A memorial is normally thought of as a way of helping bereaved families gain some type of permanent connection to someone they have lost. This type of connection can be hugely important for helping people go through the initial stages of grieving, and on a long-term basis, helping them process the sense of loss that they are likely to feel.
Memorials have traditionally been connected to either burials or cremations and are normally associated with a really peaceful place, such as a landscaped garden or quiet chapel, and are generally a fairly tranquil environment.
There are also other ways of creating some type of memorial, such as an online remembrance page, which can similarly aid the process of grieving.
Most funeral homes either have connections with or themselves own some type of memorial park or garden. They will see their involvement with this as a crucial part of the service they offer to anyone who has suffered a loss, alongside the practical help that they can offer when arranging a funeral.
A burial memorial is a choice that many people consider to be the most appropriate for them or their loved ones. It is probably the most traditional form that funerals take. The actual act of seeing the coffin go into the ground and be covered with earth has historically been seen as the ending of that person's life.
Emotionally, seeing someone buried can give a real sense of closure in the sense of seeing that someone really has died. The sense of loss is likely to take a lot longer to heal, and having a permanent burial memorial can be a part of that process. The burial memorial is a natural addition to the funeral itself.
There is a real link that can help anyone wishing to physically revisit the place where they last saw the person and in some way still be able to connect with them.
Many people prefer the idea of cremation and may need some help to see how a memorial may be created that can have the same benefits as a burial memorial.
One of the most popular ways has come about with the establishment of a number of memorial parks and gardens. These are dedicated to both burial and cremation memorials. With a cremation memorial, there are normally options to have the ashes buried in a particular place, such as alongside a headstone, or to have some other type of fitting tribute, such as a small pond or miniature garden.
People will normally also be given the option of scattering ashes in a particular place, which again can be designated as theirs.
The value of cremation memorials is really the same as that of burial memorials, just in a slightly different way. They create a sense of permanence in such a way as to help the healing process and allow the person to move forward and integrate the sense of loss into their life.