A photo of Jeff Monreal, owner and operator of Jeff Monreal Funeral Homes posing in a black suit with no background

Painesville Location

1000 Mentor Avenue Painesville, Ohio 44077

Willoughby Location

38001 Euclid Avenue Willoughby, Ohio 44094

Mentor Location

6330 Center Street Mentor, Ohio 44060

Urn and Keepsake Differences

A cremation keepsake is designed to hold a small amount of ashes which is what makes it different from an urn. Keepsakes can be unique and special small pieces of jewelry or other items representing a loved one. Many people wish to have a keepsake after their loved one is cremated. In addition, many families choose to have a larger full-sized urn holding all the loved one’s ashes.

With keepsakes, families can create various memorial pieces for each family member as a special way to keep their loved ones with them. 

Urn jewelry is simply a small, hollowed-out container that you will fill with a small amount of your loved one’s ashes. It can be a charm or a bead you would put on a bracelet, but more commonly comes as a necklace.

Urn Types

An urn is a container used to hold a person’s cremated remains. Traditionally, urns for human ashes were vase-shaped containers with lids made from wood, metal, glass, cultured marble urns, or ceramic.

Funeral planning involves many difficult choices. Choosing the right urn becomes the next big question once you’ve decided that you want to move forward with cremation. The cremation urn is just as important as the gravestone or casket because it serves the role of both.

Finding the average cost of an urn can be perplexing. The size, material, and origin will all have a part to play in the price.

You want to make sure that the urn you select reflects the wishes and tastes of the deceased and their loved ones. A biodegradable urn might be best if the deceased was concerned about the environment.

You probably don’t want an overly ornate version if they had simple tastes. Chances are, you’ll know which urn is perfect when you see it, but keeping the personality of the deceased can help make the process more personal.

Urns range in size, material, and style. Here are some of the types of urns and their uses:

Scattering Urn

These urns are designed to hold ashes while also allowing for easy scattering. 

Water Urn

Water urns are unique because they are entirely biodegradable urns and will completely dissolve in water. These are eco friendly urns. They allow the remains to be dispersed gently without scattering ash or them blowing away or being accidentally dropped.

Memorial Urn

This urn holds a person’s ashes and is displayed inside the home. They are usually engraved with the family member’s name, date of birth and death, and a favorite saying or quote. 

Cremation Urn for Burial

After cremation, many people want to be buried. The burial urn is a secure type of urn that will hold the person’s ashes when buried. You want to choose an urn that is durable and will not inevitably be crushed by the weight of the earth’s gravity or be destroyed, which is why metal or stone are the best options.

Jeff Monreal can advise the best possible materials suitable for the types of burial the family chooses. You can also decide to purchase an urn vault to contain the urn for extra protection and increased durability.

Tree Urn

Some people wish to plant a young tree with the person’s cremated remains. This allows the tree to use the ashes as it grows, and the remains become a living urn by using material for the growing tree to use.

Planter Urns

Planter urns are unique planters for indoor areas that will hold the loved one’s ashes. These are particularly meaningful if the deceased was known to be a plant person. 

Types of Keepsakes

A keepsake is a small token or memento symbolizing a significant person, event, or place. A memorial keepsake is a small item representing, often quite literally, a person who has passed. They’re meant to be kept in a particular place or on display so you can remember the loved one. 

There are many different types of memorial keepsakes, and mini urns and mini keepsakes, and some popular ones include:

Keepsake Urn

A keepsake urn is a smaller, decorative container designed to hold a small portion of the cremated remains (ashes) of a loved one. These urns have gained popularity for several reasons due to the unique benefits they offer:

  1. Personalization: Keepsake urns come in various shapes, sizes, materials, and designs. This allows you to choose an urn that reflects the deceased’s personality, interests, or hobbies, making it a more personalized and meaningful tribute.
  2. Shared Remembrance: Keepsake urns allow family members and friends to have a portion of the cremated remains. This way, multiple people can share in the remembrance of the loved one, keeping a small piece of them close.
  3. Portability: The smaller keepsake urns make them easier to transport, store, or display in various locations. This can be especially beneficial if you want to keep the urn in different places, such as at home, at a workplace, or while traveling.
  4. Comfort in Grief: For some people, having a keepsake urn can provide comfort in grieving. The physical presence of the urn can serve as a tangible connection to the departed, offering a source of solace during difficult times.
  5. Flexibility in Memorialization: Keepsake urns offer flexibility in memorializing your loved one. You can place them on display shelves, mantelpieces, or memorial cases. Some keepsake urns are designed to be wearable as jewelry, allowing you to carry a small part of your loved one with you wherever you go.
  6. Cost-Effective Option: Traditional full-sized urns can be more expensive due to their larger size and construction. Keepsake urns provide a more affordable option for families who want to distribute the remains among several individuals or keep them in different places.
  7. Cultural and Religious Considerations: Distributing the remains among family members is expected in some cultures and religions. Keepsake urns provide a respectful way to honor these traditions.
  8. Commemorative Ceremonies: Families can hold multiple memorial services or ceremonies using keepsake urns with different groups of people. This allows for more intimate gatherings and sharing of memories.
  9. Flexibility for Final Resting Place: If the family still decides on a permanent resting place for the remains, keepsake urns provide a temporary solution while allowing for more time to make decisions.

It’s important to note that the choice of urn, whether standard or keepsake, is personal. Families should consider their preferences, cultural or religious beliefs, and the deceased’s wishes when selecting the appropriate urn.

Keepsake Jewelry

  • Urn pendants are hollow and hold a tiny amount of cremation ash. They can also be engraved
  • Fingerprint jewelry contains the image of your loved one’s fingerprint and can be made into almost any type of jewelry.

Keepsake Cremation Urns

  • Keepsake urns are small and allow numerous people to keep a small part of the ashes

Keepsake Glass

  • These are small, colorful glass pieces, usually handmade and infused with a small portion of ashes. These come in three typical shapes – hearts, orbs, and touchstones.

Urns and Keepsakes

 Here are some of the differences between urns and keepsakes.

  1. The urn is meant to hold a deceased’s ashes. Keepsakes are tokens for the remembrance of a loved one. 
  2. Full-size or portion urns are much larger than a keepsake, even a keepsake urn.
  3. Keepsakes can be anything small that reminds a person of the deceased. They include everything from photographs to jewelry. 

Compassion When You Need It Most

At Jeff Monreal Funeral Home, we work with people from all over Lake County to plan their cremation services, including Mentor, Eastlake, Willoughby, Willowick, Painesville, Wickliffe and beyond. If cremation services are something you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We are only one phone call away from providing peace of mind and excellent service. Contact us to start planning for your family.

Know your Rights when Planning a Funeral 

Would you know where to start if someone asked you to help plan a funeral? The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Rule allows you to compare prices among funeral homes, and makes it possible for you to select the funeral arrangements you want at the home you use. The FTC rule also provides:

  • Relevant information about funeral services and goods.
  • The different types of funerals.
  • Knowing your rights will help you make informed choices.

You can choose the things you need or want, and you can compare prices.

The FTC’s Rule states that funeral homes must give you services such as product information, including prices, over the phone. Some funeral homes also provide pricing information online.

Consumer Rights

The FTC has promulgated a rule setting forth consumer rights when purchasing funeral goods and services.  Some of these rights in the FTC rule are as follows:

  • -A right to receive price information over the telephone.
  • -The funeral home must give the consumer a general price list.
  • -The consumer has a right to use an alternative container instead of a casket for cremation. For example, the body could be placed in an unfinished wood, pressed wood, fiberboard or cardboard box.
  • -The consumer may purchase a casket elsewhere and the funeral home must accept this casket.
  • -Funeral arrangements can be made without embalming of the body. No State law requires embalming for every death. Refrigeration of the body is an acceptable alternative. However many funeral homes have a policy of requiring embalming if the body will be publicly viewed.

You have rights, whether the arrangements are made online, by telephone, or in person. More rights are listed below:

In Summary, You have the Right to:

  • Purchase only the services (such as a memorial service) and goods (such as a casket) that you want and are not required to buy a package deal 
  • Use a container other than a casket for cremation–such as those made of cardboard, pressed wood, or another material
  • Make use of an urn or casket you purchased elsewhere
  • Receive a written statement after making decisions and before you pay anything. This statement is required to list the price for every service, any goods you have chosen, and the total cost.

You can use the FTC’s Funeral Pricing Checklist to compare costs and ask about available options at different funeral providers. 

The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), allows you to choose only those services and goods you need and want. The Rule will enable you to compare prices between different funeral homes, making it possible to select the funeral arrangements you want at the funeral home you use. 

Basic Services of the Funeral Home 

The Basic Services fee cannot be declined and is included in all arrangements. This fee covers the death certificate, all required permits, planning for the funeral, coordinating arrangements with the cemetery, cemetery plot, basic sanitation, and holding the remains. This fee is included in the prices shown for immediate burial or direct cremation. 

Compassion When You Need It Most

When you are faced with calling a funeral home, I invite you to call the funeral director at Jeff Monreal Funeral Home at any time of the day or night at (440) 527-6294. You can trust that I will treat your loved one with respect and honor. I will also treat your friends and family members with compassion and dignity during the funeral or cremation process. I pledge that every detail be handled thoroughly and within your budget.

When your loved one passes away it is, unfortunately, time to plan a funeral. There are many questions that you should ask yourself. Are you certain what kind of service you would like to host?

There are plenty of options. Jeff will discuss five choices in this article that you can consider.

There are a considerable number of funeral homes in Lake County, Ohio, but none provide the compassion and service that Jeff Monreal Funeral home does. We offer several different types of funeral services and we want you to be aware of what they are. The particular kind of service you choose depends on a variety of factors. It is hard to make a decision if you do not know all of your options.

Pros and Cons of Cremation

When making funeral plans for a deceased loved one, two main options are available for families: Cremation and Burial. Cremation is not an easy subject to think about.

Cremation is currently trending in the United States, and over sixty percent of the world’s population chooses cremation over burial. The most used phrase funeral directors hear about cremation is, “It’s cheaper. Mom didn’t want us to spend money on this.” 

Cremation vs. Burial PROS: 

1. You can still have a viewing/funeral before cremation.

  • This keeps the funeral somewhat the same as a traditional burial. Your friends and family can visit during the visitation, view your loved one in a casket, and have a funeral with the body present.
  • It can give you and your family some closure with the passing. It will feel more like a conservative funeral rite. Once the service is over, the cremation can proceed days later.

2. Cremation is less expensive than burial.

  • Casket Burial is more expensive than cremation cost because you need to choose a casket or cemetery plot. However, the costs can differ with your choice of urns or services.

3. Cremation uses less land and helps with overcrowding.

  • Cemeteries have been around for centuries. Many of the cemeteries are beginning to become overcrowded or running out of space for future burials while other families are interested in green burials.
  • With cremation, you can keep your loved ones remains with you, scatter their ashes, and bury them at sea in a coral reef or at the cemetery. Even if you decide to bury your loved one’s ashes at the cemetery, the urn vault is significantly smaller than a burial vault.

4. Cremated remains are portable and can be transferred into other urns.

  • The beauty of cremation is that you can take your loved one’s ashes with you anywhere. Let’s say you decide upon an urn at the time of passing.
  • Some people may want another urn later. You can take the urns to the funeral home, and they can transfer the cremains. The options are unlimited.
  • You can also divide the cremated remains into other urns for family members or friends. There is even an option for cremation jewelry.

5. Families have more time deciding on where the ashes will go.

  • It is very challenging to make any decision during your time of grief and pain. If you decide upon cremation, you and your family will have much more time to plan exactly what you would like to do. Burials are time sensitive and usually completed within a week.
  • In contrast, a cremation can give you more time to breathe and relax and decide what to do with the cremated remains. You can always scatter ashes or bury an urn; however, with burial, you are more pressured on time.

6. There are fewer details to plan for a service.

  • Memorial services generally do not require as much planning as a burial/funeral service. Also, you can plan a memorial service months later upon initial passing.
  • With memorial services, you don’t need to schedule a funeral procession or a graveside service at the cemetery. It may allow you more time to think about how you want to personalize your loved one’s celebration of life. 

Cremation vs. Burial CONS:

1. It is a permanent choice of disposition.

  • Cremation is such an irreversible form of disposition. The best example I can provide is if the death was due to a tragedy, most of the time, families want answers from the Medical Examiner and local police.
  • If your loved one is cremated, there is no physical body for the police to examine as evidence. If someone was buried, the police could exhume the grave (meaning they could take the body out of the ground) to further their investigation.

2. It may be against some religions.

  • Throughout history, some religions have had rules where they are prohibited from cremation or stray away from it. Traditionally, Catholics were opposed to cremation. They still prefer the body to be present during the funeral mass.
  • Still, they will allow cremation if the ashes are buried. Another religion that strictly prohibits cremation is Eastern Orthodox. Suppose your loved one is religious, and you are unsure about the religious aspect of cremation. In that case, calling a local church and asking is always best.

3. Cremation provides limited closure.

  • Whether you choose cremation or burial, spending some final time with your loved one is essential. That closure helps with the healing process. When you spend that final moment with your loved one, it gives you that sense of reality.
  • Those families that want cremation and no services find out later that they are regretful for not being able to see their loved one. Cremation does not give you as much closure in grieving as a full burial funeral.

4. It can cause family tension.

  • Unfortunately, some families do disagree with the final decisions of disposition. It can cause tension between other family members if one child wants cremation and the other wants burial. Another issue comes with the distribution of the ashes.
  • You can decide who gets to keep the ashes. All these decisions can cause families to feud. It may be more challenging for one family member to mourn than another due to the nature of cremation.

5. Cremation and death of a loved one can be hard to explain to children.

  • Children often need to understand death tangibly. This includes seeing their deceased loved one and being taught the truth behind the death. The best way children will learn is to witness the passing and not be sheltered from it.
  • Cremation can be more challenging for kids to understand because the closure of seeing their loved one may not be available. They may not understand the reality of death if they do not get the opportunity to experience it with their own eyes. They need to grieve in their own way, as adults do.

Green Burial

A green burial, also known as a natural burial or eco-friendly burial, is an environmentally conscious approach to burial that minimizes the impact on the Earth and encourages the decomposition of the body in a natural way.

It is an alternative to conventional burials using concrete vaults, which often involve embalming, using non-biodegradable materials, and maintaining manicured lawns in cemeteries.

The body is typically placed directly in the ground without embalming in a green burial. This allows the body to decompose and return to the earth naturally.

Using biodegradable materials, such as a simple wooden coffin or biodegradable casket, or a shroud made from natural fibers, is encouraged. The burial site is often chosen in a natural setting, such as a meadow or a forest, rather than a traditional cemetery.

The benefits of green burial include:

  1. Environmental Conservation: Green burials aim to reduce the environmental impact of traditional burial practices. Green burials help preserve natural resources, minimize carbon emissions, and protect ecosystems by avoiding embalming chemicals, non-biodegradable coffins, and concrete burial vaults.
  2. Natural Decomposition: Green burials promote the body’s natural decomposition, allowing it to return to the soil and contribute to the ecosystem. This process facilitates the recycling of nutrients and supports the growth of plants and wildlife.
  3. Cost-effectiveness: Green burials can be more affordable compared to conventional burials, as they often involve simpler and less expensive materials and procedures. This can make them an appealing option for those looking for a more budget-friendly choice.
  4. Emotional Connection to Nature: Green burials allow individuals and their loved ones to be laid to rest in a natural setting, creating a closer connection to the environment. This can offer a sense of peace and comfort for those who appreciate nature.

It’s important to note that green burial practices may vary depending on local regulations and cemetery policies. Suppose you are interested in pursuing a green burial. In that case, it is advisable to research and consult with Jeff Monreal Funeral Home to learn more about eco-friendly burial options.

There are many paths to change the way we approach end of life and after-death decisions. The Green Burial Council provides direction. Choosing unimpeded burial and the time-honored rituals that go with family-centered graveside funerals is one of them. 

Other Factors

There are several factors when making a final decision about your loved one. Keep these different aspects in your thoughts when choosing cremation vs. burial. Remember that the funeral director is there to answer any of your questions. It is a personal decision and every family has reasons for choosing cremation or burial, but it depends on your needs or wants. 

In summary, cremation allows you to still provide personalization in celebrating the life of your loved one. It is significantly less expensive than burial but can add up with all the extras you choose. 

Some religions may prohibit cremation and will not allow a member to be cremated. Cremation is also safer for the environment and takes up less space than burial. Because a memorial service has less to plan for, it can be easier for families who live further away. On the downside of cremation, it can be challenging to properly mourn and obtain closure if you do not view your loved one or have a service.

Jeff Monreal, our Funeral Director here at Jeff Monreal Funeral Home, understands your concerns with funeral arrangements. We focus on providing as much knowledge and education to you and your family before you make this big decision.  

If cremation services are something you would like to discuss, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We are only one phone call away from providing peace of mind and excellent service. Contact us to start planning for your family.