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Aaron Esposito
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A lot of thought goes into the decision as to whether to cremate or bury your loved one after they pass away. Though it’s not a happy prospect to consider, reviewing the options available and making an informed decision ahead of time can save your family from a lot of stress and anxiety down the road. Here are three important factors you should consider when you are making your decision.

Cost

There’s no way around it. Cremations are cheaper than burials, and by a not-insignificant margin, too. According to the Cremation Association of North America, the national average for the cost of a full burial is $7,300. This includes, but isn’t limited to, a casket, liner, funeral home costs, embalming, gravesite, and cemetery proceedings. In contrast, cremations cost an average of $1,650 for both the procedure and the urn.

Portability

If your loved one lived in the same city his or her entire life, the transportation of their remains to the funeral home and burial grounds may not necessarily be a complicated issue. But if he or she expressed a wish to be laid to rest in a different location, for example in the city of his or her birth, cremation simplifies the many issues and costs associated with transportation.

Religious or Cultural Traditions

Obviously, the wishes of the deceased are the primary consideration in the matter. Some religious or cultural traditions hold cremation to be simple and harmonious way to return your loved one’s spirit to the natural world. Other traditions prefer the remains kept intact for certain rituals. Make sure that you or your loved ones specify in writing what their wishes are.

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Rather than place their loved one’s ashes in a cemetery or scatter them somewhere meaningful, some families have decided to incorporate them into memorials that honor the deceased’s unique personality and passions. Here are three of the most creative ways people have found to commemorate their loved ones:

1. Music lovers can have their ashes pressed into vinyl records. About 30 of them to be exact. Whether they have a special playlist you’d like people to remember them by, songs that they’ve written or recorded, or simply a farewell message they made to share with friends and family, it’s an inventive way to honor the audiophile in your life.

2. For nature lovers, there’s the eco-friendly option that allows the forest or garden be your cemetery. Some companies will place the ashes in a biodegradable urn that is filled with seeds. The urn is planted in the earth, and the seeds utilize the surrounding soil and the calcium in the cremains to grow. Eventually it will sprout into a beautiful, living memorial for your loved one.

3. Not all memorials need to be Earth-bound. In 1997, Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was laid to rest in the final frontier, as part of his cremains were carried into low-Earth orbit by a rocket. In 2006, a sample of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered the planet Pluto, were placed aboard the first space probe to explore the planet. The probe is on course to leave the solar system after its mission ends in 2015.

Whether you decide upon a traditional burial in a cemetery or a more creative memorial, it’s important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones and to make your requests known in writing. #cremation  

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WALTER B. HENDRICKS, III, 57, passed away January 25, 2014. Beloved husband of Beth; loving father Eric, Erin Hollo (Joel), Kim Kutrubs (James), Kathy Leggatt, Keith Szilagyi (Cassi) and Karen Brown (Shaun); cherished grandfather of Gracie Hollo, Hunter Hollo, Kevin Keating, Tony Payne, Nathan Szilagyi, Brandon Kutrubs, Maddie Kutrubs, Ellie Kutrubs, Derek Kutrubs, Matthias Szilagyi and Rowan Szilagyi and dear friend to many. Walter loved jazz and motorcycles. He was generous, kind, gentle, patient and loving with all who knew him and he will be greatly missed. The family will receive friends beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Lakewood Baptist Church, 14321 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio with a service following at 7 p.m. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception at the church immediately the service. #obituary   #lakewood  

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JAMES E. PETERS, age 74, passed away on Thursday, January 30, 2014. Beloved husband of Susan (nee Hostelley). Loving father of Timothy, Thomas (Lisa), and Todd (Alana); dear grandfather "Pappy" of Nicholas, Hannah, Halle, and Jennifer. Brother of Alan (Monica). Longtime employee of Cleveland Cliffs. Mass of Christian Burial,10am, Monday, February 3, 2014. Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church, 3644 Rocky River Drive, 44111. #obituary   #rockyriver  

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MARY K. BUNDY (nee Kanaba), age 90, passed away January 19, 2014. Beloved wife of the late Donald I., dear daughter of the Steve and Susie Kanaba, dear sister of the late Steven and Eleanor Kanaba, Susan Jereb and John Kanaba, dear aunt of Darlene Darmour of N. Olmsted and great-aunt of Tavis Darmour of California. All Services Private. #obituary   #northolmsted  

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BEVERLY ANN BANACH, age 73, passed away on Sunday, January, 19, 2014. Devoted wife of the late Ronald. Loving mother of Leo Banach, and Barbara Crane (David). Cherished grandmother of James, and Jennifer Banach, and Christian, Danielle, and Jessica Crane. Private Interment at All Souls Cemetery, Chardon. #obituary   #chardon  

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GLEN R. BROWN, 79, passed away on Sunday, January, 19, 2014. Beloved husband of Suzanne (nee Klingshirn); loving father of Dawn Brown (Tom Shubert), Peter (Sarah), Glen C. and the late Suzie and the late Eva. dear grandfather of Shasta Brown Payne. Brother of Harley (and Dale (Barbara). Mass of Christian Burial, 10am, Saturday January 25, 2104, St. Lukes Catholic Church, 1212 Bunts, Lakewood. Interment Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. #obituary   #lakewood  

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HELEN HOLLERON KNOWLES, 86, died at home Wednesday, January 15, 2014, in North Ridgeville with her husband at her side. Helen was the beloved wife of George E. Todd, and the daughter of George W. and Elizabeth O. Holleron. Born June 2, 1927, in Cuyahoga Heights, Helen attended Baldwin-Wallace College. She worked in health care for many years before graduating from Cuyahoga Community College in 1968 and fulfilling her goal of becoming a registered nurse. She worked in several area hospitals, most recently the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Wade Park Campus before her retirement. She married Allen L. Knowles on August 23, 1947. He died Sept. 16, 1996. Besides her parents, first husband, and brothers George, Walter, and Ebert Holleron, she was predeceased by her son Michael Knowles and step-son Steve Todd, and by sister-in-law Virginia K. Todd and brother-in-law Edwin T. F. Knowles. Helen leaves to cherish her memory her husband George, whom she married on April 15, 2006, her daughter Elizabeth Palladino (Lawrence), and sons Dr. Allen Knowles (Clara Lynne) and David Knowles (Jana). She is also survived by step-children Alice Denny (Gary), Leslie Blinkhorn (Michael), Vicki Flack (Michael), and Craig Todd (Crystal Maher) and Allan Todd (Lorrie). She is also survived by her sister-in-law Audrey Knowles, and by brother-in-law Curtis Knowles (Priscilla), and by many nieces and nephews. She leaves 15 grandchildren and step-grand-children, and seven great-grand-children. Helen was a lifelong, devout Methodist. She and George most recently attended LaPorte United Methodist Church in Elyria. Graveside services will be held January 25 at 10 am at Riverside Cemetery, Cleveland, with Helen's niece, Rev. Sharon Knowles Kiesel presiding. #obituary   #northridgeville  

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PAUL HERMAN ZANDER of South Euclid, Ohio passed in his sleep on January 13, 2014, a few weeks after celebrating his 98th birthday. He is survived by his devoted wife of 73 years, Ruth; his children Paul A. (Cathy) and Nancy; grandchildren Virginia, David, Jennifer and Jeffrey; and great-grandson Julian. He is preceded in death by his parents Paul M. and Charlotte, and his sisters Emily, Charlotte, Martha and Elizabeth "Betty." He was a professional painter and decorator as well as an avid gardner and ham radio operator. He was known for his sense of humor and sharp dressing. US Navy veteran of WWII from 1944 to 1945. The family will receive friends at Willow Praise Church, 32901 Vine Street, Willowick on January 25 from 2:30-4:30 PM with service immediately following. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 74924, Cleveland, Ohio 44194. The family would like to thank his home nurses, Theresa and Sue, as well as the staff at UH Richmond Medical Center, for their incredible care and compassion. #obituary   #eculid  

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KENNETH D. BARKLEY, age 15, passed away on Tuesday, January, 7, 2014. Funeral Service, 1pm, Friday, January 17, 2014 at Old Oak Bible Church, 7575 Old Oak Blvd, Middleburg Heights, OH. Interment to follow at Woodvale Cemetery. Family and friends received at the church from 12:30pm until the time of service. #obituary   #middleburgheights  
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