Funeral alternatives are a way to assist families in celebrating the deceased in a non-traditional way. When a funeral service is prepared it most often involves a church and clergy. There is tradition that accompanies a family when a loved one passes, and most adults have thought through what they want to happen when they die. Some may want to follow their religions practice, create a method of their own, or combine traditional and non-traditional to create funeral alternatives to meet their needs.
The interesting part of funeral alternatives is there are no formal rules. A service can be planned by a professional, or a friend or family members. No one enjoys funeral planning. Funeral alternatives like a Celebration of Life can be an option over price effective funeral service, cremation services, or memorial services.
It is up to the person or loved ones who will create the personal arrangements to support the wishes of the deceased. A traditional burial in a cemetery or cremation where ashes can be spread in the place of choice.
Funeral alternatives offer the ability to be creative and not just hold a traditional funeral. Funerals or a funeral homes may not feel right for your loved one.
The cost of any memorial ceremony will vary on what is included. Meager or lavish there are funeral alternatives to choose from.
California Funeral Alternatives
California funeral alternatives are best known by the term “celebration of life”. Most celebrations of life happen in the community where friends and family can pay their respect. Many arrangements to honor a loved one are provided by a professional with experience in planning the best possible service.
Funeral alternatives can happen inland or at the beach. With zoom and the internet, clients seeking this type of assistance can easily plan the service with telephone and computer communication.
San Diego County
Eternally Loved is located in San Diego County and has guided families through the process of planning to celebrate a life during their time of grief. To provide families price effective funeral service alternatives is the foundation of our business.
Downtown San Diego is a great spot for a memorial service if a family would like to arrange an indoor meal with an ocean view. San Diego California also has the ability to provide families arrangements on the beach.
Guidance on ash scattering in the ocean is a part of the planning process.
Inland San Diego County Funeral Services
Inland San Diego is just as beautiful the coastline. California funeral alternatives offer a beautiful backdrop if families prefer the outdoors to a mortuary. Often a celebration of life incorporates memorial service programs and the discussion of scattering ashes or celebrations that include viewing a body.
Eternally Loved California funeral alternatives serve the OC. Our business has operated business and been planning quality personal memorial services in the orange county community with compassion for over eight years.
Los Angeles County
Eternally Loved is able to plan quality memorial services in Los Angeles California. The best possible service begins with loved ones getting support as the serves are planned. We have operated business in Los Angeles County and have worked with many quality florists to create services that are events of up to 300 people in attendance paying their respects to a smaller family memorial service.
Is it legal to not have a funeral?
There’s no law we are aware of regarding legalities if a funeral in not the way a family chooses to honor their loved one. Once a death occurs, the organization to carry the body burial or death, and no funeral services whatsoever. When the parent cannot afford funeral services or cremation, or no parent can be identified, the state department is responsible for the burials. The choice of burial and funeral is yours. Details of how you will honor your loved one will depend on what your loved one requested or how you wish to proceed to plan their service.
5 Popular Funeral Alternatives
One – Celebration of Life
Did you know some people want to have a celebration of life before they pass. They want o plan their two events to see all they love before they go. Having a celebration prior to dying AND having funeral services after they are gone.
Offering support to a person who knows exactly what they want is pretty cool because they have chosen to face grief head on and party. So many arrangements to put in place but hey – it is a cool way to create. Essentially in this case our business would handle everything for the celebration of life and partner with a funeral home to plan the burial.
Having a celebration of life coordinator who will interface with the funeral home makes it easy on the family to have two quality services.
Two – Boats
One of the best California funeral alternatives is Boats. Yes Boats. You can host a services on a boat that include spreading ashes at sea – some call this a burial at sea but a burial at sea means a full body burial.
Understanding the requirements for a burial at sea is best found via the internet at the EPA website. The EPA has issued a general permit under the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) to authorize the burial of human remains at sea.
Cremations usually involve a mortuary handling the remains and retuning them in an urn or biodegradable container. The laws for consumers who want to spread ashes must follow the guidelines of the Federal Clean Water Act. A person can have their ashes spread in the ocean as long as it is done at least 3 nautical miles from shore.
Close to downtown San Diego are local harbors with boating services that can take a group of family and friends out the proper distance from shore to do the scattering. Instead of needing a funeral director, the captain of the boat can be the officiant of the memorial.
Three – A Memorial Amongst the Trees
Imagine returning to a place that has meaning to you and your loved one. A mother may have a fond memory of sitting under a tree for a picnic or if in California it could a tree that was actually driven through on a family vacation. Serving north coastal National Parks or Southern California parks, ash scattering is allowed if the California Department of Parks and Recreation guidelines are followed.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation allows individuals to scatter cremated human remains, where appropriate, in units of the State Park System. There are numerous and multi-faceted conditions under which the scattering of cremated human remains would not be appropriate.
These include locations that are archeological sites, Native American burial sites, and locations where incompatible activities occur or may be planned in the future. (These restrictions do not apply to the reburial of Native Americans pursuant to Section 5097.94 of the Public Resources Code.)
By policy, the appropriateness of scattering cremated human remains within state park units is determined by the Cultural Resource Supervisor. Legal Restrictions Present California law requires that scattered human remains not be distinguishable to the public and are not in a container. If there are particles in the ash that can be recognized as bone, etc., they will have to be collected and removed from the park by the person doing the scattering.
In addition, Health and Safety Code Section 7117(c) expressly forbids the scattering of cremated human remains from a bridge or pier, in a lake or stream, or within 500 yards seaward of the ocean shoreline.
Of course planning a service amongst the trees can be magical and when done with the help of a business like Eternally Loved or on your own as long as California laws are followed, and the contact made with the park service all will be good.
Four – Cremation Services Immediately
Having a cremation done immediately is an affordable alternative. You will need to choose the crematorium ahead of time if possible and if not, you will call them when the time is right. The cremation company is many times a mortuary that has a the ability to cremate the deceased.
The crematorium will collect your loved one and conduct a cremation immediately. In some instances there is a waiting period based on the location you live in but once the time frame is met, the cremation will happen. The goal of an immediate cremation is there is no service to be had with family or friends, just an agreement that the cremated ashes will be given to you so you can decide how to best celebrate their life.
Five – A Natural Burial
Natural burial allows the deceased person to be mixed in the soil in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition but allows the remains to be naturally recycled.
California funeral alternatives can include a natural burial. In essence a natural burial means the deceased not embalmed before burial. According to the Department of Consumer Affairs Cemetery and Funeral Bureau –
California law does not require embalming. However, the person with the right to control disposition must accept or decline embalming by signing a specific form prescribed by the Bureau.
Additionally, a funeral establishment must refrigerate an unembalmed body in its possession if burial or cremation does not take place within 24 hours.
To be buried in a green burial site usually a natural coffin or shroud is used.
In California there are only a few green burial cemeteries that we know of:
- San Luis Cemetery
- Joshua Tree Memorial Park
- Sunset Lawn
- The Meadow at Westwood Hills Memorial Park
- Fernwood Cemetary
- Davis Cemetary and Arboretum
Is it OK to not have a funeral?
Yes. It is ok not to have a funeral. Grief affects people differently. When someone passes there is an unspoken process for what should happen. The internet offers consumers everything from buying caskets to choosing a funeral home. Funerals can be what you want them to be.
Eternally Loved Ceremonies
At Eternally Loved we specialize in providing California funeral alternatives. We are based in San Diego County and put alternative funeral services together the month. We utilize the term “Celebration of Life” and provide families with options to forgo a traditional funeral.
If you are reading this article and would like to work with a business that will support your ideas, handle the many arrangements needed, and provide services in the San Diego, Orange County, or Los Angeles area – please fill out a form or call today.
Cremation alternatives are becoming popular due to environment changes. Terramation, alkaline hydrolysis, and to be buried are currently the legal alternatives.
Terramation is basically allowing the whole of a person to be composted, turned into nutrient enriched soil, and mixed with the earth.
Alkaline hydrolysis was legalized October 2017 in California by explicit statute. This cremation alternative is a chemical process that uses a solution of 95% water and 5% potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide to reduce a human remains to components of liquid and bone.
Industrial furnaces designed just for the care of cremation. The process takes about 2-3 hours to complete. Many crematoriums will allow the deceased family members to witness the cremation.
Unique Cremation Jewelry
Cremation jewelry is designed to honor someone’s life and legacy. It can be an urn necklace or a ring that will carry parts of your loved ones ashes. You can customize and personalize cremation jewelry to be almost anything you want.