Funerals / Crossing Over / Memorial Service

Whether you require a religious or a non-religious service, when you contact me, we will work together to design a customized ceremony that best suits you and your family to mark the passing of your loved one. I will conduct a  ceremony that combines the beautiful rituals and customs you wish to include that best serves to celebrate and honour your loved one. We can include readings, favorite stories, videos, family pictures, beloved music, poems or prayers to create a unique tribute to honour your loved one.  

The service itself usually lasts 30 - 45 minutes and the cost is $300 for a local ceremony in Toronto, and $350 for a ceremony outside of Toronto.   

Types of Burials/Funerals:
Green or Natural Burial:  Green (or natural) burial emphasizes simplicity and environmental sustainability, returning the body as naturally as possible to the earth. The body is not cremated nor prepared with toxic chemicals such as embalming  fluids. It is simply placed in a bio-degradable coffin or shroud and interred without a concrete burial vault in a protected green space, which ensures the land cannot be used for any other purpose, therefore protecting wild spaces from becoming a subdivision or quarry. Making the choice for natural burial means you are choosing a low impact burial, that reduces energy and resource consumption, and one that is less toxic, allowing the grave site to return to nature. The goal is complete decomposition of the body and its natural return to the soil. Only then can a burial truly be “ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” a phrase so often used when we bury our dead.

Natural Burial grounds only contain natural markers that don’t intrude on the landscape. These natural markers can include shrubs and trees, or a flat indigenous stone, which may be engraved. As in all cemeteries, there are careful records kept of every interment, and mapped with a GPS/GIS (geographic information system).

In Canada, there are currently four sites:  Union Cemetery in Cobourg Ontario, Meadowvale Cemetery in Brampton Ontario, Duffin Meadows Cemetery in Pickering, Ontario, and Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria, British Columbia – with more in the planning stages. 

Cremation:  Like burial, cremation is only one element of the funeral process and when made part of a meaningful funeral service, cremation can play a vital role in the healing journey.  Cremation is a process of preparing your loved one for his or her final resting place.  It offers many options when determining how to best memorialize the life of your loved one.  Some families choose to have a viewing or funeral service before the cremation. Others choose a memorial service at the time of cremation or afterward with the urn present, or even a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains.

The crematory that is utilized will usually have a requirement that the deceased be placed in a rigid container for the cremation process. Either a cremation casket or container will fulfill this requirement. Cremation caskets and containers are both typically made of wood, fiberboard or a composite of materials. A cremation casket has a finished interior and closely resembles a casket used for earth burial. A cremation container is designed to fulfill the crematories’ minimum requirements for cremation and typically does not have an interior lining or has a minimally finished interior.  A person who chooses to have viewing, visitation and/or funeral or memorial services in a place of worship, funeral home, a crematory chapel or even a place of special significance to your loved one prior to cremation will typically select a cremation casket.  After the service the body will be cremated in the cremation casket.  After cremation, the body will be placed in the final resting place. Sometimes, arrangements can be made to place an urn or bio degradeable envelop in the family lot where other persons in caskets may have their final resting place (check with cemetary for their regulated limits).  You may also choose to scatter all or a portion of your loved one’s cremated remains in a special location. It is important to check with your funeral director to ensure that this act is permitted in the location of your choosing. Caution should also be exercised when scattering as it is a final irrevocable act.  Be certain that this is what you want to do before proceeding.

A home funeral vigil:  a deceased person remains at home instead of being transported to a funeral home. You can bathe, dress, and care for your loved one in the privacy of familiar surroundings. You can create a special space around the deceased, where people can gather and spiritual practices can take place. You may build a simple casket or decorate a fiberboard one with messages and drawings. Everyone can find ways to engage in creative and meaningful ways. At the end of the home funeral vigil, the deceased is transported to a cemetery or crematorium for a conventional or green burial, or a witnessed cremation.
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