Before your life ends, leave some final thoughts behind, a lasting goodbye

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Why Don't Families Pick up Cremated Remains? | Dying, Funerals & Grief

It might seem unthinkable but, every year, thousands of cremated human remains go unclaimed by surviving family members, friends and loved ones. According to an article published in the Chicago Tribune in 2010, an estimated 1% of all cremation cases in the United States result in unclaimed cremated remains. To put that into perspective, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) projected that 998,500 U.S. deaths in 2010 would involve cremation.

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Signs the Dying Process Has Begun

The Journey Towards Death
Recognizing the Dying Process

The dying process usually begins well before death actually occurs.
Death is a personal journey that each individual approaches in their own unique way. Nothing is concrete, nothing is set in stone. There are many paths one can take on this journey but all lead to the same destination.

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Top 5 thoughts when leading a funeral procession. | little miss funeral

In my town, funeral processions are still a thing.

Now, I used to despise leading funeral processions, for the sole reason that I was unsure of myself. When you’re leading a large group of cars you want to make sure that you’re taking the easiest route and most importantly, that you don’t get lost. Being new to the business, I, of course, doubted my ability. But it’s like anything, and as time went on I became more comfortable and sure of myself. And today, leading a funeral is like second nature to me.

So last week as I was leading a procession from the funeral home to the cemetery, I took notice of some of the thoughts that went through my head during the journey. So now I’m going to share with you all the top 5 thoughts I have when I lead a funeral procession.

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Death sits in paradox. In it we find impossible co-mixtures of intrinsic opposites. Perhaps, this is why death is the muse of so many philosophers and theologians.

For example, in death we find the cohabitation of utter darkness and blinding light. The darkness of separation, of grief, of powerlessness; and yet the light of community, of togetherness and the power of love.

In death we find the conflicting desire for both words and silence. There’s everything to be said and yet nothing to be spoken.

We find the mixture of both the sacred and the profane. We curse, we fight within ourselves and without. Within the same breath, we both curse deity and praise the divine. In death, we find our most earthly reality and yet our most transcendent thoughts all jumbled together.

And in death, we find both the repulsive and the beautiful. This tension of paradox in death is perhaps nowhere more apparent in the gruesome and yet beautiful art of embalming.

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