Evergreen Mortuary and Cemetery

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Determining if Cremation Is Right for You

Cremation Tucson

Have you thought about what you want to happen after your passing? By making your choices and communicating them clearly with family, you will ensure that they follow your wishes and aren’t left making decisions for you when you’re gone. This is especially beneficial so your loved ones know whether to choose burial or cremation. These tips can help you decide if cremation is the right choice for you:

Consider your religious or spiritual beliefs.
If you follow a religion or consider yourself a spiritual person, it’s important to think about how these views might influence your decision. Some religions have historically advised against cremation, stating that followers should only be buried after passing away. It’s a good idea to talk to a religious leader, though, as many religions have eased up on their regulations regarding cremation.

Consider what type of funeral service you want.
Funeral services provide friends and family members with an opportunity to gather and say goodbye to a deceased loved one. Many people think that funeral services are only appropriate when the deceased is being placed into a burial plot, but this is not true. Funerals can occur before either burial or cremation, giving friends and family a chance to come together and share memories whether the decedent has chosen burial or cremation.

Think about what you want your final resting place to be.
When deciding between burial or cremation, you should think about where you want your remains to rest after your passing. With burial, your body will be contained in a casket and then placed in a burial plot or mausoleum crypt. With cremation, your remains can be placed in an urn that loved ones can keep, or they can be placed in a cremation garden, columbarium, or cremation bench. You may also choose to have cremated remains buried in a plot in much the same way a casket would be.

Whether you choose burial or cremation, you can find more information by contacting Evergreen Mortuary & Cemetery. We can help you learn more about options for cremation services and cemetery options. Give our Tucson cemetery a call at (520) 888-7470 to get answers to your questions.

Hunting History Among the Headstones

Genealogical research is becoming a popular activity, with more people than ever trying to uncover their families’ histories. There are a host of websites that allow for searching records of gravesites, birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, death certificates, and other documents.

In fact, just by spitting into a tube, you can send away your DNA to have it analyzed for the purpose of learning about familial ties and uncovering personal history.

If personal and community history interest you, a cemetery is an interesting place to search. It all starts with a death certificate, which can be found with a bit of online research. The death certificate can lead you to the cemetery, where you may be able to use a map to locate the gravesites you seek. Once you know where to look, it’s time to explore.

What should you take along on this expedition?

  • Have a camera to document what you find. It’s also a good idea to bring a notebook and a pen. That way, you can write down the information, because sometimes headstones that are legible in person are often difficult to read in a photograph.

  • A pair of gloves is useful. Sturdy work gloves will help you delicately clear away any rubble or debris that could prevent you from closely examining the headstones.

  • Wear long pants. You don’t know whether you’ll have to trek through high grass, which can be a welcoming environment for snakes, rodents, and insects. Long pants and long sleeves are often your best bet for protection against whatever you encounter.

  • Sturdy shoes are a must. Terrain can be uneven in a cemetery, so make sure your shoes are good for walking on gravel, in the grass, and on any other surface.

  • Bring a damp cloth and a plastic brush in case the headstones need cleaning. Don’t use any cleaning products or even things like baby powder or shaving cream because they can damage older stones. Instead, just use a plastic brush and a damp cloth. Another valuable tool is a small paintbrush, which will help you brush dirt from delicate surfaces without causing any harm.

If you believe a loved one is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, we’re happy to have you look around. We’ve been here since 1907, and our property is the chosen final resting place for many notable former residents of Tucson. What’s more, our beautifully maintained property makes it easy to find what you seek. If you’re interested in learning more about Evergreen Mortuary, Cemetery & Crematory, we’d love to have you come to visit. Call (520) 257-4831 or pop by to take a look.

Flowers on Graves: Beautifying a Loved One's Final Resting Place

Are you responsible for the upkeep of a loved one’s grave? Most cemeteries have groundskeepers, but they’re often only responsible for mowing and repairs. In that case, any flowering plants or beautification of an individual gravesite is up to family members or volunteers. Even if the cemetery is well maintained, it doesn’t hurt to beautify a loved one’s final resting place.

It’s important to check with the cemetery regarding rules, but it’s often possible to plant flowers on the grave. There may be restrictions on what you’re allowed to plant, as well as rules about maintenance, but if you get clearance, many types of flowers are a good fit for a gravesite.

  • Geraniums are a good choice because they’re bright and cheerful. Hardy and easy to maintain, they are available in a wide selection of colors. To keep them blooming, clip the spent flower heads. If the gravesite is in a warm climate, be aware that the geraniums might grow large and obscure the headstone.

  • Chrysanthemums require minimal maintenance and tend to be cold-hardy. They can be left in the ground, and they’ll return the next growing season; the primary maintenance required is deadheading blossoms and cutting back plant stems at the end of the season. Bonus: there are many types of chrysanthemums, so you can plant different ones and have blooms year-round.

  • Roses are beautiful but require some work. Most cemeteries will allow the planting of roses on a gravesite because maintenance workers can easily work around them. However, the workers generally won’t prune roses, so if you plant one, make sure you have time in your schedule to come back and tend it.

  • Wildflowers can be an easy way to add color. One of the benefits of wildflowers is that they reseed and bloom yearly, but it should be noted that some flowers that aren’t considered wildflowers will do the same thing. Annuals such as marigolds, salvia, zinnias and cosmos will come back each year for many years.

  • Daylilies are a good option because they don’t require much care. They’re very prolific growers, so unless you want them to spread over a large area, it’s best to have a border to contain them.

  • Low-spreading flowers that can handle frequent mowing are a great choice. Flowering rhyme, Roman chamomile, and some varieties of ajuga are colorful seasonal ground cover that will survive not only mowing but also foot traffic.

The peaceful grounds of Evergreen Cemetery were established in 1907 to serve the rapidly expanding Tucson community. Today, this beautiful setting for your loved one’s final resting place is a touchpoint for future generations to reflect and remember. Call to learn more about us, or visit the About Us page to schedule a tour.

Turning a Guestbook into a Work of Art

At a funeral or memorial ceremony, the guestbook is an important record of the day. It lets you look back and see who was there on this significant occasion, gives guests a small way to participate in the ceremony, and creates a memento for your family to treasure. It doesn’t have to be a book, and with some creative thinking, you can make it into a meaningful keepsake.

There are a wealth of artistic ways to make a guestbook:

  • Create a tree of life. You can find templates for a trunk with branches, and guests will sign their names on leaves that they then glue to the tree. This creates a unique memento that can be framed or kept in a scrapbook.

  • Frame hearts in a shadowbox. Have each guest sign a wooden heart, which you’ll later mount inside a shadowbox.

  • Allow guests to sign the mat around a photo. A cherished photo of your loved one becomes a memorial keepsake when surrounded by the signatures of friends and family.

  • A thumbprint guestbook can be unique and colorful. Provide a piece of paper, perhaps with an image on it, and have guests embellish it with their finger or thumbprints. The image might be a tree trunk with branches, strings in need of balloons, or a garden of stemless flowers. Using colored stamp pads, the guests complete the picture, which can then be framed.

  • Birch tags have a striking look. Once signed, they can be hung on a simple memorial tree.

  • Wishing rocks can be kept in a bowl or used in a flower or garden. If you’re going to be using them outside or in water, make sure they are signed with the right kind of weatherproof paint.

  • Memorial quilt squares make a long-lasting keepsake. If quilting is a hobby for you or another family member, the funeral or memorial service is a wonderful place to collect squares. In addition to a signature, guests can embellish fabric scraps with warm sentiments or brief memories.

Creating the perfect guestbook to fit the personality of the person being honored is just one more way to customize a funeral to celebrate the life that was lived.

At Evergreen, we believe in designing ceremonies as unique as your life. We’ll make suggestions to enhance the tribute ideas you already have so that together we can make the event truly memorable. Call us at 520.257.4831 for more information, or visit our Honoring Life page for ideas about what’s possible.

Final Care of Our Fallen Troops

When a soldier dies in combat, he or she must be transported back home to the grieving family. Have you ever wondered who cares for the bodies of these brave men and women in our nation’s service?

Since 2009, journalists have been permitted a glimpse inside the Dover Port Mortuary on Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The reports they’ve given paint a picture of tender care and solemn honor, as service members undertake the task of preparing their compatriots for their final journey home.

For veterans killed in the line of duty, that journey begins on a cargo flight to Dover. Upon landing, the plane is met by military officials and, often, family members. White-gloved service members solemnly carry the flag-draped casket to the 72,000-square-foot building housing the mortuary, where fallen troops are carefully attended by members of the armed forces dedicated to providing respectful care.

After an autopsy is performed by the armed forces medical examiner, mortuary staff members begin their work.

Embalming comes first. Then the body is washed, with special attention to cleaning the hands and hair. Repairs to the body are made, and embalmers use photographs of the person to try to recreate each distinguishing line and feature. When the body is ready, it’s time for staff to dress the service member one final time.

This is the part of the process that is most indicative of the veteran’s time in service. A dress uniform is prepared for each fallen service member, even if that person is going to be cremated or the service will have a closed casket. Even if the uniform can only be placed on top of the person’s remains, it must be perfectly prepared.

The men and women who dress service members at this time do it for the families, but also out of a deep and solemn respect for the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our nation.

They carefully choose medals, badges, ribbons and other insignia specific to the person’s military service record, taking care to assemble them properly on the uniform.

Once the uniform is complete, a photo is taken and sent to Fort Knox, so that personnel there can double check to make sure that it’s perfect. No misplaced medal or loose thread is allowed to mar the look of the uniform that will be the last outfit the family sees on their loved one. Once it’s perfect, it’s deemed suitable for someone who, through the ultimate personal sacrifice, has earned the respect, honor and appreciation of our entire nation.

At Evergreen Mortuary, Cemetery, & Crematory, we also provide tender, respectful care to every person whose care is placed in our hands. For veterans, we strive to provide honorable and dignified arrangements and offer special services to truly honor the men and women who have given so much to protect the freedoms that all Americans hold dear.

Call us at 520.257.4831 for more information, or visit the Veterans Services page of our website.

Spending Time with Loved Ones (While There's Still Time)

It’s easy to find yourself getting bogged down in everyday affairs. When you do that, however, your family (especially aging parents) may feel they’re missing out on time with you. If your parent or loved one is getting on in years, you might want to take time out to do something meaningful together. It’s a good way to make family members feel loved, and building those special memories is good for you, too.

Most people have a bucket list, even if it’s never been shared with anyone. Ask questions so you can find out what your loved one would really like to do with you that they haven’t done yet. Here are a few ideas:

  • Travel! What’s a place your loved one has never been to but wants to visit? Europe? Australia? Alaska? Maybe you could take a cruise together or go on a tour. If you want to do something unusual, you could even make it your goal to visit the Wonders of the World.

  • Learn a new language. Whether you take a class, buy a set of CDs, or try an online course, the fun thing about learning a new language together is that you get to practice speaking it to each other. If you’re competitive, challenge each other to see who can master something like a song or a poem first.

  • Write a memoir. People who have lived for a long time have interesting stories to tell. Help your loved one put these stories on paper, even if it’s just for you and your family. It doesn’t have to be a bestseller — or even published — to be a valuable record of your family history.

  • Go whale watching. Whale watching is a thrilling way to experience nature. There are many other fun ways to observe animals in their natural habitat, as well, whether you’re looking for dolphins, going on a photo safari tour, visiting a wildlife sanctuary or bird watching.

  • Try new foods. Today, we have a host of foods from around the globe, readily available in our neighborhoods. Often, older people don’t try these unfamiliar foods, either because they’re nervous about something unknown or because they’re set in their ways. Introducing your parent or loved one to one of your favorites can be rewarding and fun. Maybe it will even become a shared favorite.

  • Learn a new skill such as crocheting or painting. Learning something new together is a wonderful way to build memories while developing a new skill. Look for classes at your local library or community center.

  • Support a charity. You may already donate to charity, but participating in a hands-on way can be an enriching experience. Help at a local soup kitchen, food pantry, charity thrift store or animal shelter, and you’ll be helping others as you bond with your loved one.

We hope these suggestions spark your imagination and inspire you to create a list of your own. While you’re checking things off the list, don’t forget preplanning. Call Evergreen at 520.257.4831 or visit our Plan Ahead page to request your free preplanning guide

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