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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Is It OK to Change Cremation Urns?

Cremation Urns by Legacy's Morning Glory Urn
Whenever I've been asked 'Is it OK to change cremation urns?', my answer, without hesitation is 'Yes, of course, if it makes you and your family feel better'.

The moment we lose a loved one, our decision making capacity becomes impaired by grief at exactly the time when myriad important decisions must be made. The choices that are made now will permanently affect our remembrance of this major life event.

Funeral planning is no easy task, but it provides us a valuable ritual that becomes a meaningful passage into the healing process. One of the first major decisions to be made regards traditional burial versus cremation. If burial is chosen, the casket will be seen only during pre-funeral viewing, at the funeral ceremony itself, and finally at the grave site as it is lowered into the earth.  If cremation has been chosen, the urn choice is one we hope to be happy with forever, as we will in most cases live with it in one way or another.

With the Memorial Service scheduled within a few days, the family often lacks the time, focus, or emotional wherewithal to research and find an urn that aptly represents the style and spirit of their loved one. Sometimes they will simply accept the plastic or cardboard utilitarian box from the crematory as a temporary container for the cremated remains, with the intention of finding that perfect urn after the whirlwind of the funeral is over. Other families will choose quickly from a limited array of urns, because it's important to them to have the urn present during the service. Unfortunately, if this hastily chosen urn isn't one that makes them feel good long term, it will too often be relegated to the closet or the basement for storage. While avoiding the discomfort of living with an object that isn't particularly inspiring or befitting of their loved one's persona, this alternative can engender instead the guilt of putting it away.

In my opinion, the purpose of a cremation urn is not only to act as a vessel for containing ashes. To me, the higher purpose of an urn is to truly reflect the unique persona of the loved one, so that it might evoke warm and special memories every time it is seen. This is especially true when the family has chosen to place the urn in a distinctive location within their home, where it is encountered often and becomes part of their everyday life.  And it's similarly true when the urn has been placed in a glass-front columbarium niche at the cemetery, funeral home or church, because going to visit the urn's location is an act of deliberate meditation on, and communing with, the loved one.

When we lose a loved one, our lives are literally upended.  At a time when we are most distressed, we are faced with dozens of decisions and tasks - cremation versus burial; arranging the funeral or life celebration; choosing who will deliver the eulogy; gathering all the required information for the necessary paperwork; communicating with family and friends; helping to coordinate travel intentions; and in the process, trying to cope with our own deeply felt grief. We don't even know what will be expected or required of us until we're swept up into it.  By the time we turn to finding a funeral urn, the urn choice is not necessarily what we would have made if we'd had the luxury of time or the benefit of emotional well-being.

This is why I've encountered the question about switching cremation urns.  When our lives have returned to relative normality, we can take a deep breath and consider finding an urn that truly expresses the essence of our loved one.

When we've found the perfect urn, we now must make decisions about the transfer of the ashes.  Some turn to their funeral home to provide this service. Others assign one family member or close friend to make the transfer for them. Still others embrace the opportunity to handle the transfer themselves, treating the occasion as an act of deep caring for their loved one. And some families opt to create an intimate ceremony in the presence of immediate family. With the benefit of time to breathe and talk about it, families can bond through the discussion, and decide on how they would like to make the transfer.

If a family is asking the question 'Is it OK to change cremation urns?', it's likely that they chose an urn in haste during a very difficult time. They sense it would be the right thing to do to switch to a more appropriate urn. Rather than living with misgivings about an urn choice they made under pressing conditions, they wish to find a sense of completion by honoring their loved one with a beautiful resting place that will forever evoke fond memories.

A cremation urn is an important statement about the loved one, who would no doubt approve of changing it to make their family feel better in every way possible. Surely, if I may project for a moment, the loved one would wish their family to have happy memories about them, and feel good when they see the urn. Ultimately, a cremation urn becomes a memorial we live with, and one that can help in the healing process. 

Let's open the discussion - comment here for the benefit of others who are considering switching to a different cremation urn. What do you think about changing cremation urns?

Barbara Bergen is a designer of cremation urns, keepsake memorials, cremation jewelry and pet urns at Cremation Urns by Legacy.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Funeral Planning 101

Funeral Planning 101

Boomers are starting to feel 'the Big Chill', and are beginning to put their affairs in order.  So we've posted a simple Funeral Planning Worksheet to our web site for anyone to easily print out and fill in their personal information and final choices. The forethought of pulling all this data together for your family ahead of time is one of the most generous gifts you can give them. At a time when they are emotionally distressed beyond measure, they must provide a) your personal information, much of which will take digging and research, and b) myriad personal choices and decisions regarding your funeral.

Think about some of the information that will be needed - if you died tomorrow, would your spouse know your mother's middle name?  Your father's birthplace?  Your mother's date of birth? Your preferences about burial versus cremation? Who you might have chosen to deliver the eulogy at your funeral?  All these details can be available in a place you've made known to at least one family member, to save them all the stress of scrambling to assemble it, at the very moment when they are least capable of doing so.

Boomers are also beginning to re-invent the traditional funeral - look in the obits, and you'll see that funerals have been rebranded as Life Celebrations.  People are pre-planning their Life Celebration as their big final party, complete with a CD of the music they would like played during their memorial service.  In addition to traditional services at the funeral home or church, Memorial Services are now being staged creatively in alternative locations that reflect meaningfully of the loved one - places like golf courses, pubs, ski lodges, restaurants, community halls and bowling alleys.

This Funeral Planning Worksheet is free, printer friendly, and it's just about the nicest thing you can do for your family.

Is this something you can see the benefit of doing? At what age do you think one should record their personal information and preferences?

Barbara Bergen is Designer/CEO of Cremation Urns by Legacy, makers of "some of the most beautiful cremation urns to be found anywhere" (a testimonial quote from a customer).