Designing Your Funeral

There are two facets of the design process. First, we ask you to consider how you wish to honor and celebrate the life. When those important decisions are made, we’ll turn to the issue of how you wish to care for the physical remains.

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How to Honor a Life

It’s about bringing those you love together, at a time of loss. It’s a natural thing to do, and over time, has become a socially-expected practice. More importantly, a funeral or memorial service, whether traditional, or contemporary, is the first step in healing.

You can have your service anywhere, and any way, you want. Your choices include the place of celebration, day of the week, and time of day; the musical selection, what prayers will be said or songs you’d like sung. We can arrange to have doves, butterflies, or balloons released at the close of the service. Keepsake gifts of wildflower seeds or a tree seedling can be given. We’re here to help you create the most memorable and meaningful service to honor your loved one.


Burial or Cremation?

Your next consideration focuses on choosing between burial and cremation. Usually, people are clear on this point. In fact, your loved one may have told you, or someone else, exactly how they wish to be cared for. But it can be a hard decision for some families, especially when the wishes of the deceased were never clearly stated. If that's the case, please know we're able to help you come to the perfect decision for your loved one, and for you.

Once you decide, the finer details come into focus. If you've chosen burial, then selection of the casket, vault, and desired cemetery follows. Let's talk cemetery, at our firm we operate 2 cemeteries, so we can advise about options and what to watch for in choosing where to place your loved one.  Naturally, we’re here to help you.

If cremation is your choice, then you'll need to make the next decision: whether the cremated remains will be placed in a mausoleum niche, or buried on the cemetery grounds. It may be of comfort to your family to know our firm has operated crematories for the past 16 years.  While most firms are just beginning to offer this option, almost 2 decades ago we were designing cremation facilities and adding equipment to accommodate your choices. It's a matter of attitude, many firms place their cremation clients in the garage, not at our firm.  You're just as important as our burial clients and as such you're in our primary building.  We operate not 1 crematory, but 3 and regardless of where death occurs from Richmond, to Durham, to Lynchburg, to Raleigh, you will not pay extra.

In some communities, there's the desire for a 'green burial.'  In 2009 we began working with the Green Burial Council and Wildlands, Inc. to develop methodology and working knowledge as relates to "Green, sometimes referred to as Natural" burial. If that's what your loved one would prefer, we'll help you select an environmentally-friendly choice.


What's Next?

Now that we've given you the basics, it's time to reflect more on exactly what is appropriate for you and your family. If possible, gather everyone together to speak of their feelings and desires. At Brooks Lyon, we are a part of a family owned, network of 3 funeral homes, 2 cemeteries, and 2 cremation centers, so our knowledge of how to care for your request is unparalleled!  Thoughtful placement of our locations eliminates the need to : 1. subcontract your care (common in funeral service); 2. charge extra for death care when death occurs in Richmond, Durham, Lynchburg or, Raleigh.  Is there a difference in Funeral homes? Yes, but you've got to ask questions about the care that's being provided.

Still looking for inspiration? Speaking with a professional funeral planner will help to clarify your thinking. Reach us at (434) 572-2995.