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Sympathy Gift Alternatives

Your heart goes out to friends who have lost a loved one. You want them to know you are thinking of them and that you are sorry for their loss. The professionals at funeral homes in Urbandale, IA have plenty of suggestions for gifts you can send that will tell your friend just that. If you have any questions or need more ideas, feel free to call the experts for specific ideas or other options at any time. In the meantime, here are popular options to consider.


Flowers are the most common sympathy gift and they are always a nice gesture. They can be used to decorate the background of the service and they are also something family can take home with them to remember the services, and you. There are a variety of types and colors that mean different things so you can send just the right message.

Gift Cards

You want your friend to have what they need to get through this hard time and sending them a gift card to a grocery store or restaurant can help them to get out and meet their needs when the time comes. You could also send a card to a massage parlor or somewhere else that can give them a treat and help them to relax.

A Meal

Many people like to take a meal to the bereaved, and that’s a nice gesture as well. They might not be feeding themselves very well and they may not feel up to cooking. Plus, they may have other family members around and that means more meals are needed. Try to make something that they can freeze in meal-sized packages. Place them in containers that they don’t have to return to make it easier on them as well.


Your friend might not feel like getting out all that often, but they still need certain staples within their home. Deliver groceries to them like milk, eggs, bread, lunch meats, and so on. You can also call them and ask what they need before you go to the store for yourself so you can pick up specifics they might have in mind.

Memorial Donation

You could also make a donation to a charity, locally or nationally, to honor the person who passed on. Ask the family where they want money sent, check the obituary for details, or call the funeral home for suggestions. You can also just send money to the family in a sympathy card and they can choose where to donate the funds.

funeral homes in Urbandale, IA

When you hear that someone you know has lost a loved one, you likely want to support them with your sympathies. There are many different things you can do to let the family know they are thinking of them. Funeral homes in Urbandale, IA have plenty of options and ideas available. Call them for specific suggestions or even more popular items that people send to those who are going through a hard time after this kind of loss.

Unique Containers For Cremation Services

While cremation services in Urbandale, IA occur the same way every time, they are unique each time as well. They happen with different individuals and that is enough to make them special each time they occur. Even the most basic cremation package will come with a simple container for your loved one’s remains, but many families like to get an urn for their loved one to make the process more special or so that urn can function in different ways. While urns suffice and work well, there are also unique things you can put your loved one’s remains in to make things feel even more special. Here are a few options to consider.

Container for Cremation Ashes Ideas

There are many different types of containers that can be used for cremation ashes. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Urn
  • Scattering tube
  • Biodegradable urn
  • Keepsake jewelry
  • Cremation bead
  • Cremation necklace
  • Cremation pendant
  • Cremation ring
  • Cremation bracelet
  • Cremation keychain

Wind Chimes

If your loved one adored being outside, putting their remains in a wind chime that hands on your deck can be a nice way to go. You think of them every time the breeze blows across the deck and the wind chimes hit one another and play their melodic sound.

A Plant Pot

If your loved one adored flowers, plants, and other greenery, putting their ashes in the base of a pot and then planting something above it can be a nice memorial to them. You will think of them as you enjoy the new life that grows from the pot.

Cremation Jewelry

You might want to keep your loved one as close as possible in any way you can, and that could mean cremation jewelry is a good fit for you. You can place a small bit of your loved one’s remains inside the cremation jewelry piece and wear them close to your heart.


Ornaments often have a space inside them and you could place remains in those as well. You can give one to each family member to hang on their tree, or you can find a special place in your home to display the ornament year round.

Stuffed Animals

There are special stuffed animals that have urns in them or, you can place a small urn in any animal you choose. It can be a sweet way to keep your loved one close and it can give you something to hug when you miss them.

Cookie Jar

Some people are good at baking and if that sounds like your loved one, placing them in a cookie jar can feel like a good way to go. They can be situated on the top of your cabinets in the kitchen where they oversee anything you create in there yourself.

A Musical Instrument

Some musical instruments have natural places where you can place remains, like a guitar. If your loved one loved music, and perhaps a certain instrument, one like it can hold their remains and sit on display in memory of them within your home.

cremation services in Urbandale, IA

If you are having cremation services in Urbandale, IA for a loved one, you can choose a variety of places to store their remains. There are unique options as well as regular urns to consider as you move forward into the future.

Containers for cremation ashes FAQs

What do you call the container for ashes?

There are a variety of containers that can be used for cremation ashes. Urn is the most common term used to describe the container, however container, casket and coffin are also used. The container chosen is usually based on personal preference, although some states have regulations regarding the type of container that can be used.

What size container do you need for human ashes?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the container you’ll need for human ashes will depend on a number of factors.  The first thing to consider is how many ashes you’ll be dealing with – if you’re cremating a whole body, you’ll need a much larger container than if you’re just dealing with the ashes of a loved one.

What is the right thing to do with cremation ashes?

The most common thing to do is put them in an urn. The type of container you use may depend on your personal preferences or the wishes of the deceased. There are many different types of urns and containers available, so you should be able to find something that suits your needs.

Reasons For Cemetery Burials, Even After Cremation

funeral homes in West Des Moines, IA

If you decide to have traditional services with funeral homes in West Des Moines, IA, your loved one is going to be buried in a cemetery and that’s the only resting place option. With cremation, there are many other options to consider, but cremated remains can still be buried in the cemetery. Here are a few reasons you might decide that is the way to go for your situation.

To Keep Your Loved One Safe

When you bury your loved one in the cemetery, you know just where their remains are and you also know they are safe. Nothing is going to happen to their remains and you understand they are secure where they are resting. When you scatter ashes, you don’t know where they end up. If you bury them in your garden, you might be worried about something digging them up or other things that can happen. The cemetery will keep your loved one safe and secure long-term.

To Give Family A Visiting Place

It can be hard for some families to scatter a loved one and then feel as if they don’t have anywhere to visit them at that person is not really in that location any longer. When you place them in a cemetery instead, your loved ones have somewhere to go when they want to think about that person and visit with them again. It’s a nice location to honor them whenever the mood hits.

To Have A Permanent Memorial

You can erect a permanent memorial for your cremated loved one anywhere you want after their services and once they are in their resting place, wherever that may be. It’s not required to have a permanent memorial, however, and many families don’t go through with that idea. When you have a cemetery burial, they are going to have a permanent memorial in that location, whether you do something else for them in another spot or not. They will have a headstone that marks their grave and acts as a permanent memorial.

To Allow Future Generations That History

funeral homes in West Des Moines, IA

In the future, you might have other family members who want to visit your loved one and know where they are resting. Burying them in the cemetery is a permanent option and their headstone and grave will always be there. You can visit it when you want to and future generations can visit it as well and that history will be there for them to see.

If you want to have a loved one cremated with funeral homes in West Des Moines, IA, that’s an honorable, respectful way to go. Once the cremation is complete, you have no timeline on any other decisions. You can move forward with a memorial and resting place right away, or sometime in the future. Burial within a cemetery is still a valid option, and one you will want to consider with great care. Go over the other choices and see what fits your loved one and your family the best.

Avoid These Mistakes In Finding A Cremation Provider

cremation services in West Des Moines, IA

You make mistakes on a daily basis, but you don’t want to make them when you are planning cremation services in West Des Moines, IA for a loved one. There are plenty of mistakes you could make, and you want to start off on the right foot by finding a good cremation provider who will meet your loved one’s needs and give them the honor they deserve. Here are a few common mistakes you could make and how to avoid them when you are trying to find a good provider.

Choosing A Crematory Without Looking Into Funeral Homes

There are many places that can help you to get your loved one the cremation services they need, including both crematories and funeral homes. It’s a mistake to choose a crematory automatically without looking into funeral home options. While crematories can give your loved one the cremation they need, cremation is all they do. If you decide you want further services, you have to go somewhere else to get them. When you work with a funeral home, you have all of the service options you could want in one place. You can still keep things simple, but you don’t have to. You have choices and the funeral home professionals can make happen whatever you want for your loved one.

Picking A Provider Without Experience

As you look at different funeral home options, you are going to want to choose a provider that has experience with cremation. New providers might do a fine job, but you don’t have any guarantees. When you are working on something this important, you want a provider that is tried and true and will do a good job because they have done the job so many times before.

Making A Choice Without Examining Services

When you choose a funeral home for cremation services, you definitely want to examine the services they offer so you can get a feel for the options. If you don’t look over the services, they may not have what you want and that could make things hard and more complicated later on. You want to know what services are available so you are able to ensure they have a wide variety and will have what you want, once you decide what that is.

Not Comparing The Costs Involved

If you don’t look at the costs of the provider, and compare those prices to others, it can be a huge mistake. You want to know what their prices are and whether or not they are fair and affordable. If they are, you can move forward. If not, it’s good to know that upfront so you can look at other providers to get the quality you want at a price you can afford.

cremation services in West Des Moines, IA

When you look into cremation services in West Des Moines, IA, there are plenty of providers who can help you with the process, but you want nothing but the best for your loved one and the rest of your family. Avoid mistakes so you don’t have regrets later.