Service Options

Service Options

Planning a funeral service can be a very difficult process for families who have just lost a loved one. But it’s important to provide those who are grieving with a supportive environment in which they can begin to find closure, say goodbye, and come to terms with the loss. Gathering with friends and family gives everyone the opportunity to connect, share memories, offer words of sympathy, and create a lasting network of comfort and support as they start the journey toward healing.

Burial or Entombment Services

There are different services that you can choose for a loved one’s burial or entombment, depending upon your individual needs and preferences:

  • Immediate burial means that your loved one will be buried or entombed without a public service or gathering.
  • Visitation, also called a viewing, wake, or calling hours, allows family and friends to gather in a room with the departed loved one in an open or closed casket and say goodbye or offer their support and sympathy to the bereaved.
  • Funeral or memorial services can take place at a funeral home, in a church, or even at your home. The service is a ceremony which serves to celebrate, honor, and remember the life of the deceased. Whether traditional or unique, both the visitation and the funeral service can be personalized to reflect the individuality of your loved one.
  • Graveside, chapel, or committal services are held at the cemetery, and allow family and friends to be present as their loved one is transferred to his or her final disposition through ground burial.

Cremation Services

The biggest misconception about cremation is that there can't be a funeral service or visitation. This is absolutely not the case, and we encourage you to consider holding a memorial service to celebrate the life of the deceased as well. There are many options open to you when it comes to honoring your loved one's life. After the cremation and memorial services, there are a variety of choices for your loved one's final disposition:

  • Interment means that you'll bury or entomb your loved one's cremated remains. This can be in a family plot, a memorial site, a cremation niche or urn garden, or in a variety of other indoor and outdoor locations. Ask our staff for a detailed list of interment possibilities.
  • Graveside services are similar to those celebrated alongside a traditional ground burial, in which loved ones are present at the burial of the cremated remains and honor the deceased through memorial prayers or other meaningful tributes.
  • Scattering allows you to spread your loved one's cremated remains in a memorial garden, a cemetery, over water, or across any other meaningful site. You also can choose to scatter some of the cremated remains and retain the rest in an urn for interment or another form of disposition.
  • Placing cremated remains in multiple urns allows family members who are separated by distance to each feel the comfort of having their loved one's final resting place in a nearby location.



Donating Remains

Donating loved ones remains to science can actually mean a variety of options: from organ donation to the entire body. 

  • Organ or bone donation can mean the organs/bones go directly to another living individual in need or to a research or training center for medical professionals
  • Whole body donations often go to medical schools for study.  There are even forensic training centers which utilize whole body donations.

Often, families wonder what donation means to their ability to have a service and what will become of their loved ones remains. A few questions and considerations are:

  • Is viewing and visitation of the deceased important to surviving family members? (This is often unavailable for those committing to whole body donation, while organ and bone donors may have a viewing and visitation after donation.)
  • Will my loved one qualify for medical donation? (this will be based on illness, weight, overall health and any prior surgeries.)
  • Where and what type of program would you like to bequest the anatomical gift?
  • How and when remains are given back to the family after donation?
    • With whole body donation, remains are cremated after study. The cremated remains may be returned to the family or buried/entombed at a cemetery utilized by the medical donation service.

There are currently three universities in the state of Michigan that accept body dontations: Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. All universities have different requirements for acceptance. Please contact either the university itself or our funeral home with questions. 

Gift of Life handles organ and bone donation services in the state of Michigan. Again, all vary on requirements of acceptance, and it is best to contact each group for questions and preliminary acceptance.


Alternatives with Burial or Cremation

It seems each day, new methods or ideas for disposition of human remains are introduced.  Many, have eco-friendly ideals in mind.  With each new form of disposition, comes new ways to memorialize your loved one.  It is important to know that not all of these new forms are not uniformly legal across the who United States. Please speak with your funeral director to gain more information on where and if these methods are adopted by the state of Michigan.




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