motif may be given as gifts to help honor the ones we have lost.

A keepsake memorial does not need to be big - in fact, sometimes smaller is better.  If it fits into the palm of one's hand, it can help with processing grief, healing over time, and remembrance for future generations through a permanent small memorial.

Acknowledging our gratitude helps us all to cope with our loss, and honor our military family members. Please share the stories of heroism and service you've known by leaving a comment here. 

Barbara Bergen is a designer of cremation urns and keepsake memorials with Cremation Urns by Legacy.  Her full collection may be seen at